Picking a double major seems like a huge challenge. However, it’s also attractive. You’ll get a degree that gives you opportunities to build career in two niches. The only problem is: when you choose a double major, you should be ready to invest double the effort.
It’s a tough decision. If you don’t know whether or not you’re ready to make it, you should ask yourself some important questions before making the final decision.
1. Will you really benefit from a double major?
If you’re sure what you want to be in the future, then a single major will probably be enough. If, however, you intend to go for a double major because you don’t have a clear vision for your future, it’s time to think: where do you see yourself in the future? If you’re having doubts between two niches, then it’s okay to take two majors. If, however, you have no idea where you want to take your professional growth, you should talk to a career counselor first.
2. Will you choose unrelated or related majors?
Unrelated majors are a challenge because you’ll have to study more. Similar majors, on the other hand, may not be that necessary for your career.
3. Will you maintain the interest for both majors over time?
Do your research. Are you really interested in the double major? What will the studies be like? What topics will they cover? Will you be able to maintain that interest throughout your entire life?
4. Will you make the extra effort?
You’ll be on a tight schedule. You’ll have to make some sacrifices regarding your social life. Are you ready to do that? You may be convinced that you will be able to meet all the requirements timely and complete multiple assignments simultaneously. This can be true for the first year, and second. But the reality is harsh, it may simply become the unbearable burden. So make sure to use helpful tools like Todoist for planning, MyHomework for tracking your assignments and deadlines, OpenStudy to improve your learning experience, and others to support you along the way.
5. Can you cope with the stress?
Since you’ll have to meet high standards for two majors, you have to learn how to cope with stress. You don’t want your days to become frantic. With good organizational skills, you can do it.
6. Will you be able to graduate on time?
Caitlin Sinclair Chappell, a student with a double major, shared her experience: “The biggest issue I’ve faced is figuring out when I can take my required courses. I’ve spent days working out my four year plan,” – she said. “Some of the required courses for one major will interfere with the other, like they’re competing for my attention. Plus, there is always the fear that you won’t be able to get into one of your major’s courses, and then you’ll have to rework the entire puzzle.” Make that schedule. Does it give you the hope that you’ll graduate on time? Consider the fact that a double major may cost you an extra semester or two at college.
7. Can you handle the extra costs?
More books, additional classes, a highly possible extension of the studies… all this costs money. Will you be able to handle the financial burden of a double major?
8. Can someone help you with the decision?
Make good use of your faculty advisor. They will tell you everything there is to know about the reality of opting for a double major. You can also ask for advice from the academic administrators in both departments. Don’t forget to contact students who are already on this journey. What experiences and recommendations do they have?
9. Is there an alternative?
Is it possible to get a certificate for that other area of study you’re interested in? Can you opt for an interdisciplinary major that combines these two areas of study? Do your research to see if there’s an easier option that gives similar results.
Double majors are attractive, but they can also lead students to struggles they are not ready to face. You have to be absolutely sure in your willingness and capacity before you make this decision. Hopefully, the questions above will lead you to the right answer.
|Rachel Bartee is an educator and a part-time writer at Essayontime who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. Get in touch with her on @rachel5bartee.