Undergraduate Admission Blog

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February 8, 2014

STUDENT BLOG: The Perks of Being Undecided from a Decisive Student

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          Growing up, l had always been that girl who knew what she wanted to do every moment of the day. In high school, I participated in various clubs and student organizations I was passionate about, but was unsure as to where all these activities were taking me. I knew my future included attending a four-year university, but I did not know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, let alone study in college. My favorite academic subjects usually depended on the teachers that taught them, instead of the subject itself. Ironically, I left high school with my highest AP score in Calculus BC, even though I had never liked math.

          Due to my indecision, I classified my major as “Undecided” on all of my college applications. For someone who likes being in the know, this was a risk for me. I had to come to terms with the fact I was “Undecided” for the first time in my life. Around the time of Explore USC and Orientation, I realized there were students that, just like me, were Undecided majors. I was not alone. Being “undecided” gave me the flexibility to take a variety of classes and discover interests that I hadn’t had the opportunity to previously explore.

          At Orientation, I had the flexibility to choose whichever classes I had interests in so I could decide what I wanted my major to be. I took “Law, Politics, and Public Policy,” since I had always been interested in Political Science, Writing 140 for the General Education requirement, Spanish to satisfy the foreign language requirement, Introduction to Digital Photography (because I never had the chance to take photography in high school), and a Freshman Seminar with a focus in Psychology, since I loved AP Psychology in high school. This schedule ended up being a perfect balance of my interests and the requirements I needed to graduate. By the end of the semester, I had loved my Political Science class so much I declared it as my major.

          Luckily, Political Science has fewer units required for the degree than other majors, so I have been able to explore a variety of my interests through elective classes. I have taken “Marketing Fundamentals” in the Marshall School of Business, “The Broadway Musical: Reflection of American Diversity, Issues, and Experiences” in the Thornton School of Music, “Law and Society,” and “Case Studies in Modern Leadership.” My continuous class exploration after I declared my major has made me a well-rounded student– I even stumbled upon a minor through these classes: Critical Approaches to Leadership. It is an interdisciplinary minor that combines classes in Classics, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, International Relations, Political Science, and American Studies. My array of interests and drive to continually explore different subjects made this minor a perfect fit and complement to my major.

          Bottom line, Undecided students, you have nothing to worry about! The average college student changes their major 2.5 times, so even if it seems like you are surrounded by people who know they will be future CEOs, doctors, lawyers, and teachers, they will more than likely be unsure about what they want to do at some point, too. Take advantage of the time you have to be Undecided. It is liberating, and can lead you to have a completely different perspective on what you want to do.

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