Undecided vs. Deciding

Ending stigma on undecided majors.

Derby Roan, Editor in Chief

When one thinks of an undecided student, often people’s minds drift to the thought of a student who is a lazy, unmotivated party animal with no intention to graduate. Pop culture has made undecided a derogatory term because of Undeclared and Animal House, but this is a misconception. Undecided students aren’t party animals who come to school for no reason. They are here to learn, just like every other student. They know what they like and what they dislike. What they don’t know is what path is right for them and what major works for their interests.
Jennifer Melton, one of the academic counselors here at Lake Land, wants to set the record straight.
One of the big things Melton believes all schools should have is a sufficient support network to help undecided students. Normalization is an important aspect of giving undecided students the support they need. For example, students are allowed to be undecided on Laker visit days and are even given an idea of what that sort of schedule would look like. Melton feels that Lake Land’s current system is effective, but that there’s always room for improvement.
“We can always do more. But, I am happy with the 8-10 faculty members who advise students who are undecided. I am happy with the frame we have in place to help undecided students.”
When asked what could be better she gave several strong ideas, including more workshops and SFS class for undecided majors.
Melton also said that undecided majors need to be, well, undecided: “If you know what you are doing but haven’t change it or are concerned about what you want not being there, you should change it.”
Those who are actually undecided: it’s ok. According to Penn State, More than 80% of students change their major at least one time. The pressure is immense, and it is completely normal and appropriate to not jump into a decision. The major code doesn’t make you lazy, or a failure, or not ready for college. It is part of a process of figuring out your entire life. Don’t rush it.
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