Today’s article was submitted by Heather Hamilton.
As you embrace the transition to college, you undoubtedly have many questions. You’ve chosen your school, your living arrangements, your method of getting to and from class—but have you settled on a major? This choice can be especially difficult for students, because many are interested in different things across a variety of disciplines.
For some students, a double major helps to alleviate the feeling that they’re studying the wrong subject. But is it right for you? Keep reading to learn five signs that a double major is the correct path for you.
1. You’re a time management professional
Double majoring typically means double the workload, especially if you don’t plan to extend your time in college. If you’re the type of student who is naturally gifted at time management, a double major may be right for you. You’ll need to balance your coursework with extracurriculars, social activities, and perhaps employment, so ensure you’re up for the challenge. Prepare to utilize any time management strategies you may have—and purchase a planner.
2. You excel academically
Students who double major sometimes experience a drop in GPA due to the extra workload, so if you already have a strong transcript, you may have some breathing room if your GPA temporarily dips. You may also have the academic skills that are necessary for success. However, if you find that you struggle to maintain high grades in your classes, examine your workload to determine whether a second major is truly wise.
3. Your field of study will be aided by a double major
Successful students who double major sometimes have complimentary specializations—courses that overlap, concepts that build upon one another, and so on. If you plan to study an area that has a natural accompaniment (i.e. a foreign language and international studies), a double major can be a great way to strengthen your resume and future job applications.
4. You’re in a comfortable place financially
Some colleges and universities charge extra money when you exceed a given credit load, and if you aren’t expecting the expense, it can be hard to cope. If you wish to double major, put a plan in place to cover any additional expenses. Finally, don’t forget about textbooks! Extra classes can mean extra books, which might total hundreds of extra dollars per semester.
5. You’re confident in your choices
Because double majors take so much work, it’s important to be confident in your choices before you commit. For many students, completing a minor or an internship can satisfy the need for diverse curriculum without the additional work and stress that a double major can present. For other students, the challenge is exactly what they need to excel at school and to satiate a need for more knowledge.
Although it is possible to drop a second major, it can waste time and money—two things that can be difficult to come by as a college student. To avoid this scenario, it’s helpful to do some preliminary exploration to determine if a double major is right for you.
Heather Hamilton is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.