STUDENT VOICE

When All You Know Is That You’re Undeclared

If there was one thing I knew when I was a senior applying to colleges, it was that I was not prepared to choose a major that would give me a permanent path to take for the rest of my life. At so many of the universities I was interested in, I had to choose a specific college within the university, or even worse, commit to a major during the application process. I honestly lost count of all the different majors I ended up applying to, and I had no idea what those majors really entailed or what kinds of careers I could make out of them. Looking back, I guarantee that I would have had to change my major and possibly even transfer colleges if I was forced to choose so early on. The Explore Program afforded me the opportunity to try out all of my interests before choosing one to commit so much time and money to.

I applied Early Decision to Northeastern specifically for the Explore Program. It really stood out to me during my visit, primarily because there was nothing like it at the other universities I looked into. Oftentimes (if I was even allowed to be undeclared) I had to be undeclared within a certain college. My interests were spread so wide that this was not helpful. I also noticed that most universities were not very supportive of undeclared students. Although you were allowed to be undeclared, you were encouraged to choose a major as quickly as possible, and there was not much support to help you do so. Northeastern’s attitude towards the Explore Program was different. They were actually proud to have a program that lets students take time to stop, think, explore, and make an informed decision that is right for them — all without holding students back from a timely graduation. (We even get a shout-out from President Aoun at Convocation!)

Hearing that I would be supported throughout the exploration process meant that I would feel safe to take that time to explore. During my time in the Explore Program, I explored majors within five of the seven undergraduate colleges here at Northeastern. Beyond the classroom, I was able to attend Explore Program networking events to meet faculty and students within each major. At these events, I was able to have those decision-making conversations with people who could show me what was ahead of me if I chose to follow in their footsteps. Meeting the people I would spend my next few years with was incredibly important to me, and it helped me make my decision more confidently.

At the end of my first year, I declared a major in Political Science and Communication Studies with a minor in Psychology. You may notice that all aspects of my degree are in different NEU colleges. You would be correct! And that’s okay here — it’s what I love most about this university. I am encouraged to continue exploring all of my interests within my path to degree. I want to make it clear that even though I am declared, I am still exploring — I think everyone is, really. It’s okay to not know exactly what lies ahead of you because, in reality, nobody does! The number one thing I learned in the Explore Program is that it’s okay for your path to change as you grow and develop because everyone’s path does. It can be scary, but you just have to trust in yourself that you will be able to find success — whatever that means to you — in the path that lies ahead of you.