Being Undecided: How I Found My Major

“What are you studying” is a familiar tune to all those entering college. While this question does not exceed words, it carries a weight with it. Upon entering Cal, I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to study.

I want to preface this by saying in high school I didn’t envision life beyond it. Come college application season, I thought that college was just a glorified version of high school, I mean, what the heck was a major anyways? At the time, I loved that school gave us a taste in every subject, so imagine the shock I received when I was told I could only pick one to two fields to study.

Fast forward to starting my time at Cal– I remember feeling overwhelmed as it seemed everyone knew exactly what they wanted to study. When meeting people and discussing majors they wouldn’t miss a beat when discussing theirs.

I decided to force myself into looking through out the majors and trying to find one that interested me. Recalling that I enjoyed my science classes, I tried out various biology majors. My second semester I took “Sociology 3AC” and left the first class in awe. However, I decided that would be my “fun” class and continued to trudge through the bio pre-requisites.

While I enjoyed biology, I kept yearning for the content that motivated me to question the status quo, as my first sociology class gave me. I looked into Marine Science, Environmental Engineering, French, Linguistics, and Media Studies as potential majors. All the while it felt as though everyone around me knew their path in life.I kept stressing myself out for not having a major decided and almost rushed into declaring one just to get it over with. It wasn’t until the Spring of 2020 that I finally decided to take another Sociology class, and it once again felt like home.

This past semester I declared Sociology. This moment that I built up in my head as the turning point in my college career, happened unceremoniously as I filled out a form and received an email confirmation. While I felt like I was the only one going through this, when catching up with friends over Zoom I learned that some of them went through a similar journey. It was reassuring to know that not everyone has their lives figured out, and that it’s okay to change your major.

When talking to the occasional non-social sciences student, I’ll get asked “what do you even do with a soc major?”. A very valid question, and one that came to me as I veered back and forth between sticking with biology or sociology. This lead me to an important realization: your major does not define your career path. While being a Sociology major, I’ve completed the requirements to apply to medical school. Sociology affects just about every aspect of life, as it IS the study of society, and can be implemented in many fields. As my peers are applying to jobs and I’m beginning to feel the pressure of applying, this journey to my major has taught me that there is no one set path. It can be polarizing to feel like the odd one out, but this path to finding (and loving) my major has taught me that in due time we all find our interests.

I hope that those of you out there that are still unsure what they want to study feel slightly more comforted after reading through this. Take it from someone who took a little longer to find their passion: study what makes you passionate and remember that you are so much more than your major!

Author: Juliana Roper

Hi friends! My name is Juliana and I am a third year from Petaluma, CA studying Sociology with pre-med. Outside of being a Campus Ambassador, I am a part of the Fung Fellowship, Greek Life, and SUPERB Games! I hope my various interests in games, anime, and pursuing my passions give you some insight as to how there's not one version of a Berkeley student.