A Major Decision | St. Lawrence University

A Major Decision

Chandler Turpin
2019

A lot of people think they know what they want to study when they go off to college. Many times this can be stressful for students, and they may not end up enjoying their major, which can lead to higher stress and lower grades. 

At St. Lawrence, you are not required to select a major until the second semester of your sophomore year. This gives you time to explore anything you might be interested in, while still being able to complete a major, or even two, on time. Here at SLU, you aren’t stuck to a field of study, simply by taking an intro-level class.

You may be thinking, “Well, I already know what I want to study.” That’s fantastic! You’d be on track to finish your major relatively early, and maybe even pick up a fun minor, or even another major. The thing is, you have time. You are expected to explore while you are here. That is the beauty of our liberal arts education.

I was in the same boat as those who thought they knew exactly what they wanted to do with their time at SLU.  I came into the first semester of my first year and took the courses I thought would put me on the best track to get ahead. My second semester, I went abroad to Rouen, France, for the semester. This meant I had to take a break from the type of work I had been doing, and had to delve into a completely new courseload. This was an eye-opening experience for me as it guided me to switch my area of study because I found a new passion.

While abroad, I spent a semester writing a research paper on immigraton policies of European countries, and the international legality of these policies. I had always had an interest in government, but it was never my goal to study it. I am now on track to graduate with a double major in Government and French.

My semester abroad is what shaped my decision on what to major in, but St. Lawrence offers a number of unique experiences that help you decide. Maybe you will randomly select a class and fall in love with an entirely new subject. Maybe you will take a class to fulfill a requirement, and decide that the field is something you can see yourself studying. Maybe you will join a club on campus that will help you make your decision. There are 69 majors here, and sure, you won’t be able to familiarize yourself with all of them, but there are a ton of options for you.

The important thing about choosing your college major is not to stress. St. Lawrence gives students so much time and freedom to select their major. That, coupled with the amazing student resources on campus, leads to a wonderful college experience studying something you will really be interested in.