Major Changes

As absurd as this may sound, I never thought about life after high school until like two months before I graduated.  All of a sudden people started talking about what college they were going to and I started freaking out.  College for me was something that I took 7 years to stumble through.  For some kids it’s hard and for some it’s easier depending on various things like financial status and family support.

Either way, all college age people are struggling with what to do with their lives.  This is the nature of their journey as they process the bigger questions of late-adolescent identity formation.  What I find interesting though, is how the choice of a “major” plays out in their journey.  Check out the stats below from

…some studies suggest a figure as high as 80%, change their major at least once. The average may be as high as changing majors three times during the college years. It also helps to consider why students may choose their majors in the first place. According to a study conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), 66% of students choose their major based on a career in which they are interested, 12% say they “drifted” into a major, 9% say they were inspired by a particular teacher or professor, 7% chose a major based on earning potential, and 6% say they were influenced by friends and family. Clearly many choices are being made for reasons other than following the student’s heart and mind.

I’m not sure how old these stats are, but either way I think they’re indicative of what happens to a lot of college students as they journey through this stage of life.  I’m also really struck by the various reasons listed for choosing a major.  All of this has me wondering about the role of the church in this process (if any!).  Should students be processing a major based on a particular calling in life?  Would it be too much to expect that level of spirituality to guide their thinking on this?  If they were being guided by a sense of what God was calling them to, would this statistic change and/or be different for those students?

To put this expectation on many of them would be unfair and insensitive to the journey they’re on, but it seems like an interesting set of questions to explore!


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