A Better Option


Ever heard this advice, “If you don’t know what major you want, go as an undeclared student. You can decide on your major after a few basic courses.”? Sounds like an “okay” idea doesn’t it? It seems like a pretty harmless plan and I suppose if you are going for an “okay” plan then it will suffice.

But you don’t want an “okay” plan. You want a remarkable plan.  You want a clear and intentional plan and being undeclared has no place in your plan.  The idea that you can take a few 101 courses and suddenly “find yourself” is just plain dumb and it is unnecessarily expensive.

If you are absolutely certain that college is a part of your plan, then a better option is to audit a college course while you are still in high school. A lot of high schools have dual enrollment with colleges.  Earning college credits while still in high school is an excellent way to go. If you are closer to graduation or don’t have the previous options available, you could also attend a community college and take a few courses without living on campus or accruing big expenses from a larger university.  Sometimes it is a good idea to take a gap year as well. Taking a year off after high school can often help you realize what you like, and often more importantly, what you don’t like. Of course when I say “taking a year off” I do not mean staying at home and bumming off of mom and dad. Taking a year off involves working, volunteering, and engaging in serious self-development.

Going to college undeclared is an option, but in my opinion it is rarely the best one.

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3 thoughts on “A Better Option

  1. Absolutely agree with you on principle here, especially on the taking a gap year if you are not sure. Gap years (or even snap years for that matter) are fantastic ways to consolidate your plans and allow you to think and plan what you want out of life. Then when you are ready university will still be waiting for you.

    • Thanks for the comment and great point! The universities are not going anywhere.
      I like the idea of taking a gap/snap year and finding out more about yourself and what you want out of life, but only if it doesn’t put you in a financial burden down the road.
      Great site by the way!

      • You’re welcome, and thanks for the compliment!

        Travel is a lot cheaper than most people assume it would be. The financial burden of a gap/snap year is actually quite minimal if you budget and are sensible about it, particularly in comparison to the financial burden of the wrong degree (I have met so many people on the road who have changed their career/course/lives because of what they learned about themselves while travelling), and especially with the potential benefits to your CV and future career that travel or volunteering could bring.

        I’ll be writing a lot more about gap/snap years and the benefit/costs for students in the near future, so stay tuned!

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