Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Advising Advice: I can’t get into my major!

Posted on January 28, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By: Janis Albright, Janet Etzel and Netty Provost, Academic Advisors

Here’s a scenario: You have chosen what you think is perfect major but then you discover that you can’t get into that major right now, or you’re rethinking whether it’s the best fit for you. Does this sound like you?

Don’t panic! This is a great opportunity to step back, take a deep breath, and look at your long-term goals. First, what motivated you to choose this major? Is it really your choice, or are there expectations being placed on you by family or friends? If so, again your Advisors can help you prepare meaningful conversations with these people so you can better explain the rationale for your own choice.

Second, have you considered all your options and thoroughly researched different majors? One of the most helpful things you can do is to talk with multiple people about what major to choose. Remember that your Professional and Faculty Advisors are here to help. Advisors can share ideas, resources, and offer support to help you find the right major. They can offer tools to help match your interests and skills to majors that you may not have considered, along with resources to help you learn more about yourself.

For example, if you are interested in the Nursing major, but not yet able to enter the major, advisors can show you tools to explore other health related careers and majors.

You can also visit the Office of Engagement and Career Development (available on all 3 campuses), or the Drucker Center at the Lewiston Auburn campus. Staff there can help you identify your skills and strengths and connect you with experts in the field so that you can figure out the best pathway to a meaningful career. These offices also provide volunteer, job shadowing and internship opportunities which help you discover or confirm what you want to do in the future.

Another reason why you may not be able to reach your goal is due to the GPA requirements of your desired major. Are you studying smartly and using support services like tutoring and study groups? The Learning Commons in the Portland and Gorham campus libraries and the Writing Center at our Lewiston campus provides tutoring, space for study groups, and resources to help to improve academic skills such as time management and test taking.

Sometimes life outside of college can also create challenges for academic success so University Health and Counseling Centers are also available to help and support you.

If you’re not sure how to move forward, schedule a meeting with your Advisors or a faculty member in your desired major. They can help you identify roadblocks you may facing and work with you to strategize actions steps to maximize your chances of getting into your desired major in a reasonable timeline. Make sure to also consider your desired graduation date and financial resources. Advisors and other campus resources are here to help so use these resources to insure you’re thinking strategically and developing a solid plan for future success.

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