If most of your friends are happily completing a degree program you may feel like you’re the only one who is puzzled about your direction in college.  Please know that you are not alone.  UMF students like the ones listed below also felt undecided when they started college.   They felt pressured by themselves and others to ‘hurry up and choose something.’  They tried several directions; some of their choices helped them to decide NOT to go in a particular direction and other choices confirmed their choice of a college major.  Here are the stories of their college journeys.

Jenny:

I came to UMF thinking that I was going to be a writer.  Come to find out, I really had no interest at all!  This is when I started to explore the different majors, tested them out, and really found my passion in helping other people.  Working at the Center for Student Development really helped me to talk with people who understood, and could help you decide what your true interests are.  I switched my major from Writing, to Community Health, to Psychology, and back to Community Health.  Even as a senior, with graduation coming up for me in December, I find myself changing my mind again, and pursuing social work.  I think what is most important to remember is that you don’t need to decide right off.  Even when you do decide on a major, that doesn’t mean you are limited either.  These are your four years here at UMF, and you can make them your own. 

Chelsea:

My name is Chelsea and I’m a third year majoring in community health. I entered UMF as an elementary education major and realized my second semester freshman year that I wished to exit the education field and explore some other options. Bob Pederson was my assigned advisor as an undeclared major and he was the absolute best. I considered transferring but Bob helped me discover the community health field here at UMF within one semester. I was sad to move on to another advisor because Bob was so great, but I’m fully engaged within my major and I still pop by his office every once in a while to say hello. Next year, I plan to spend two months in Kenya for my internship working with women diagnosed with HIV/AIDs. I will be teaching the women different types of skills in order for them to generate a profit, which can be used to help their families pay the bills. I’ve grown exponentially while attending UMF and I’m excited to see where my future will take me. I personally believe that if it weren’t for the incredible staff and faculty here on campus, I would not have blossomed the way I have.

Samantha:

My name is Samantha and I came to UMF as an early childhood education major. Once I started taking some classes I realized it was not for me. I decided to change my major but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. So I signed up for the Liberal Arts Undeclared program. I was really nervous at first but once I started I realized it was the best thing I could have done. It has allowed me to explore different majors. My advisor is also so helpful and awesome! I have had such a positive experience and I would recommend it to any student who isn’t sure what they want to go to school for!!!!
Erin:

Hi, my name is Erin and just like you I started out undeclared.  I’m what you might call a first generation college student, which means that my parents did not attend college.  Prior to coming to this campus I hadn’t had any experience with a career counselor.  College was a very scary step for me.  During my last few years of high school I would be asked time and time again what I was planning on majoring in when I went to college.  I had no answer.  The amount of stress going into my freshman year at Farmington was almost unbearable.  I felt like a failure.  So what do you do if you have no idea?  Upon entering my first semester I was in search of something/anything that would be a possible major.  I was at the point where I was just looking to choose something – Just so I could have an answer to the question.  What I didn’t understand was that coming into college as a freshman you have plenty of time to find out what you’re good at or what might interest you.  I also discovered that it’s OK to be undecided.  I finally found something that I loved after two and a half years of searching.  I am now a senior in the Psychology program and am happier now with my chosen path and am grateful that I was undeclared for the first two years of my college experience.  Not only did I learn what I was good at and what I want my profession to be for the rest of my life, but I have also found out about myself, which to me is just as important.

Chad:

Hi, my name is Chad.  When I applied to UMF as a senior in high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  I enjoyed History in high school and thought it would be cool to be a History teacher.  I was accepted into the Secondary Social Science major at UMF.  Just after starting school in the fall, I realized that teaching wasn’t for me.  On the advice of my advisor, I changed my major to the Liberal Arts Undeclared program.  During the spring semester, I enrolled into a class called Global Transformations, a Geography class.  This was very different from what I thought geography was about!  We were learning about climate change, social movement, and job outsourcing among other topics.  I decided that I wanted to know more about Geography.  I met with Stephen Davis, a Career Counselor, and we talked about the kinds of careers related to Geography.  At the end of my first year at UMF, I changed my major to Geography with an interest in learning more about GIS systems.

Megan:

My name is Megan and once upon a time I was an undeclared student.  During my senior year of high school I applied to schools thinking I wanted to major in theatre arts.  I was accepted to UMF and all set to start as a theatre major.  However, over the summer I decided that while I loved theatre, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to major in.  I called UMF and switched my major to undeclared.  I went through my first year taking all sorts of classes and trying out all the different majors.  It wasn’t until after I took a few health classes in the spring semester that I decided I wanted to major in nursing.  I transferred to an out-of-state university in the fall of my sophomore year and began taking nursing courses.  I soon came to the realization that that particular university was not right for me and I transferred back to UMF in the spring.  Two and a half years and four majors later, I finally declared a major in community health education.  After working for one year in higher education, I decided to complete an accelerated Nursing Program at USM.

Alyssa:

Hi, my name is Alyssa. I am a junior in the philosophy/religion program. In high school, I was dead set on becoming a writer. As I researched various universities, I found the creative writing program at UMF. The university was the only one in New England currently offering a program in creative writing rather than just English. The program was small and inviting, so I jumped at the opportunity. When I came to UMF and began taking courses in my degree program I realized that although the program was excellent, the specific courses and style behind creative writing was not for me. I found myself uncertain and searching, so I decided to explore. I had taken a first year seminar that covered many topics in philosophy and included a lot of in-class open discussion that I really enjoyed. I decided to enroll in an introductory philosophy course to explore the subject further. In the course, I was able to continue with my love for writing and take part in the type of open discussion I enjoyed. I found that the nature of philosophy courses fitted my style best, so changed my major to philosophy/religion.