Our View: Intro classes are the key

DKS Editors

Lucky students walk on campus knowing exactly what path they want to take, and what degree they will graduate with. Others have absolutely no idea — and that’s OK.

The answer to “What’s your major?” is a defining one. Students have understandable commitment issues when it comes to declaring what they want to do for the rest of their lives. In fact, the majority of this year’s freshman class consists of exploratory majors.

So take some time to figure it out. Get a taste of a few intro classes. How else will you discover your burning desire to be an archeologist? Or a teacher? Schools and departments want to draw you in with their intro classes — they’re a recruitment tool.

Eventually you’ll take that one class that just clicks. It will become a gateway drug and you’ll want to learn more. That’s when you know.

And even if you’ve declared a major, don’t feel stuck or locked in. Continue to take a couple intro courses as electives if you can squeeze them in. Maybe you’ll find something you love even more or perhaps you’ll discover a minor.

This is the time in our lives to figure things out. Even if your best friend has known since age 2 that she wants to be a paleontologist, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong for not knowing your career path yet. There’s an overwhelming list of choices, but fear not, you’ll find which one fits you.

But the other side to consider is that these classes do take money and time. There’s a point where taking intro course after intro course becomes inefficient. Make sure you’re doing research on your choices. Ask yourself what these majors involve and if you can truly see yourself in that role.

If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, consider a gap year. Take a year off to explore what interests you and what will drive you to success. But know that some students who take a gap year don’t find their way back to college.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to finding the right major, but a new study by researchers from the University of Chicago and Hamilton College in the book How College Works shows that intro classes can play a huge role in exploratory majors finding their niche. So take a few and see what piques your interest.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.>