One of the most important — and stressful — parts of the college experience is choosing a major. The only problem is that, sometimes, the major we choose isn't always the right major for us.
So, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who regret their college majors to share why, and what they wish they studied instead. Here are there responses:
1."I went to college for elementary education, and I regret it. The teaching field is a complete mess now, and receives so little support and so much backlash. And honestly, it just isn't where my heart is. I wish I had gone for what I originally wanted to go for, which was political science. I had a horrible poli sci professor my first college semester, and that alone made me switch to education. I totally regret letting a horrible professor sway my decision. Plus, it is so hard to branch out to any other job aside from teaching with an elementary ed degree. I feel stuck."
2."I got an associate's in accounting on grants at community college, and then transferred to a university to get my bachelor’s in accounting with student loans, only to find out that while I like bookkeeping, I absolutely detest accounting. I'm $40,000 in debt for a degree I never finished. I should have just gone to school to be a vet tech from the start. I could’ve spent so MUCH less for a degree in something I genuinely love, and been debt free by now. Instead, I’ll be paying those loans off until I die."
3."I have a bachelor's in general studies. I was a psych major for the first few years of school, but then found out that without a master's, a psychology degree is not worth much. By the time I got to my senior year, I was so burnt out and tired of school that I chose to switch to the degree that was the easiest to get, so I could graduate and be done with it. Looking back now, I regret taking the 'easy' route just to say I had a bachelor's degree. I’m still kind of embarrassed saying what degree I have, because I feel it looks like I couldn’t make up my mind. But I also realize that I did work hard for the degree I do have and am proud that I was able to get some kind of degree instead of quitting."
4."I got my Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. I should've done something more medically based. The best you can do with my degree is be a glorified personal trainer. I wish I had gone a more medical route for physical therapy. Or, a different major entirely, like nursing, or nutrition, to be a dietitian. I graduated eight years ago and haven't done any work related to my degree at all. I mostly give advice to friends and family regarding nutrition, exercise, and sore muscles."
5."I majored in theatre but knew a year after graduation that I wasn’t cut out for that life. In retrospect, I should have gone to a trade school for carpentry, or majored in computer science and done theatre for fun. I have a great career as a facilities manager, but it took me a loooong time to find this life."
6."I regret settling on a major only to meet the expectations of my family. I was raised to believe that a master's degree was the bare minimum, and having a doctorate was acceptable. I changed majors three times, finally picked English, got halfway through my MA program, and dropped out because I was only doing it to have the letters 'Dr.' attached to my publications. I wanted my self-worth to mean more than that. Now I'm working on an MS in a major for myself in a field I'm passionate about. I no longer care about keeping up appearances or having 'fancy' titles. I still get reminded that I could have been a doctor like my brother (a medical doctor), but I'm content making up time for the years I lost trying to please everyone except myself."
7."Going into college, I was convinced I hated/wasn't good at science. So, I decided to major in psychology. After taking and doing extremely well in a few neuroscience classes in undergrad, as well as more advanced neuroscience classes in grad school, I learned that I actually am good at science! I just didn't enjoy the sciences that were taught at a high school level. Although I loved my psychology major, I wish that I majored in neuroscience instead."
8."I was between studying accounting or piano, and went with accounting as my parents pushed for majors with 'real jobs.' But during college, I ended up working as an accompanist in the music department as a side job and realized I could've made piano into a real career if I’d had a bit more training, which I missed out on. I’ve barely used my accounting degree, and since I’m not using my piano skills, I’ve basically stopped playing."
9."I majored in political science because I thought I wanted to pursue being a lawyer. Then I ended up realizing that I didn't want my life to be consumed that much by work, and ended up not going to law school at all. I honestly wish I had gone into psychology and become a therapist. I think I would've been really well suited to it, but now it feels too late to go back and get a master's and all that in my 30s with no psychology background."
10."I majored in communications with a concentration in TV production. Not a bad major, but I realized pretty quickly it wasn't for me. And because I transferred [from community college], I basically had to declare my major before I ever took a single class in it! So, the lesson is don't declare a major before you've actually taken the classes."
11."Psychology. I love, LOVE, psychology. But without a master's, you can’t do much. I had to quit my master's program when I became a single mom. Now I wish I had gone with my first dream, nursing (I know, COVID and everything). I’m seriously considering going back to school now that my kids are older and I'm remarried."
12."Architecture. Once you graduate, the pay is really shitty, and you'll start losing your passion for the field regardless of how much you like to design. I'm now pursuing a language degree through distance education."
13."I majored in sociology and am working on a PhD in a 'hard science' field. I’m thankful for a lot of the different perspectives that sociology gave me because I believe it has made me a more empathetic scientist, but it’s hard taking classes with people who have known about molecular cell biology for years longer than me. Majoring in some sort of biological science in undergrad would make my life a lot easier now."
14."I study biology at university, but I really wish I'd studied history. Looking back, it was pretty obvious I made the wrong decision. History was by far my favorite A-level. It was all I spoke about, read, and watched, and I spent hours writing silly movie scripts with my favorite historical figures (sad, I know). Unfortunately, I was swayed to believe that I would be more employable studying biology, which is ironic given my new boss studied history, as did two others on my team."
15."I started out studying engineering because I was decent at math, my dad started out as an engineer, and I didn't know any better. Huge mistake. I flunked out after three years. I started over, studying human services, which I liked a lot more but once I graduated did absolutely nothing for me. I recently graduated with my master's in social work, and I absolutely love what I do now...but I'm over $50,000 in debt from all the stupid undergrad expenses, and social work doesn't pay all that well."
16."I picked finance as a degree not because I was good at math, but because the financial industry was a secure and stable field. I struggled to get through all the classes but made it out, only to face the 2009 recession. The entire financial industry was turned upside down, and all job prospects along with it. I haven’t used that degree since. I wish I had followed my passion and studied meteorology, instead of still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up."
17."I got my degree in public relations. There were multiple problems with this. I transferred from a community college, so I had to declare a major without taking a single class. I started PR classes in the fall of 2009, which was kind of the beginning of social media going mainstream, and my school offered zero classes in it. In fact, their whole program was about 10 years out of date. I also discovered that I hate social media, and that's all companies were hiring people under 30 for. By the time I realized that, I was under a year from graduating, so I just stuck it out. Considering that my degree has had no impact on my jobs, I wish I'd taken more of my minor classes (sociology) because I loved them."
18."I was really excited to go to college because I love learning, but I wish I’d thought a little more about what degree would give me the most amount of opportunity, while still pursuing everything I wanted to learn about. I was so excited to have a balanced education that I got a general degree, which is fine, but I really wish I’d had the forethought to learn a few more specialized things to fall back on when times were tough. The sad fact is that when you’re 17, everyone tells you you’re too young to make life-altering choices, but then the moment you turn 18, you’re just expected to know. I didn’t know. I’m a lot older now, and I still don’t know."
Do you have any wisdom to share about your college major? Tell us in the comments below.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.