Viewpoint: Nobody cares about your double major

It doesn’t make you cool or intense to double major. If you enjoy and feel you will benefit from two areas of study equally, consider majoring in one, and then just taking some of the courses in the other.

Before I went to college, I always thought I would major in English.

But after taking and loving psych 101 my freshman year, I was torn between majoring in English and majoring in psychology. At the time, declaring a major seemed like a life-altering decision, and clearly something about which to be stressed.

I felt that I would be giving something up if I picked one major over the other – committing to one destiny over another – so instead, I finally decided I should do both. I would double major! If one is good then two is better, right? I was excited to tell my advisor about my plan, and consequently, I was surprised when he told me it was a pretty dumb one.

Why? Because I was so wrong, and my advisor was so right. I ultimately decided to major in English and ended up with a minor in psychology (after taking all the psychology classes I chose to take), but some of the best courses I took in college were outside of my major and minor.

Had I double majored, and thus been bound to additional course requirements for a second major, I wouldn’t have had room for all of those extra courses, and would have had an arguably less well-rounded academic experience than I had.

What one majors in does not determine one’s fate for the rest of his life. If a student knows exactly what he wants to do after college, then it certainly makes sense for him to choose a relevant major that will help him prepare to enter that field.

But in large part, nobody really cares what you majored in, and nobody cares at all if you double majored, majored and minored, majored and double minored, and so on. (By the way, nobody cares what your SAT scores were either, so it’s time to take them off your resume, everyone ever.)

Throughout college, spend time thinking about your post-college career. Get internships, go on informational interviews, and do research about the field you wish to enter. Maybe you will find out that your dream employer or graduate institution cares a whole lot about your major. Maybe they would even prefer that you have a double major. Now that would be a good reason.


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