Declaring your major is a very important decision that you must make as a university student. Take your time to think before determining which direction you would like your studies to take, since this will be the leading path to achieve your desired job. Although it’s good to already have a major in mind, making that decision soon after you start university — especially before finishing your first year — could be slightly tricky, because you’re still used to a high school style of studies and you haven’t really experienced the true intensity of university courses.
Therefore, waiting until your third year is the best option to ensure that you do not have to go through the process of switching your major after you’ve already declared it. Giving yourself time to think is key; even though it’s great to be very motivated and take multiple challenging courses at the same time (thinking that it’s possible to get an A+ in all of them with hard work), it’s a better idea to ask the opinions of peers who have already taken the courses you’re planning to take.
The sooner you start researching the major you’re planning to take, the better. This will enable you to have a better understanding of what job opportunities await you, and whether these would be fields you are in fact interested in. Regularly scheduling appointments with your adviser is truly helpful, as they can guide you and give you their own opinion — which is quite credible, due to their long years of experience and the fact that they’ve seen many students who have gone through the same or similar scenarios as you. Based on their suggestions, you will be able to make a better and more confident choice.
After you have figured out which major you would like to take, the courses will all be based on satisfying the requirement of your major. This is, of course, why choosing a major that you’re intrigued by and satisfied with will make you one step closer to achieving your goals, while allowing you to enjoy your university years.
Although it is a good plan to wait until later years when your mind is more set on one thing, it would be helpful to start planning earlier as to when you will declare your major, making sure you will have the amount of credits needed to declare, along with the right courses required to be in that specific major. The thing first- and second-year students need to keep in mind is that declaring your major should not be treated as a chase; it needs serious thought, as well as lots of research and information from those who have been in the same situation as you. Don’t panic: there are always fellow students and advisers at UFV willing to lend a helping hand!