This post is going to be much more academic in nature than the rest of mine but it addresses a question I get on every single tour I give: “I’m not really sure what I want to major in. Is that OK?” Whenever I hear that question, I always chuckle a bit to myself…. It’s really amusing to me that prospective students assume that they need to have their entire life planned out by the time they apply to college! My own senior year in high school was a back and forth between about six different majors, ranging from “pre-med” to international relations to religious studies. The truth is that about half of W&M’s freshman class each year doesn’t know what they want to do. And that’s perfectly fine! With the resources you have here, you’ll be able to take your time and explore potential majors. Every freshman gets a faculty member as an advisor to talk them through their first couple of semesters. The General Education Requirements (GERs) allow you to take classes in a variety of disciplines… so physics majors can take “Into to Acting” to see if they have some raw, hidden talent and have the class count towards their degree. Every professor you’ll meet will be eager to have you walk into their office and talk to them. After all, there is a reason you’re not forced to declare a major as soon as you apply.
So if you do find yourself in the same boat as a majority of W&M’s incoming freshman class each year, think about something else and don’t stress out about it. You have plenty of time to decide on a major!
– Salil Singhal ’11