By Trent Ostrom
When a student graduates from high school friends and family are bound to ask, “where are you going to school and what will you be studying?”
While these questions are familiar to all students, it can be a very difficult question to answer, especially if you have not yet taken a college course.
Skyler Meints, a senior majoring in Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, experienced this reality as a freshman. He said his first semester was spent at Unversity of Nebraska-Lincoln studying architecture.
“I figured out that architecture wasn’t for me, so I transferred to UNO and decided to go undeclared my second semester,” Meints said.
Meints’ experience is a common one for many college students. While students often graduate in the field of their dreams, students generally switch their major a few times before they find what they truly want to do.
Sammi Kaiser, Assistant Director of Academic Advising of the UNO’s Academic Career and Development Center (ACDC), explained the advantages of being undeclared for the first year.
“When students are undeclared, they are more open to conversations about different majors,” she said. “When students do declare their major, often times those conversations don’t happen.”
While there are students who know exactly what they want to do, many students still have not figured out what their calling is. UNO ACDC assists students in finding their major through advising, events and networking with different student organizations.
“A lot of ‘aha’ moments occur in a student’s second semester after they have taken some general education courses and have experienced some of what UNO has to offer. By taking general education courses through multiple colleges, students get a balance of ideas and often times see what direction they want to head,” Kaiser said.
Meints found the college in which he will be graduating by taking general education courses his second semester, and recommends others to do the same.
“I took three architecture classes my first semester and wasted credits in the end,” he said. “After my experience, I recommend students take general education courses their first year and a class in a field they might be interested in.”