Major declaration is a major event

By Ava Turner

Elm Staff Writer

Pressure rises for sophomores as the deadline to declare a major draw near at Washington College.

Students at WC are required to officially declare their major by the end of their sophomore year. However, there is an unofficial deadline for sophomores to submit their major declaration forms to the Registrar’s Office by Wednesday Oct. 7, so they can be placed with new advisors in their chosen major before advising for the spring semester. 

According to the Office of the Registrar’s page on the WC website, “Students receive a major/minor declaration letter from the Registrar’s Office after accumulating a certain number of credit hours. This letter reminds them that they must still declare. They should then meet with their current, first-year advisor to discuss their options for declaring a major.”

Traditionally, students would fill out the major declaration form, meet in person with the department chair(s) of their intended major(s) and minor(s), and would drop the completed form off at the Office of the Registrar.

Given that the semester is virtual and many students and staff members are not on campus, this procedure has been altered. 

Students now have to download or print a copy of the major declaration form to fill out and then email to the department chair(s) of their intended major(s) and minor(s). The department chair will then sign the form and email it to the Registrar’s Office.

Picking a major should be led by passion. Students should explore different fields of interest to really discover where their passions lie.

According to the applied psychology department of the University of Southern California, doing work you are passionate about “is an overall productivity booster and enhances performance.” 

Doing work without passion for it makes “it harder for you to complete your work.”

According to junior Michael Nichols, a computer science major, “You don’t really get the whole picture until you’ve walked down every road.” 

Nichols said that a major helps you, “with working towards something” whether that be self-discovery or a possible career path.

Jakob Watt, a sophomore majoring in computer science, warns students against choosing a major without much thought.

“Don’t just pick a random one [because] you still don’t know if that’s the path you want,” Watt said. 

He also warns that choosing a major can be “locking [yourself] to a set of knowledge.” 

Both Nichols and Watt discovered their love of computer science in high school. Their passion influenced their decisions to major in computer science.

Students can learn more about fields of interest on the departments page of the College’s website. Each department’s page has helpful tools and tips along with the course requirements for majors and minors.

Some departments are also hosting Zoom events that will allow prospective majors to talk to current majors and faculty about their experiences, so be on the lookout for emails with more information.

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