Before classes started her freshman year at Cleveland State University, Kori Chenetski had qualms about her music therapy major.
“I had a big fear that if I major in music, it would ruin my love for music,” Chenetski said. “That just really scared me and I never ever could imagine that happening because music has been a part of my life for such a long time.”
After her first semester at CSU, Chenetski decided music therapy was not the major for her. She got a fresh start by transferring to Ohio University and changing her major to child and family studies.
Chenetski is one of many students who change their major throughout college.
Of students who entered OU in 2010 with a declared major and graduated within the next six years, 35 percent changed their majors during their undergraduate career, OU spokeswoman Anna Hartenbach said.
“I’m a lot happier (now that I switched my major),” Chenetski, who is now a senior, said.
Students who declare their major first semester freshman year and never change have a graduation rate of 79 percent. However, students who do change majors throughout their college career have a 83 percent graduation rate, according to a report by the Education Advisory Board.
Originally, Hannah Borowski was a linguistics major with a specific dream.
“I wanted to teach English to women in the Middle East and nothing else,” Borowski, a junior, said.
However, after some conversations with her advisers, Borowski said she realized no one can have a job that specific.
During her sophomore year, she downgraded her linguistics major to a minor and picked up a global studies war and peace major.
“You have to open your mind up to more options, and now I’m on a path to work for the government and that’s a huge employer,” Borowski said.
Jennifer Klein, the assistant dean for student persistence and success at the Allen Student Advising Center, said it is important for students to keep an open mind.
“There are so many majors and minors and certificates that many people haven’t considered,” Klein said in email.
Borowski said she is happier now that she has made the switch.
“I think I knew I had to make myself more marketable,” Borowski said.
Borowski said only one of her classes did not transfer over to her new major, and Chenetski said most of hers transferred.
“The biggest thing I was scared of when switching majors was that I was going to be really behind, that I was going to be late to graduate, but it’s all about what makes you happy in your future,” Chenetski said.
—Madeleine Peck contributed to this report