The pressure to enter freshman year of college with a clear idea of a major and career path is a struggle that many students tend to face, but do not know how to deal with. It can feel discouraging to watch friends dive into a major that they enjoy, meanwhile they themselves are unsure of what they want to do for the rest of their lives. While other universities name this dilemma that many students face an “Undecided” or “Undeclared” major, Rowan approaches the situation with an optimistic name, “Exploratory Studies,” that encourages students to find their calling and provide them with plenty of opportunities to do so.
N’Dea Irvin-Choy, a senior biomedical engineering major from Pennsauken, NJ, was unsure what kind of engineering degree she wanted to pursue when she started at Rowan. Beginning in Exploratory Studies provided her the opportunity to attend weekly workshops, each focused on a specific major, to learn more about the many majors available to study at the University.
Each workshop in the program highlights a different major at RU, providing insight as to what it is like to major in each specific field and guiding undecided students through the process of picking one that is best for them. Advising staff are easily accessible at the workshops, and for most majors, allow students the chance to change their major on the spot after the workshops if the presentation struck a chord with them.
N’Dea notes that starting her college experience in this program gave her more freedom to take different courses and explore her interests, eventually leading to the discovery of the major that was right for her. “At other schools, I feel like once you announce that you’re an undeclared major, you’re kind of on your own to figure out what you’d like to do.” At Rowan, the Exploratory Studies option closely guides students through the process of deciding what they want to study, and in N’Dea’s case, “gave me a good idea of what I wanted to do specifically.”
Her advice to incoming freshmen on the Exploratory Studies track? “Take your time deciding [on a major] and keep an open mind.” Though she came into the program with a general idea of what field she was interested in, she still attended numerous other workshops for majors from different colleges within the University. She notes the theater and law and justice major workshops as particularly interesting, adding that “even if you don’t think you’d be interested in a certain major, it’s still cool to see what it’s all about.”
If you’re coming into Rowan unsure of exactly what you want to study, don’t panic! The Exploratory Studies program is here to guide you and is sure to put you on the track for success.
By: Nicole Cier, sophomore Writing Arts major