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STUDENT PROFILE

David Larsen

David Larsen
Major:
Exercise Science
Graduation Year:
May 2017
"I discovered I could follow my passion instead of struggling in a major I didn't like."

What major did you apply to straight from high school?

I applied to mechanical engineering, and while I was excited I was admitted to UT as a whole, I was sad I didn’t get into my first choice and wasn’t sure what the School of Undergraduate Studies was. However, during orientation I found out about DSP and a coach walked me through everything. It was pretty cool.

What was your experience like when people asked you what you were majoring in?

I felt lost because I didn’t have a declared major, even my parents didn’t understand. All my friends had majors and I felt I didn’t have a place. Fortunately, I had a place in DSP so I would always come and hang out in the office and meet other undeclared students. DSP made me feel better.

What was the process that led you to discover your current major?

I took a calculus course that was required for engineering and was failing it so I dropped the course. I took it again and realized I hated math and that engineering wasn’t for me! I always went to my coach to talk and they encouraged me to take classes that seemed interesting to me. In high school I played sports and work out a lot so I took an intro to kinesiology class and it was awesome. I started taking all the pre-req’s for exercise science and I had a great GPA so when I applied I got in!

Do you believe you would have questioned your choice had you gone straight into engineering?

I think had I gotten in I would have stuck with it to please my parents and everyone, especially since the pressure is to make a lot of money. But had I gotten in I would have hated college! It was a good thing I was undeclared, I think all freshman should be undeclared. You come in thinking you know what to study and think you’ll stay in it but most people change and by that point they have already completed pre-req’s for a major they don’t want.

What do you think you learned about yourself through this process?

I used to get disappointed when I had a setback and it would really bother me, like not getting into the major I first applied to. But I have realized I was just listening to other people and what they wanted for me, like to make a lot of money. Now I listen to myself and when I have a set back I work through it. Having the chance to find something I really liked made college more enjoyable as I didn’t have to struggle through a major I didn’t like.