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Dear UGS Liaison: Second-Choice Majors

In this ongoing advice column, former School of Undergraduate Studies students who have transferred into their new major help current students navigate major exploration, the internal transfer process, and more.

Dear UGS Liaison,

I am currently in UGS but I really want to transfer into McCombs School of Business. I’m worried I won’t get in. What do I do if I don’t get into my first-choice major?

First-Choice Fears

Angie Fayad

Dear First-Choice Fears,

When I first came to The University of Texas at Austin, I didn’t consider myself “undeclared” but merely “not in my major yet.” I was a CEO-queen in the making and I didn’t understand how the McCombs School of Business admissions office couldn’t see that. With the help of wise mentors and an optimistic attitude, I chose to embrace my new major, undeclared.

I came to see being undeclared as an opportunity, not a hurdle. My Vick Center advisors knew how to sooth my uncertainty while I made lasting friendships with people who ended up in majors all across campus. It turned out my first-choice major wasn’t for me, and I learned about myself and the world in that two-year process of finding my major.

When I was a freshman, I took Calculus 1 and I got an A. I beamed with pride. However, I fumed when I found out my classmate barely passed with a C and was already a business student. I thought, “How is that fair?!” The advice given to me is the same advice I will give you as you start to look around and compare yourself to your peers: Stop it. It’s not healthy and it’s not worth it. You’ve got to make your own story. That’s not to say you can’t get mad (I was pissed!) but it is to say that you can’t stop trying. Don’t quit. Don’t sulk. Keep pushing. And keep asking yourself what you’re pushing toward. Why is it that you want that major so badly? As you start to unravel the layers of what exactly you want, you’ll be that much more determined to make your dream a reality. 

One thing we like to say in UGS is that your major does not equal your career. I’ve met many employees in the workforce who confirm that. In UGS you will be surrounded by friends, teachers, and advisors who will do everything they can to help you get to your major. While support is great, you alone have to take the plunge and put yourself into those situations to really see where you feel at home. If you put in the work, talk to people about why they love what they do, and spend some time really getting to know YOU, I have no doubt you’ll not only find your major, but you’ll be closer to changing the world. 

Good luck!

Angie Fayad

Dear UGS Liaison is an ongoing advice column in which we publish select responses from our liaisons. Do you have a question for a UGS Liaison? Email a liaison for a personal response.