Undeclared students share diverse experiences

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Being a young adult is already a confusing time for anyone. Add in outside pressures including higher education and trying to figure out a future career and the struggle only intensifies.

Declaring oneself “undeclared” is not an actual major. It indicates students who have not yet declared an official major. There are currently approximately 80 undergraduate students at California Baptist University who are undeclared, which is 20 fewer than when the 2019-2020 academic year started in September.

Izzy Villarosa, a sophomore who is currently undeclared, explained that she decided to enter California Baptist University undeclared because she did not know what path she wanted to take yet.

“Some of the GEs I already took helped (me) figure out what I like and dislike,” Villarosa said.

Villarosa explained she explored different majors by using the general education requirements to her advantage. Taking diverse classes from within the general education requirements is a good way to expose oneself to the different fields CBU has to offer.

Villarosa said her family was also a helpful resource. Oftentimes, their surrounding community can guide students to areas of study that might interest them.

“We have other family members who work in what I was thinking of doing,” Villarosa said.

Students who are undeclared also have the opportunity to work either on campus or off campus and explore their interests in those settings.

Carlo Torres, sophomore healthcare administration major, said, “working at the College of Nursing immensely influenced my decision in choosing my major.”

Every student has his or her own journey to how they ultimately decided on a major. Some undergraduates take a multitude of personality assessments and others proceed straight to statistics and figures regarding career salaries.

“It mostly consisted of me looking at subreddit pages from employees who described their duties, tasks and projects from their occupation,” Torres said when describing his own process of discovering a major.

Samantha Naple, assistant director of Academic Advising, said undeclared students are common.

“There’s not a ton of them, but we do get quite a few of them at the beginning of each (academic) year,” Naple said.

Many students who were previously undeclared have advice for those unsure of what they want to study.

“School is hard in general, but all you can do is look around and find what you like and persevere,” Villarosa said.

Torres encouraged students to do some self-reflection before declaring a major.

“Reflect and take your time to see what your interests are,” Torres said.

Naple explained that students, both undeclared and declared, benefit from the online resources that CBU provides.

“One of the resources that we do hand out is the ‘Focus II’ assessment, which you can find on InsideCBU,” Naple said. 

The Focus II assessment gives the student a solid understanding of their strengths and passions.

It is common to be unsure about the future and all that it entails. With the right mindset, any person who is still exploring various career paths will be set up for success. 

Being undeclared in college allows for healthy growth both mentally and personally, which is valuable in the young adult years.

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