Why you should double major or add a minor


Haley Blakemore

Reminder graphic made in Canva by Haley Blakemore.

With spring registration just around the corner, it’s a perfect time for students to think about the changes they want to make to their academic and collegiate plans. What classes will you take? Which ones will you avoid? What do you want your semester to look like? While those are all perfectly natural questions to ask, it’s also a great time to consider adding a second major, or even a minor, to your scholastic roadmap.

Adding a second major or minor can open up your options of courses in a huge way, and while it can be extremely daunting when you look at Degree Works after adding that proposed plan, it also gives you more leeway in planning out the rest of your time here on the Hilltop.

Sophomore Alexia Schmader, a music and elementary education double major and creative writing minor, echoed much of these same ideals when asked why she originally chose to pursue a double major; “I realized that in order to find the path that’s right for me I needed a broader scope of knowledge for my future. My love for teaching early education was too powerful just to major in music and my love of music was too powerful to go straight elementary ed! I’m still trying to figure out which direction I’m leaning, but I love having the opportunity to learn and grow in both of my passions!”

Personally, as a student double majoring in creative arts therapy and illustration with way too many minors, I just wanted to get the most out of my time here at West Liberty as I could. However, I also know it’s important to recognize that my situation is different from many other students, as I’m attending school mainly on scholarship, so picking up multiple different fields of study wasn’t something I had to necessarily think too hard about. I also came into school with a multitude of general education credits completed, so it felt natural for me to find something to occupy my time with. In the end, though, even if my circumstances had been different, I feel like I would’ve been drawn to the same path, or paths, for that matter, because I really just love to learn. Having the ability to jump from area to area is something I’m really thankful for, and I personally just think it’s a lot of fun.

Picking up another major or minor really comes down to the individual in question and where they would like their college experience to take them, along with what exactly they want that experience to look like. When asked if she thought if double majoring or minoring is something other students should take advantage of or not, Schmader agreed, “If you can’t decide between two of your passions then you should definitely take advantage of double majoring! You can always change your focus later in life, but it’s much harder to go back for another degree.”

Looking into other fields of study in conjunction with your own can also open up a conversation of utility; like Schmader said, it’s much harder to go back to school for another degree later in life, I came to the same conclusion when choosing what I wanted to study. I had known for a long time that I wanted to study art in some capacity, but I was never sure what I wanted to do exactly with it. From the beginning of my freshman year, I had the illustration major tacked onto my profile, but different secondary majors and minors often filtered through, until I came to find creative arts therapy. In studying illustration and CAT (creative arts therapy), I was able to study and, hopefully, will receive the art degree I knew I always wanted, along with a degree that would ultimately get me a job in a field I loved and was interested in. They also go together in their focus on the creative arts.

At the end of the day, every student has a lot of thinking to do about what they want their life to look like after school, but as pre-registration happens from Oct. 11 to Oct. 29, it never hurts to consider how a second major or minor might help you ultimately get to your desired path.