University life comes with a myriad of decisions that demand careful consideration—from housing to class schedules to the big one: majors.
Many students know they want a degree, but don’t come to the U with a clear path in mind. The excitement of all the majors and colleges to choose from makes some students especially exploratory—but this doesn’t stop them from doing extremely well in their general education classes.
Any student taking 12 graded credit hours or more with a GPA of 3.5 or higher makes the dean’s list, and for the third year in a row, the advising department has given undecided students who make the list a chance to be honored for their success. A special breakfast serves as an opportunity for undecided dean’s list students to come explore their options and receive a commemorative pin.
“Our intention is to have an event that expresses how proud we are of our undecided students who are excelling, while at the same time connecting them to those who can further their university journey,” said Beth Howard, the director of the Academic Advising Center.
This month, 318 students still exploring their major options were invited to speak with representatives from each college about various areas of study and career paths.
“I do like to test the waters out before I try to choose anything,” said Anahi Lopez, a sophomore student who made the dean’s list. “It’s nice they have all these people to let you know
about the different options. I do like social work, and I’m thinking about going into that.”
Lopez made the dean’s list for the first time and was delighted to attend the special event, finding the discussions she had with advisors from various majors very valuable.
“I got a lot of information about all the opportunities for Spanish-speakers,” said Lopez. “There is especially a lot of need for that in the social work field.”
Howard said every college made a huge effort to be informational and demystify some of the majors they offer—helping students determine what might be a good fit. Advisors gave
advice about major paths, comparing similar career choices and discussing with students what sounded like a good choice for them.
Emma Leishman, another invitee to the breakfast, said the advice she got was very helpful.
“This was the first time I was able to talk to an advisor from the major I am leaning toward, which is strategic communications, and to talk about some of the paths and opportunities available to me,” said Leishman.
Leishman also said it was nice to be observed in this way despite not being associated with a specific college yet.
“I’ve always been a good student,” said Leishman. “I do a lot of things and stay really involved. But it was fun to be recognized for academics. I’ve been working really hard on getting good grades, so this is nice.”
It always feels good to be acknowledged, and Howard said that was one of the major goals of the breakfast.
“Asking people to come here to celebrate their achievement makes them feel really good about where they’re going, even if they’re a little unsure about that right now,” said Lopez.
Morgan Aguilarcommunications specialist, University of Utah Communications