Tuesday with Tulsa: The Story of an Undeclared Student


Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa blog post comes to us from Patty H., a TU junior who came in undeclared and wants to share the story about how she figured out her major….

               My name is Patty. I am a junior at TU and I am majoring in mathematics and have minors in economics and deaf education.  I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  I like singing and the color yellow, and I am a VERY indecisive person.  So making a college decision was a big deal for me.  When I was looking at schools, it seemed that everyone was asking one question: What do you want to do? 

While this question may seem simple enough, when I was picking a college it seemed to be the hardest decision I would ever make.  When I was finishing high school, it seemed like everyone else knew exactly what he or she wanted from life.  He was going to be a lawyer; she was going to be a doctor; and me?  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do.  I was interested in a little bit of everything.  I started looking at colleges and I became even more confused.  Some schools insisted that I select a major before I even applied.  I was only 18 and they expected me to choose what I was going to do for the rest of my life, or at least the next four years?  But things were different at TU.  When I talked to admissions counselors and current students, all of them said the same thing: “Take your time to choose; explore your options and try out new things to find out what you really want.”  And that’s exactly what I did.

            I began my freshman year completely undeclared.  I was looking into engineering, but I was also interested in sign language. And math.  And education.  And just about every other major available on campus.  When I came to visit, my advisor told me to look at the course list and choose any that interested me.  I picked one of the most random schedules imaginable, with classes ranging from calculus II and chemistry to American Sign Language and ballet.  All of the classes I took helped me to explore my options.  I took one math class and wanted to take another one.  And another one after that.  Now I have a major in mathematics and minors in both economics and deaf education.  I waited almost a year and a half before declaring my major, and now I’m set to graduate on time with two minors and plenty of room to keep trying new things. 

         Looking back now, that is the greatest opportunity I received at TU. There was no pressure for me to declare a major as soon as I decided to attend.  Instead, teachers, counselors and advisers all encouraged me to keep trying things that interested me, eventually I would find what I really wanted to do.  And they were right.  I have many friends that came to school knowing exactly what they wanted to study and where they wanted to be when they graduated.  I also have a lot of friends who came in thinking they wanted to do one thing and ended up changing their minds.  TU is perfect for students who still have some decisions to make. College is your chance to try new things and explore your options, and TU has given me plenty of opportunities to do both.  I still have some questions to answer about my future, but TU has prepared me for all of them.