Junior Leo Li stepped into Steele Building to declare his double major in math and biostatistics last November. It was the seventh time he changed his major.
However, his experience isn't uncommon, said Lee May, the associate dean and director of Academic Advising Program.
“We find that when students come to orientation, you know, before they start classes at Carolina. About half of the students say that they want to be biology majors and go to med school,” May said. “But what we know is biology graduates about 500 majors a year out of a class of 4,000. So that means something happens.”
May said it takes a while for students to explore different areas of studies in a liberal arts university and find out what their interests and strengths are.
“Students are only exposed to certain subject areas when they are in high school," May said. "So for example, most students in high school don’t get to study exercise and sports science. But a lot of biology people who think they got to study biology end up going for a different science major."
Li was accepted to UNC as a pre-admitted student for business administration in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business school, which he would later find did not align with his interests.
“It requires a lot of socializing to make connections and social networks with other people, but I’m not that type of person,” Li said.
Senior Joseph Cox shared the perspective when he transferred from UNC-Asheville.
“When I transferred to UNC, I just heard a lot about how UNC’s journalism program is really strong and I was interested in journalism because I have written for the school newspaper in my high school. So I thought it might be something that I want to do. So I declared journalism,” Cox said. “But in the summer when I was thinking about what classes I should sign up for, I decided I don’t even want to take any journalism class because it just sounds boring.”