Written by Diana Davis '22

Picking a major is one of the most challenging decisions you have to make as a college student. For the next four years, you will alter every routine you’ve ever established to better fit this subject. Now imagine doing it twice, at the same time. Have I scared you yet? Bear with me. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but it is as busy as it sounds. Delve into this survival guide with me and learn the top five tips I have for being a double major. (Cue Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide theme song.)

Pace yourself.

Your courseload will be heavy. Time management and dedication will be your lifesaver. Find a planner that works for you (Google calendars is a masterpiece for this). Sit down at the beginning of the semester and map out your weeks using your syllabus. Don’t let deadlines sneak up on you. Dedicate a time period each night to study and do homework for the week. This usually helps me free up my weekends because I took the time during the week to finish everything. Do not save your weeks’ worth of work for Sunday at 9pm when everything is due at 11:59pm (speaking from experience, trust me).

Sleep when you can where you can.

I don’t mean to go season one Grey’s Anatomy on everyone, but sleep is important. There will be times when you have a lot on your plate and sleep seems like the last thing on your mind. Don’t abandon all of your important deadlines for a nap, but a 30-minute nap might be what you need for a breakthrough. “Sleep is for the weak,” no. Sleep is for the double majored.

Space out your classes.

Did anyone else’s high school teachers imbed it in their mind to take all of their gen eds first? It’s not a shocker that these classes are typically the easiest classes you’ll take in college. It’s easy to take all of these classes at once and get them out of the way – but don’t. Space them out. Take a few each semester and weave them in with your upper level courses. They will be a breath of fresh air and keep your GPA maintained if you begin to struggle some. You also don’t want six 400 level classes all in one semester. No one wants that stress.

Four years is not a life-or-death deadline.

Some college students graduate in four years, and that’s great. But many people take five or even six years to finish their degrees. While specific stats on this subject fluctuate from school to school and year to year, you get the point. You have two options: max your schedule each semester to finish in four years, or take an extra semester (or more). Both have their pros and cons that you need to weigh out. Either way, don’t feel pressured to finish two degrees in four years. You have double the work; take your time.

Choose your majors wisely.

For me, choosing my majors consisted of choosing what I loved and what is practical. I chose my biology major my senior year of high school and added a business major my junior year of college. While it probably wasn’t the most ideal time to add another major, it felt right. I enjoyed both subjects and incorporated the business major into my schedule. Not only do I feel more prepared for my career path now, my opportunities aren’t limited to just one focus area. Think about your career path. If adding a double major is something you’re interested in, add one that will enhance your future plans.

You have officially made it through the double major survival guide (and Ned Bigby and I are very proud). I told you it wasn’t too scary. Remember these five tips, and you’ll do more than survive being a double major.