Should You Declare a Minor?

Declaring a major is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during university, and therefore comes with many questions. One of the most common questions is whether or not you should also declare a minor. While you can’t graduate without declaring a major, declaring a minor is often optional.

Like majors, minors are concentrated fields of study. The only difference is that they require fewer courses to complete. While declaring one is just an option in many cases, some fields of study do require a minor for completion. If you have the option to choose, however, here are some factors you should consider.

Reasons to Declare a Minor

For some students, declaring a minor just makes sense. For example, if you’re studying education but planning to teach in a developing African country where French is the first language, minoring in French would be beneficial. In fact, many students planning to work internationally often choose to minor in foreign languages. It may also be helpful for students majoring in fields where translating important texts from foreign languages is commonplace, such as archeology or anthropology. Moreover, to ensure the ability to serve a broader range of patients, many pre-med students minor in Spanish.

Sometimes, a minor can provide versatility and prepare you for career challenges. In other cases, they open up additional career options. For instance, minoring in math as a computer science major could open you to future IT positions. You could also use a minor to narrow your field of expertise or specialization, cornering a niche position in your profession. Or, some minors, like liberal arts, could make you appear versatile and useful in many professional atmospheres. Thus, such a minor could improve your chances of getting hired for certain positions.

Minors often fit major fields of study, but in some circumstances, you can acquire a special permission to minor in whatever you want. So, a biology major could minor in art. Thus, declaring a minor could be an extension of your personal or professional interests. After all, many students wrestle with choosing the right major. Instead of changing your major later (which can create added stress and lengthen your time at college), simply declare a minor in your other field of interest. You’ll then be able to study your two most desired subjects.

Furthermore, completing a minor is much less rigorous than completing a double major. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort by declaring a major and a minor. If you decide later that you’re more interested in your minor, changing your major should be fairly simple. Of course, the choice should still be made with care and consideration, much like choosing the right Fanshawe off-campus housing.

How to Declare a Minor

The process of declaring a minor is simple and straightforward. It’s not formal like the process for declaring a major, but it should involve some research. Before attempting to declare a minor, research what your school offers, how the process works, and what circumstances require special permissions. Most of this information can be found in your school’s course catalog, but you should conduct some independent research on topics such as career prospects for specific minors as well. Additionally, consult your academic advisor for their opinion on declaring a minor, as well as tips on completing the application process.

How to Look at Time Management Differently

How to Look at Time Management Differently

Every college student and hard worker understands the value of time management, especially in today’s fast-paced world. Of course, while there are many ways to manage your time effectively, not everyone is organized enough to practice them. Ultimately, what helps one person manage their time may not work for another. Thus, it’s important to consider all the different time management options when seeking ways to be more productive. Here are a few less-common—yet highly effective—practices for better time management.

Apply the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is all about prioritizing. Also known as the Pareto Principle, this rule suggests that 20% of your effort will account for 80% of your results. For example, if you have a to-do list of ten items, two of those items should be worth the other eight combined.

Have you ever attempted to do too many things at once, and realized that some tasks are far easier than others? That’s the Pareto Principle at work. Most people tackle the easiest tasks first, but when it comes to time management, this is actually the worst thing you can do.

Everyone is guilty of procrastinating every now and then—especially students. However, by doing the easy tasks first and putting off larger assignments (term papers, for example), you’re actually putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. The most important things get pushed to the last minute, robbing them of the time needed to reach their full potential.

To apply the 80/20 Rule in your life, schedule the 20% of your work consisting of larger assignments and tasks first. This way, you can dedicate your best effort and ample time to the most important tasks. In doing so, you’ll accomplish 80% of output in less time you would spend if you had put the other 80% first.

View Time Management as Energy Management

Let’s say you have a big exam to study for, but you also have other tasks to complete, such as laundry or cleaning your Fanshawe off campus housing unit. You may feel like getting the small projects out of the way first. Yet, all of these tasks add up, using certain amount of energy and leaving you with less energy for the larger, more complicated tasks. This is called inefficient energy management.

Instead of focusing on the least demanding tasks first, always start with the hardest, most energy-consuming things first in the morning. That way, you’ll still have the energy to finish up the smaller tasks later. Ultimately, this will help you maximize your productivity and reduce stress levels at night.

Become More Proactive

Being proactive is the best way to manage your time. Just because you have a clearly outlined to-do list doesn’t mean that you’re properly managing your time. By being proactive and not pushing off important tasks like studying or writing essays, you’ll be more prepared for school assignments while still allowing for a full night’s rest.

By thinking about your future, you can easily organize your time and start acting earlier. For instance, if you know you have an exam or a paper due on Friday, start the initial phases of the task at the beginning of the week. Even doing a little work each day will help you take a proactive approach, thereby reducing the need to pull all-nighters.