When I was a high school senior getting ready to go to college, I decided it was a good idea to double-major in Theatre and Education. I guess I just wanted to get stuck doing exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Being the naive freshman I was, I thought it would be easy. I soon figured out that living a double life where you have two majors to worry about is pretty difficult to handle. While at times it can be a lot of work to deal with, it is also certainly possible to manage.


Look For Course Substitutions


I first realized that being a double major could possibly be the death of me when I looked at all of the classes I had to take. I had to be sure to cover the classes that are in both the education curriculum and the theatre curriculum. I thought I would be stuck here for even longer than an extra year. During my first meeting with my two advisers (that’s right, you get two advisers; make sure you meet with both of them regularly), I realized that some classes could be substituted for another. WAIT! WHAT? That’s right. There happened to be a loophole where I did not have to take nearly as many classes as I thought I did. For example, I was supposed to take phonetics for my English education major, but I also had to take voice and diction for the theatre. Voice and diction turned out to be a phonetics class with an emphasis in speaking. So, some classes can be substituted as others.

The one thing I thought I would hate about being a double major is that I would not be able to fit electives into my schedule (or else risk not graduating on time). As it turns out, I could use the same loophole to fit electives in. I could substitute an elective as a required class. This worked in my favor because I was able to take a playwriting class instead of advanced composition. I soon realized that substitutions are your best friend as a double major.


Take Summer Classes  


Because I had to take more classes than most college students, I needed to take summer classes so I could get as close to graduating on time as possible. Luckily, my dad is a professor at a college back home. I was able to take summer classes for free to knock some general education classes out of the way.  If your dad is not a professor, I would recommend taking classes at a community college  because the tuition is cheaper, and there is a good chance that the credits will transfer. I determined that while summer classes can seem like a drag at first, they really helped me come closer to graduating. And the best part is that if you take a class at an institution other than Gannon, it does not affect your GPA. You could get all C’s and your GPA will not be affected. Did just I find another loophole?


Caffeine Caffeine Caffeine


In college, it is almost impossible to make it through a day without caffeine as a double major. I did not think I would get addicted to caffeine because I am incredibly sensitive to it. When I was a freshman, I promised myself I would not get hooked on caffeinated drinks. Oh boy, was I wrong. Once I reached my sophomore year, I realized I needed something to keep me from falling asleep. It turned out I had two choices: get addicted to  caffeine or sleep through everything.


Plan Out Your Day and Be Organized


Not too far into my college career, I realized that I would have a ton of assignments that I would need to get done for two different majors. I realized that in order to survive, I needed to plan out my day and stay organized. It turned out that mapping what assignment I do each day was very beneficial me. However, I still needed more organizational skills than just time management.

Growing up, I was the most disorganized person. I was that one person in high school who had papers flying all over the place in his backpack. After losing many papers in a binder, I realized it was time for a change. In order to not lose important papers, I ended up creating a section of my binder for each class. Thanks to a new organizational system, I have a much easier time finding papers. My binder still looks like mess to other people, but it is organized to me. Remember, an organized mess is still organized if it works for you.


It Can Be Done

While completing a double major is incredibly hectic and intimidating, it is possible to do. You might have to look for course substitutions, take summer classes, be addicted to caffeine or find a new system of organization, but, while your life is a mess now, the double major will be worth it in the end when you are “stuck” doing whatever you want to do for the rest of your life.