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Finding Opportunities You’ll Value

I love the University of Texas in many ways. It’s an excellent and supportive place to be a professor. The undergraduate and graduate students are excellent. The facilities are top-notch. The school fosters a healthful work environment.

But one thing really bugs me. We ask our undergrads to pick a major before they arrive on campus. A few hold out and select something soon after arriving, but the longer they wait, the harder it is for them to graduate in four years. It’s particularly difficult if a student wants to transfer across units within the university—say, from liberal arts to natural sciences, or from communications to business.

The problem is that most people at eighteen have no idea what they want ...

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