I met with a student today who wanted to declare a major, but wasn't quite sure what, and hadn't decided on a minor, either, but had acquired enough credits to be a senior.
I know what the school wants us to do is lay down the line about such students. They MUST graduate, now, now, very now.
And yet, I sort of have sympathy for intellectual wandering.
It was clear, because the student said so, that the student is pretty stressed out about not having a major (does now!) and not really having a plan to graduate. But that's where I come in, because if nothing else, I can help students see how we can create a plan and map things out a bit. Of course, the map will change if the student decides to switch fields again, but at least there's a hint of a map in place now.
Weirdly, I like students who've done some wandering, though I know the administrative folks get frustrated (because it gives us poor ratings and such), and I can imagine that parents and loved ones worry. But I feel like I can help them figure out a possible path, and I enjoy that. And how long they take to get through really isn't my worry, because I'm not paying their tuition. (Though, of course, as a taxpayer, I am contributing. But I'm willing to contribute. Heck, I'm willing to contribute more than the state asks me to, because I think all our students need better educational opportunities.
So while I have no stake in the outcome, only want a student to get a good education and be as happy as possible in this miserable, brutish, and sometimes too short life, I do get satisfaction in thinking that I may have helped make things a little less miserable and brutish.
Sometimes, that's as good as the week gets.