UVA, like any other college, has a very wide variety of majors: American Studies, Cognitive Science, Dance, Italian, and Philosophy are just a few. The difficulty is choosing which path to take, and for many students this is a stressful process. The most common thing you’ll hear during your first year at UVA is “don’t worry, you have time.” And you do. But there are just so many interesting classes to take and professors to meet. For me for instance, my major has changed many many times, from Neuroscience, to Math, to Biology, to Environmental Science most recently. The great thing about the College of Arts and Sciences is that it has requirements, and though these are sometimes a hassle to complete by your 4th year, dabbling in different subject areas such as science, the humanities, and even art, is a great way to explore new topics. And you don’t have to declare a major until the end of your 2nd year. So it’s true, you do have time. There are many advisors who can also help you choose classes each semester and give great advice towards choosing a major.
Some students come into college knowing exactly what they want to do. And most other students, like me, have absolutely no idea what they want to study. The key for choosing a major is choosing about 3 subject areas that interest you a lot. Look at the required classes you have to take for each major before you declare your 2nd year. Many sciences require lots of basic classes like chemistry and biology and math before you can declare. Other majors, like politics, only require you to take one politics class before you declare. Keep track of your requirements so you can fulfill them in two years.
The important thing to remember is that a major is a field of study and not a career. At the end of the day, choose something you actually enjoy doing.