One of the biggest questions on the minds of current and prospective college students is how to choose a major. Choosing a college major is a significant milestone in the journey of a college student because it brings you one step closer to earning your degree and gives you a chance to dig deeper into the subject areas that you’re passionate about. However, choosing a major can also be stressful for many students who are worried about making “the right decision.” The advice below will help you put your mind at ease and will help you think about the right major for you.
- Give Yourself Time. At most colleges, you don’t have to declare a major until the end of your second year. This gives you time to complete your general education requirements and to explore different subjects that might be of interest to you. Most students are not sure exactly what they want to study when they enter college, and even those who are certain are likely to change their minds at least once throughout their four years. So don’t rush into making a decision and instead take some time to figure out what you’re passionate about. The one caveat to this guideline, however, is that if you’re going into pre-med, you do have to declare your major relatively quickly in order to fulfill all of the prerequisite courses. If you wait too long to pursue the pre-med track, you might need more than four years to complete the degree or you might need to take extra courses per term or summer courses in order to graduate in four years. And sometimes even that is worth it. Just please don’t live the wrong life!
- Make Sure It’s A Subject You Care About. Many students feel like they have to choose a college major based on what careers or industries are most financially profitable. However, financial success alone should not be the deciding
factor in choosing a major. If, for example, you find yourself majoring in business administration but have no interest in business, it will be a lot harder for you to complete the major and you are sure to never make it in that career. First of all, more often than not, your college major will not restrict you from pursuing a certain career path. Second of all, we are living in an age where pursuing multiple careers throughout one’s lifetime is becoming the norm [Single Career is a Thing of the Past Blog]. So instead of just thinking about return on investment, consider what you’re good at and what excites you now. There will be time to do more in life. Taking online assessments for choosing a college major, such as those offered by Saint Louis Universityand Loyola University Chicago, can also help you in finding your path.
- Consider the Course Requirements. Every major has a set of classes in addition to the general education requirements that needs to be completed in order to earn your degree in that major. Look over the course requirements for your prospective major and make sure that you are okay taking all of those courses. Your academic advisor will help you stay on track in completing these courses. Of course, we all have that one class that we’re dreading taking but have to in order to complete the major. However, if there is more than one class that you’re dreading or if you simply don’t have time to complete the requirements but you still want to pursue the subject, you may consider minoring in that subject. Also remember that your college major choice is not irreversible—it is acceptable and totally normal to change your mind.
- Talk to Others Who Have Pursued the Major. There’s no better way to learn the ins and outs of a major than by talking to other people who have walked the same path.
Get coffee with a current student and have a list of questions prepared for them. You could also arrange meetings with professors in the department to learn more about how the department works. Create an account on Konversai—the world’s new
personal knowledge sharing platform—to have a live video conversation with someone anywhere in the world who has pursued or is currently pursuing the same college major to learn what it entails and the many possible paths you can take upon earning the degree.
Don’t let the decision of a college major stress you out. But get researching and talking to people. Try to enjoy the process of exploring and learning what interests you. Utilize resources such as your advisors, professors, classmates, online assessments, and Konversai to help you in making decision. [Pick a College Blog] Remember that as important as your college major is, it does not by any means define you. There will always be opportunities to learn something new if you look in the right place.