There comes a time in every student’s life where he/she has to make the dreaded decision of choosing a major. Students are expected to begin thinking about their college majors as early as middle school.
Colleges and universities put a lot of pressure on students to make this decision early in their college careers. However, some students struggle more than others. There are things students can do to narrow down their interests and figure out what is best for them.
1. Go with something that interests you.
If you are going to be spending copious amounts of time doing projects and assignments in a major, it should be at least interesting so that you feel like it is worth your time. You will be more passionate if you are interested, and this will shine through your schoolwork and will encourage you to stay focused on the work. Do not focus on comments made by those around you about not making a lot of money. Your mental health is more important than money.
2. Talk to an advisor.
They may be able to help you narrow down your interests so that you find something that fits who you are or your career goals. They have resources that may help you narrow down your choices to the perfect fit. Advisors may also have connections to people in fields that may interest you and may be able to connect you to these people so you can pick their brains about their career and the educational steps they took.
3. Network with people who are working in fields that interest you.
If you have a dream career in mind, talk to those in the field to see what kind of major they declared and what classes they took to get to where they are. See what kind of experience they received through campus organizations and internships. If you decide to go with a major they suggest, they may be able to give you internship leads. Knowing people is one of the top ways to get hired in the future, so having a base is crucial.
4. Get your general education classes out of the way and see what interests you in your elective.
Getting your general education classes done allows you to free up space to not take major classes your first couple of years in college. While every college has different requirements, it can be beneficial to get these courses done and over with to help you figure out what your interests are. Does your Gen Ed science class interest you? Pursue a science degree related to the class you took.
5. Do not be afraid to change majors if you are not happy.
There is so much emphasis on graduating in four years, but it is becoming more common to take longer to graduate. Switching majors is actually expected, with studies showing that students often change majors multiple times. It is better to graduate with a degree that interests you than something you dread doing as a career. Also, do not focus on how much money you will make. Do what makes you happy, not rich.