Congrats! You just got accepted to college! So now what? How do you possibly choose what you want to study? How do you know what will be a good fit for you or not? Do not panic! Here are some tips to help guide you through this difficult decision.
#1 What are your career goals?
First, you need to start by thinking about what you want to achieve in life.
What are your career goals? What do you want?
It is very important to think about your own goals and aspirations and not let yourself be influenced by friends or family, because at the end of the day, you will be the one working that job or leading that business. And you don’t want to be stuck doing something that you absolutely hate, or be in a field where you are not unleashing your true potential.
#2 What do you like or are interested in?
Make a list of 10 things you like to do, both academically and outside of school. This will enable you to see which possible paths you might take. For example, if you love art and geometry in school, and like drawing as a hobby, then an architecture major might be perfect for you.
Next, make a list of 5 strengths and 5 weaknesses. This will help you narrow down the possible majors because if your weakness is math and numbers, then a chemistry, math, or economics degree might not be the right pick. However, if you have strong public speaking skills, then a degree in political science, journalism, or education might be perfect for you.
If you are already in college then think about the classes that interest you the most, are they mostly humanities classes? If so, then maybe you should look at majors within that field.
Finally, combine your strengths and interests and see if any or a couple of those correlate with any major available. After all, you might be really good at something but hate doing it; and being good at something doesn’t always mean you should do it.
#3 Talk to older friends, advisors, and professionals!
Who would be best to advise you on which major to choose than those who have already experienced and gone through this very same problem? Your older friends can give you a more accurate perspective on how the major is taught at your college and university and tell you whether or not it was as they expected. They can also advise you on the internships and work experiences available in that field and any of the benefits or problems that they have had in that major so far. So go ahead and ask them on a coffee date or a zoom call, believe me, your older friends are always willing to help!
Likewise, your college counselors and advisors have seen thousands of students and have great knowledge of the majors and program offerings. They also know might know alumni in the industry you want to get into and might be able to connect you with them.
Additionally, you might want to contact professionals in the jobs or industries that you are interested in. Ask them what they did to get to their position. Where they went to college or university, what did they major in, where did they intern, and ask them if they think that their major helped them get to where they are now or if it was irrelevant. All of this information will help you make a more informed decision.
#4 Have other options.
You might think that you have chosen the perfect major, but sometimes what you read on the syllabus is completely different from what you experience during class. But do not panic! Once you have chosen a major don’t think that you are stuck and cannot switch. You absolutely can! This is why having a second or even third option is key; especially if you realize that the major you chose is not quite as you imagined. This way, you don’t have to panic and start anew thinking about what you could possibly study and do with your life! You already had a backup plan.
#5 Don’t stress out!
You can always apply to college or university undecided, or change your major later on. Most colleges and universities do not ask you to declare your major until the spring semester of your Sophomore year. This means that you will have a year and a half to take a variety of classes and figure out what best suits you and what you like best!