Choosing your college major can be one of the most challenging decisions to make.
It is, after all, the beginning of your chosen career. Some lucky people will instantly know what they want to do in life, but for others, it can be a bit tricky.
Saying “I don’t know what to major in” is completely normal.
You might be caught in a dilemma, or you simply might have no idea where to go.
Whatever your reasons are, you don’t need to worry, because you’re going to be fine. Here are some tips that can help you decide on which major to take.
Tips on Choosing Your College Major
Since this is a huge decision, you should take some time to contemplate your options. Don’t be too fast in making your choice, because if you make the wrong one, that would be years of time, money, and energy wasted.
Put the college brochures down for a while and just think of what would ultimately work best for you. Remember, it’s a combination of dreaming and realistic thinking.
#1 DON’T BASE IT ON YOUR CURRENT INTERESTS
When deciding on which major to take, you should always consider your interests because your level of fascination for a certain field will greatly impact your performance. If you don’t like what you do, you won’t be happy, and you won’t excel in your field. Who would ever want that?
Consider your interests, but don’t dwell on your current interests. By your ‘current’ interests, these are the ones that you think you enjoy now, but you might move on from them in the future. These are fleeting fascinations. If you’re suddenly interested in makeup, chances are, going to beauty school isn’t for you.
Assume you have no idea what you want to do with your life (which is entirely okay, by the way). Is it really reasonable to pursue a degree you enjoy without even a hazy sense of what you want to do after graduation?
If your degree does not directly lead to a career route, deciding which path to take can be challenging. When the excitement of graduation day wears off, you may find yourself feeling lost or confused about what to do next.
There’s also the fact that education is simply not cheap – it requires a significant investment of both time and money, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any cheaper.
The exorbitant cost of universities makes selecting the proper subject even more critical – and many students are also considering which courses will provide them with the best value for money and return on investment.
With this in mind, it may deter students from pursuing a course they truly enjoy (in the arts) in favor of pursuing a more traditionally employable field.
#2 FIND SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT FOR A LONG TIME
If you’ve been passionate about something for a long time, it means that that aspect of yourself means a lot to you. You have to choose your college program when you’re around eighteen years of age.
It’s almost impossible for you not to know your passions by that time. If you started loving dance when you were in kindergarten and you still love it to this day, that’s what you call a passion.
Being productive is tightly related to being enthusiastic. If you’re truly passionate about anything, you’ll feel satisfied with what you’ve accomplished during and after work hours. The by-product of your job will be something you are proud of, motivating you to continue doing it.
In addition, how much you enjoy your job impacts your mental health because doing something you don’t like daily can eventually consume you. Doing something you enjoy getting up for in the morning, on the other hand, might help you not only feel better but also get lost in the job if you’re having troubles in other aspects of your life.
According to one study, spending time doing what we enjoy helps us to be happier and less stressed. Your employment can be a form of escape. And when this happens, your productivity may increase due to the increased attention on your job.
#3 BE REALISTIC
Not everyone gets to choose a program just because it’s their passion. Sometimes, circumstances get in the way, so you have to settle by choosing the program that seems realistic, but satisfies part of your passions, at least.
If you want to take Interior Design, but the nearest university that offers it is cities away and moving would cost you too much, then you can settle for similar programs like Architecture.
Being realistic also means you understand the struggles of taking that program. If you have always wanted to be a Lawyer, but you hate memorization and reading, then you might have to reevaluate how much you actually want to be a lawyer. Remember, reaching your dreams requires putting in a lot of hard work. Be sure that you’re ready to do that.
#4 IMAGINE YOURSELF YEARS FROM NOW
Do you want to be a surgeon? Imagine yourself at the hospital ten years after finishing school. Do you think your future self would be happy? If yes, go ahead. If not, scrap the idea.
You should always be thinking forward because your college program can greatly determine how your life will be shaped. It’s probably one of the greatest and scariest decisions, really. If possible, think about your future happiness with every decision that you make.
Furthermore, some people are highly ambitious and do not want to limit themselves to just one major. Most institutions offer a plethora of majors in various subjects, making it difficult to choose just one!
However, there is good news, many universities allow students to double major. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to get in-depth knowledge of the second topic of study.
A double major is a degree that a student has earned enough credits to major in two distinct areas. A double major differs from a double degree program in that it awards two separate diplomas and may necessitate extra course hours. But make sure that you are emotionally and physically capable of dealing with all of the stress that will be placed on you.
#5 DON’T FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE’S DREAM
It’s quite common to have family members force their kids to enter a certain college program. Some parents want their kids to take majors that will “pay well” while some will want their kids to fulfill their long-forgotten dreams for them. It can be hard to mute these voices, but at the end of the day, don’t sacrifice your happiness for their wishes.
On the one hand, we want to hear what others we know, love, and respect have to say, especially when it coincides with what we want to hear. But we don’t want to hear anything that might challenge us, make us feel uncomfortable, or make us want to sneeze.
While seeking counsel might provide a crucial 360-degree perspective on something as important as your college degree, the fact remains that your life is your life.
Your choices are your choices. What’s more, your dreams are your dreams. And your dreams are just that: yours.
You aren’t being selfish. You’re creating a path for the future that you want, and you’re wise enough to know that you’re making responsible decisions. You aren’t going to college for them, anyway. You’re going to college for you.
Can You Change College Major?
With so much hanging on the major, it’s understandable that some students are hesitant to make a definitive declaration of their planned major–even before enrolling in that school. Before you can fully narrow it down, a slew of questions may arise. What if I dislike it? What if I wish to study something else, or if it isn’t what I expected?
Never fear–if you absolutely need to, you can switch majors! In reality, many students change majors during their undergraduate studies. Not just “many,” but a sizable majority–a staggering 80% of college students will change majors at least once. So if you wish to shake things up, you will not be alone.