In about three short weeks, I will be going back to college, and so will many other people. Many will be just starting their first year! With being said, more than half of the incoming freshmen will be starting their lives and becoming future leaders of the world. However, the road to becoming as successful as they aspire to be will never be an easy one. The first main decision with starting their new lives is choosing a college major. College majors can range anywhere between Biology, English, Political Science, and even Film and Theatre. Even though it seems easy, choosing a college major may be more difficult than college itself.
Since I’ve changed my major three times to get to my current and final (hopefully!) decision, I’ve gathered some advice I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve decided to share it, and maybe help open your eyes to what you truly want to study. After all, this is the beginning of the rest of your life.
1) Do not choose a major based on income
This is the number one mistake that people make while choosing a college major. An example would be many people I know who decide to study and go to pharmacy school. That’s great! We need people who are able to distribute and make our medicine. But, if you’re only doing it for the money, is it even really worth it? Do you honestly want to spend the rest of your life doing that?
Although income should be a factor in how you live your life, you definitely don’t want to feel like you’re dragging your years out doing something you hate just because you can carry a couple extra bills in your pocket.
2) Pick something that you can actually see yourself doing
If you think about it, can you honestly see yourself teaching high school math for a living? Or doing someone else’s taxes? Or even managing someone’s lawsuits? If you can’t picture yourself doing it for forty-five to fifty years of your life, it may be a sign that it just isn’t for you. That’s not saying don’t pursue it, it’s saying think long before you finalize anything. You only get one life, so try to be smart about everything.
3) Do not let a television show influence you too much
Notice above how I said “too much” and not just “influence you”. My reason being is that televisions shows can help you choose a major, but also can be the reason why you change your major your third year of college.
If I can guess at the top of my head, more than half of the people I’ve met in college have been a biology major at one point. With the idea of being a doctor, or a nurse, many of these people have said that TV shows such as Greys Anatomy, and House M.D, have inspired them. The reason why many have since then chanced majors, is because their heart wasn’t into it. They watched a TV show and figured it would be interesting, but when it came to it, there was no passion. Yes, it is great that you have thought about saving lives, but it has no meaning when there’s no love and drive for the lives you thought to save.
4) Talk to people with different interests than you
Okay, so your first month of your freshmen year is over and you still have no idea what you want to do. Instead of remaining in your bubble (I know you’re in it! I once was!) , go spread your wings and socialize with people who have different interest as you! This is a great way to find out why they study what they study, and get good ideas on how life would be like in their point of view. By talking to people with different interest as you, you also learn more about the things around you.
5) Shadow someone who works in the field you’re interested in
By shadowing someone who works in your desired field, you’re getting first hand experience on how your life could be like in a couple of years. A friend of mine was studying to become a pharmacist, but after shadowing a pharmacist during her winter break, she had had enough. Also, shadowing someone for one day definitely could influence you in what you want to do. If you can’t see yourself doing it for a day, just imagine the rest of your life.
6) Lastly, find your passion
Find something you WANT to do for the rest of your life. Find the job that isn’t a job. The job that you won’t feel like you need a vacation from. The job that you can tell people about without having to feel tired.
Since this is the rest of YOUR life, you want to make It was joyful and fulfilling as you can. So find something that you really want to do. Don’t do something because your parents had that dream for you, do it for yourself, because it makes YOU happy.
Choosing a college major is one of the most difficult parts of college, and life, because there are so many options. However, there is always a way to find your calling. I hope with whatever you decide to do, whether it's to become a doctor, teacher, or even lawyer, you find your passion and live your dreams.