The question. The question that is dreaded by almost every high school senior as it seems they can’t escape it anywhere as relatives, friends, and teachers remind them daily. “What’s your major?” It’s the question asked the most frequently but often the most difficult to respond to. As senior year of high school comes to a close and post-graduation plans begin to be finalized, it seems like everything is falling in to place except for the fact you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life and everyone around you does.
However, I’ll let you in on a secret: no one does. Whether they think they do or not, before even taking a college class there is no way of knowing exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life at the age of 18. As it seems like the end of the world at the time and you’ll never figure it out, trust me you will.
Coming from a large public high school, I was lucky to be able to have a variety of different classes to help explore my interests at a younger age. While this gave me an advantage over kids at smaller schools, I was just as confused as ever going to college. Now I’m not saying this question should just be avoided altogether, it should always be on your mind as at the end of the day it should be the goal you are working towards during your first year of college. I know I may only be finishing my freshman year of college, but I feel like I am at least on the right track when it comes to my future which is why I’ve gathered up my best tips to choosing the college major of your dreams.
Don’t waste your first semester
By no means am I saying take the hardest classes you possibly can during your first few months at college. However, instead of wasting your electives on Yoga 101, take advantage of your university's discovery classes. Almost every college within your school will have some sort of introductory class that lets you explore possible careers within that field, what to expect in upper division, and personality tests to find the perfect fit for you. As much fun as electives can be, they won’t help you in your journey of figuring out your future and you’ll thank me later.
Forget the money
This one’s for the kids who wish to choose their passion as their major but feel judged by their teachers and grandparents. Everyone seems to have an opinion and it may be hard to explain yourself to your traditional parents but at the end of the day, this is your future, not theirs. Although they are looking out for you, ANY major can make money/be successful if you put the effort in. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will stand out to employers despite how much your parents tell you that it’s not a “real career.” Do well in your classes, get involved in organizations within that school, and find something that makes you stand out and you’ll be just fine.
Start with your interests
If you have absolutely no idea where to even begin when it comes to a major, start with the stuff you know. I know I am terrible at science so I steered far, far away from anything in the engineering and medical fields. Are you detailed oriented and organized? Try event planning. Do you have an odd love for crime shows? Take a criminal justice class. It may not be for you at the end, but the more you know you don’t want to do, the closer you are to finding what you do want.
Try something new
The most amazing thing about going to a large university is the options are endless. Take that sports marketing class, that art lecture, or even learn a new language just because you can. In high school, I took a photography class just to complete my fine arts credit and ended up loving it and actually being pretty decent at it. Now in college, I’m taking another one which got me into my now minor, graphic design.
Taking small risks and pushing yourself to try things will have one of the biggest rewards while in college. You may not even decide to do anything with it, but you may have found a new passion of yours that you never knew existed.
If you follow these tips and most importantly follow your intuition, when you are finishing your freshman year up this time next year you’ll be answering that much dreaded question with ease. You’re welcome.