Lets be honest with ourselves. When coming into college, most of us have no idea what to do with our lives. We may think we know who we are and what we want to do in the future, but the truth is these next four years will have such an influence on our personal development, and our perception will change. Who you are freshman year is not who you will be senior year.
Although I am only in my second year of college, I already notice these changes happening in me. I am no longer afraid to venture out of my comfort zone, am much more receptive of others, and more comfortable building relationships.
College is a time of decisions and responsibility. Our parents are no longer here to make decisions for us, and we have to use our best judgment on deciding whether or not to skip class, or go to that party at 1 a.m. on a Wednesday night.
I am here to talk about one of the most integral decisions we will make in college: what to major in.
For some of us, picking a major is probably one of the hardest decisions we have to make. I know it is for me; the extent of big decisions I had to make in the past includes whether to have a chicken salad or pizza for dinner.
You may be wondering what should we be thinking about when choosing a major? Future job prospects? Financial prospects? Our passions?
When thinking of a major, it is important that we consider the classes we genuinely enjoy and are interested in learning more about. We must be passionate and engaged in what we are learning as opposed to choosing a major that we do not find interesting, but believe is lucrative.
Although the job market is difficult, we actually benefit more when we are captivated and absorbed by the classes we are taking. It is no secret that the unemployment rate is 4.3 percent in the state of Virginia, which is low if you compare it to Maryland (5.1 percent), Washington, DC (6.7 percent) and West Virginia with a whopping 7.3 percent. However, the more excited we are about our classes and major, the more likely it is we will be successful in our chosen field. Before choosing a major, we should have a vague idea about how we are going to make a living out of it. Have a vision, set goals, and take steps to reach your goals.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Take the things you enjoy, improve your skills in that area, and undertake activities that can give you experience that will help you in the long run.
One of the ways we can solidify a potential career path is by taking advantage of opportunities both on and off campus. Although it is important to succeed academically, it is equally as important to join clubs or activities that will expose you to a wide variety of hobbies you may have never thought about.
Unless you have a set plan to become a doctor, lawyer, or any other profession that requires intense schooling, your undergraduate major most likely will not translate into a direct job in that field. Use this to your advantage by looking for internships that match your interests. Put yourself out there, meet new people, and network with other professionals who can give you a leg up and show you the ropes of the industry. Get your foot in the door, don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up.
With family pressure and anxiety about the real world breathing down our necks, it's no surprise that most of us feel as if we should have everything figured out at such a young age. However, I encourage college students to go beyond their comfort zones and create room for improvement. Try new things and learn as much as you possibly can. There is a plethora of options available, and you may surprise yourself. In the end, hard work and passion will get you to where you want to be.