3 Key Questions To Ask Yourself When Picking A Major

3 Key Questions To Ask Yourself When Picking A Major

What do you want to be when you grow up?

College. While the classes are hard, and the first steps of adulting can be challenging, the large thought dwelling on most college student’s minds is that it may all be for nothing. College being expensive is an understatement, so not wanting to waste your time is a real stressor.

There are so many paths to take in college. But it’s okay to be confused. You recently received the right to go to the bathroom without asking, and now you need to decide the rest of your life? If you’re anything like me, you still freeze while ordering in a restaurant and in a panic order something you definitely do not want. So deciding a major, basically deciding your future, is frightening.

For example, the Ohio State University has more than 200 majors. So how do you choose? I have found that starting with these three cliché questions can get you started.

1. What are you interested in?

Are you a science person? An English/ history person? A politics person? A technology person? A people person? A business person?

I think this is one of the major pieces of advice we have been given as a generation. But what are you actually passionate about? What do you nerd out in?

2. What are you talented in?

I think when people stop at interests or “passions,” they are missing a crucial part-- what would people pay you to do?

I mean in an idealistic world, we’d all love to be paid to watch Netflix or bake mediocre cookies and eat them. But in order to pick your major and career, you need to separate hobbies from future career interests. Living in any competitive society means that finding where you can contribute to a business or society is necessary. Especially in a world competing with technology, what can you do that few others can or are willing to do? What jobs are in demand? These are difficult but necessary questions for you to answer.

3. What job do you see yourself in?

Your major has to be a stepping stone or a foundation you can use for a job. Some people decide their job first and work backward to a major. Some people decide the job along the way.

But orienting yourself in your future with job ideas can help narrow your choices into possibilities.

Of all three questions, I think this is the question that is hardest to separate from outside pressures. There are so many factors and often accidental pressures of what our future paths will look like, from those who can’t separate success from the path to acquiring it to limiting your possibilities based on fear of judgment from others.

I struggled with an opposite problem. As a girl in 2018, I felt like I was cheating or somehow not realizing my full potential by deciding on the ultimate white girl job: teaching. But there is a difference between the stigma around a job and the job in itself. Success isn’t limited to a few fields but to the work ethics at achieving in any field.

As a college student, analyzing your future can be difficult and stressful. But the truth is that, according to the Department of Labor, the average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life. Careers are often not stagnant; while they are obviously important, they don’t determine the rest of your life.

Good luck.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Success Is Great, But Failure Is Better

Fail and fail often.

Don’t let success get to your head, but don’t let failure get to your heart. Know that things don’t always work out as planned, and that is OK!

For many millennials, it’s easiest to just give up when something doesn’t go your way. But take heart. Success is great, but failure is better. The reality is, you’re going to fail... a lot.

Failure does not mean your idea was not good or that your dream isn’t valid.

Failure means you have more to learn.

Failure is GOOD.

It shows you that you did something wrong and that you need to take a redirection. It’s an opportunity to come back stronger with a better attack plan. It’s a second chance.

Having failed many times in my life, there’s one thing for sure: failing sucks. It sucks being disappointed. It sucks not succeeding on the first try. However, you can learn to become a good failure.

Failing is inevitable, which is why it is important to learn from our mistakes. You’ll learn more from a single failure than a lifetime of success. Here’s what you can do when you mess up: accept what you can’t change, keep an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, and know that nothing will be perfect.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was on an engineering team at my school. I was extremely confident in our abilities as a team, so when we didn’t advance to the world finals, I was devastated. The next year, however, my team placed second at the national competition, and we advanced to the world finals. If I had allowed that initial failure to consume me, I wouldn’t have been successful the next year.

It was not easy to advance to the world finals, but because I took my previous failure as a learning opportunity, my team succeeded. I knew I couldn’t change the past, so I didn’t focus on it. I kept an open mind about the competition and did not allow my bitterness to harden me, thus maintaining a positive attitude. My team wasn’t perfect, and I knew that. But I knew if we worked hard, we would succeed. We did.

Every failure is feedback on how to improve. Nothing works unless you do, and nothing works exactly the way you want it to. Failure is life’s greatest teacher; it’s nothing to be scared of. If we are so focused on not failing, we will never succeed.

So fail, and fail often.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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7 Things English Majors Go Through

Yes, I'm an English major. No, I'm not throwing away my education.

I love being an English major.

And no -- I'm not lying.

While I do advocate for womxn in tech and the rise of STEM majors, my heart belongs to the humanities and more importantly: English Literature.

Here are some of the things as an English Major that I have experienced:

1. So... Do you wanna be a teacher?

As an English Major, my sole purpose of getting my degree is not to just become a teacher. I also want to be a writer. Get it right. I also want to be a teacher, though, so...

2. Writer's Block

Writer's block = hell unleashed. My brain is my most valued. My heart, too, but my brain is what helps me actually write my essays and poems. When my brain isn't working, I'm not working, and with those two not working -- I'm not getting anything done.

3. Having Friends Ask You To Edit Their Papers

My mood 24/7 when people ask me to edit their papers. I'm working on my own, leave me alone. Seriously though, I know I'm an English major, but there's a reason why office hours were created -- but if you REALLY need my editing/revising, pay up.

4. Reading "Whatever" Literature

There are some great works that I love reading (Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Dr. J & Mr. H, etc). But if I'm forced to read another book that EVERYONE has "read" and ends with the classic patriarchal ending -- I'd rather not. Give me some more Mary Shelley, please.

5. Reading AMAZING Literature

OK BUT WHEN THE CLASS READS SOMETHING LIKE MRS. DALLOWAY -- I AM SO HAPPY (I love you, V.W). But, honestly, I love most literature (especially classics). It's only with very few works that I'm upset with reading. (50 Shades of Grey? Blegh.)

6. Getting Trash-Talked About Your Major

OkAy, SuSaN, I get that you're happy with being in the business school, but frankly I don't care, so don't worry about me or my major. We, English majors, get trash-talked about our majors. Back in the day, our major was considered noble and great -- and now it's considered as "throwing away our education".

7. Knowing that We Chose the Right Major

In my experience in college so far, I've met very few -- actually no one who has changed their major from English Lit/CRTWRT. (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are some?) But those of us who stayed with this major know that we chose the right path for ourselves. While our friends in STEM, Business, etc. are "having fun" with their path, we get to read our favorite works, write, and appreciate the arts. So... who's the real winner? ;)

Cover Image Credit: Study Breaks

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