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

Popular Right Now

22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Home Sweet Home

I see a reflection of who I once was.


On a beautiful Thursday afternoon, I rolled into the parking lot of Mount Sinai High School, just a week after graduation. The red-bricked entrance beckoned me inside, and memories unbidden jumped to the forefront of my mind as I swept past the hallways that I had once sauntered through as a student 4 years ago. I made my way to my old AP teacher's class, and introduced myself to a group of 15-year-olds with a sheepish grin, excitement prevalent in my demeanor:

"Hey guys! My name's Adeel, and I just graduated from Stony Brook University with a BS in Biology and a Minor in Business Management, and I'll be talking to you guys today about college."

I moved to Mount Sinai during the summer before high school, and it was with a heavy heart that I left all of my friends at Herricks (I had previously lived in Manhasset Hills) to move on to something new. I was the new kid in a school district where everyone had gone to school together since at least middle school, and for the first week of freshman year, I struggled to make new friends. Only after considerable effort did I manage to make a dent and start to develop a sense of belonging and accept Mount Sinai as my new home. The four years I spent in high school as a Mustang defined my demeanor and helped me grow into the adult I am today. The teachers that guided me through my turbulent teenage years are still some of my closest mentors, and I don't know where I would have ended up without them through my difficult times.

When I look at the faces of the students sitting in desks that I once sat in my old teacher's class, I see a reflection of who I once was, excited to be graduating from high school but anxious for the future, so full of potential and spirit that it swells my heart with pride that these kids have such bright futures, and the fact that I get the privilege to speak to them about my own experiences makes me feel so old and yet so lucky that maybe, just maybe, my words might guide the next doctor or lawyer or CEO to their success.

I tell these bright souls of my own failures too, of my mistakes and tough times, to remind them that they can and they will get through the difficulties that lie ahead, that life itself is an everlasting continuation of mistakes that help you grow as you get older and teach you in ways you wouldn't have thought possible. I can only hope that my story helps to inspire them to achieve as much as they possibly can, to surpass everything that I have ever done and reach for the stars that I know they are destined for.

Many of my colleagues ask me why I continue to go back and visit my old high school after I've graduated; they feel that it's a part of their past they never want to revisit. For me, my high school years were a major cornerstone of my journey throughout life, and I feel that every year it's important for me to remind myself of my roots and how much I've grown. It's an honor for me to have been a Mount Sinai Mustang—after all, this town is my home sweet home.

Cover Image Credit:

Adeel Azim

Related Content

Facebook Comments