Throughout my 5 years of college I changed my major 4 times until I settled on the major I graduated with. It was incredibly stressful and confusing, and it left me feeling like I was never going to figure out a potential career.
During my freshman year I was studying as a food and nutrition major. I chose that major during high school because at the time I was interested in nutrition. During my sophomore year I transferred to a new school and switched my major to music because I was a musician during high school and I missed it. The one thing I had in common with both majors was that it was solely based on a small interest. While I was always interested about nutrition, science was not my best subject. Also, I studied and performed music growing up, but to do it professionally, I realized it was not for me.
During the second half of my sophomore year I switched to undecided because I wanted to give myself time to figure my life out. By my junior year I switched to communications and it felt right for once, but after speaking to a professor and my career counselor, they recommended I study English since at that time I had more potential under that field. Thus, I spent an extra year and graduated this year with a Bachelor’s in English.
If I could go back to before enrolling in college, here are 3 strategies I would have done to help me figure out a major:
I never took the time to talk to anyone about what my strengths and passions are. I believe that if I had spoken to a relative, guidance counselor, a teacher, or even a friend, they could have helped me become aware of the skills I did not see in myself. This could have given me a list of majors to explore.
I never did any research to learn what types of majors there are and what types of jobs I could get from them. I never did any research to determine how to decide on such a big decision. By doing research, there is so much information that can help organize a decision as big as this.
Choosing what you want to do for a career is a tough decision. There is too much pressure to decide at the beginning. I wish I started college as undeclared, that way I could have spent the first year or two taking a variety of classes to help me decide.
Declaring a major may be easy for some students, but it may also be tricky for others. It is okay to change your mind while in college. Though to save yourself the time and stress, performing those 3 strategies may help you make a final decision.
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