Choosing the Right Major
February 19, 2020
What do you think makes a major the perfect fit for you? What are the reasons that inspire you to pursue a career in that field? Have you chosen a specific program for you or for others?
When you are getting closer to graduating high school –probably two years before graduation– every single grownup in your life starts asking questions such as “Have you decided what your major will be?" “What will you study? “What career path do you want to follow?", and they make you feel awkward when you do not have an answer. The truth is that most people do not have an answer two years before graduation; some do not even have an answer two years after graduation. Picking a major is a very delicate decision and you should think about it very carefully before committing to something you may not even like.
Everybody expects you to just know what you want to study but no one really guides you through making that decision. Some adults just tell you to go where the money is and others tell you to follow your dreams. But sometimes it is hard to even know where your dreams are leading you and you do not know where to start thinking. There are a few career aptitude tests you can take but even those are very vague and end up just saying “go for business" or “you are fit for humanities." What does any of that mean? As someone who thought about her career very carefully for many years, these are the main questions I would suggest you ask yourself:
What interests you but also entertains you the most?
When thinking about my future, a lot of people told me to just go for what interests me. That is good advice and it is true that you should always follow a path that interests you. However, I would also suggest finding something that entertains you. When you are interested in something, it does not necessarily mean that will keep you entertained for the years to come. But, if you find that one thing which interests you and, at the same time, it can keep you entertained, you should go down that path. It will be a career that will constantly motivate you to learn more and to stay up-to-date with new developments.
Do you see yourself doing this for many years?
Picture your life twenty years from now. Do you think that career will keep you hooked for that long? You have to be sure you are choosing the one thing that you cannot get bored of. Boredom leads to being unmotivated which leads to giving up. You do not want to choose a career that you will one to give up two years after you started. Yes, there is always a chance for change but you should try to choose something that you will want to commit to.
Does it make you happy or is it making those around you happy?
There are multiple reasons why people choose the wrong career and you will want to make sure you are not one of them. Sometimes people choose a career because their parents are in that field. Other times it might be because their parents wish they had gone down that path. When choosing a major make sure you are choosing it for yourself and not for others. Make sure that your decision is one that will make you happy and not one that will leave you unsatisfied ten years from now.
Money or happiness?
You might find yourself thinking that the major you want will not lead you to money; that is a possibility. There will come a time –particularly if you are into arts or humanities– when you might find yourself worried about the income you can make with the career you chose. You need to figure out what your priorities are. Do you want to struggle financially for a little bit while you create a name for yourself? Or do you want to go for a career that gives you money but does not fulfill your personal dreams? Only you can make that choice.
Choosing a major can be extremely hard but no one is rushing you. Take however long you need to decide what will be best for you. Do not try to make others happy with your decision because you are the one who will have to go through college and through a job in that field. It is a very personal decision and no one else can make it for you.
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