Academics

How To Decide On a Major In College?

Choosing a college major can be a scary and difficult decision for most people! I hope by the end of this post that you can more easily make your decision and/or feel more comfortable where you are!

Your major in college is the broad term for what you are studying. Most majors overlap in which classes are required and there are many paths that can lead to the completion of your degree as long as you hit the requirements.

While choosing a major that is fun and interesting to you is the best case scenario, remember that college is still school and you are going to inevitably have classes that you don’t like just as much as you will have classes that you do like! However, you are never stuck and switching majors is easier than it has ever been.

Plenty of students are undecided when they enter college, and here are some of my tips and lessons learned to help you make the best decision for yourself. If this post helps you or if you need more specific guidance to your situation, let me know in the comments below!

Realize That It Does Not Impact The Rest of Your Life

Sometimes the reason that it is so difficult to decide on a major can be the perception that it forces a person into a certain career or life path. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

I have had friends set on one thing, only to completely switch, and guess what? Everything was alright! You are a grown adult and it is your life!

Just decide on what you want to do and go for it. Then, you can adapt and change course as you feel necessary. At the end of the day, a degree is only a piece of paper and your opportunities are endless!

For example, a friend of mine was set on the pre-med track to go to medical school and become a doctor. She decided to instead switch from the pre-med track to political science to pursue pre-law! Now she is excelling in law school and pursuing her true passion. Whereas she had been so stressed and upset, now she is full of joy.

Another friend who was originally in a construction management major decided to switch to family health and education. He found that it was more rewarding for him to work in his community enhancing the lives of others in a more personal way rather than from behind a wall of steel and concrete (figuratively speaking of course).

Even if you get a degree and never decide to use it, it’s okay! Plenty of people don’t or won’t (yours truly if all goes to plan). What you gain from college is much more than a degree; it is the ability to network, learn quickly, the experiences, relationships made, and much more!

The major that you decide on will not lock you into anything unless you choose for it to. You want to pick something that inspires you or fires you up. It should be a topic that will have you pumped up enough to grind through the tough classes and enjoy the fun ones along the way.

Tips To Decide… Follow Your True Inner Passions!

Please do not choose a major based on the possible money. This will result in a frustrating and unfulfilling college experience where you can barely stay awake through your classes!

I will probably say this a lot, but a degree is only a piece of paper or an online certificate. Your college experience is a masterpiece of woven experiences and knowledge that carry much more weight on who you will be and what you will achieve.

What are you genuinely interested in? No, I don’t mean beer and dating (although if it truly is your passion, go for it and give all you have into helping others with those two things and you will surely succeed…breweries and relationship coaches).

What fires you up when you talk to others about the subject? Or what intrigues you? What knowledge could help you change your life?

It may help to write these things down. In your head, the ideas are just floating around, but on paper you can see the ideas and then think of related majors or concepts that can then turn into a decision.

Create a list of interests, activities, and inner passions that you truly love. Also, list your abilities and talents. I promise there is a major and career path for everyone, and probably multiple that will match up with things you have written down. There are literally hundreds to choose from!

For example, if you love being outdoors, gardening with your grandfather, fishing, going to nurseries and talking about the way that plants grow the best in certain conditions, then you won’t truly be happy pursuing engineering only because your parents told you that you should and there is good money in it!

There are plenty of different agricultural and environmental sustainability majors that would work for those passions and interests!

It may also help to create a list of traits or a description of how and who you want to be in the future. Please check out my post on goal setting for more help with this!

Knowing who you want to be can help you to see the stepping stones to get there! I wanted to be the best version of myself physically and I developed a passion for health and nutrition. While I initially looked into business majors and electrical engineering, I am so glad I went with a physiology and kinesiology major, because it mattered more for me personally!

Generic Options For Those Who Don’t Want to Choose

At the end of the day, you may have too many interests to decide, or you may be holding yourself back from deciding due to worrying about the future. This is okay! There are general majors that encompass multitudes of knowledge and you can even stay “undecided” for your first year while you knock out general education classes and seek out your interests.

Some of the more generic options include:

  • Business or business administration – For every interest, someone has most likely created a business selling a product. If not, look into entrepreneurship as a major and create a business. Business degrees can be utilized almost anywhere and in any field. They are extremely flexible with options and the opportunities are limitless.
  • Computer Science – If you have a knack for technology, there are many tracks within this major that can lead to you working for almost anywhere in the world. All businesses are either becoming computer-based or are phasing out quickly due to so much e-commerce competition.
  • Psychology – What do all fields of work have in common? People! People are everywhere and are the makeup of everything you see, purchase, sell or create. Understanding people can land you a job almost anywhere you can think of!
  • Health Science – If you kind of like topics related to health but aren’t sure whether you want to pursue the medical field or more recreational fitness, health science courses can help you either decide on a more specialized major later or allow you to move around with a generic degree at multiple different job titles later.
  • Communication or Marketing – The make or break for most businesses is their ability to reach people and convey messages effectively. Everything we do in life is communication with ourselves and others, and our ability to market and sell is crucial to achieving great success as well as relationships! The opportunities are endless!

The Options are Endless But Time Is Not

You can go undecided for one to two years depending on which college you go to. At some point your sophomore or junior year, you will have to declare a major so that you can pursue the necessary classes to graduate and receive a degree.

However, I encourage you to just decide on one that interests you! Even the slightest amount. You can always switch majors later and it is not as big of a deal as some people make it out to be. SO what you will have more classes or have to catch up? Who cares? You are pursuing something to enhance and enrich YOUR life.

The sooner you decide on a major, the more time you can focus on the other experiences and opportunities that make college truly great.

You will make great friends in a specific major because in the higher levels you will all be in the same, smaller classes. These could be your future coworkers or lifetime friends!

College is only four years, so make it the best four years thus far and don’t worry about the possibility of choosing the wrong major. There is no such thing because the knowledge, experiences and ability to learn that you gain will help you to achieve anything else you want in life, regardless of what your diploma says you studied.

Your Major Defines What You’ve Studied, Not What You Can Do!

You never have to feel constrained or stuck. You could get a degree is oceanography and then decide to make an online business or go into real estate, never using your degree and still becoming successful. Your degree only shows that you studied at a college and what you studied at college.

Your degree also opens many doors. Just having one, regardless of the type, shows that you have the ability to learn and that you can commit to something for a period of years.

You are amazing and fully capable to do anything that you set your mind to. You can create any business or pursue any further education and achieve whatever you want in life. It just comes down to each decision that you make.

I hope this post helped you with your decision or at least made you more comfortable with what you may decide in the future. The future is truly yours and if this post helped at all, please let me know in the comments below!

Conquer College and Dominate Life!

-Hudson, LikeTheRiver

 

 

 

 

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