Questions to Ask When Choosing a Major

February 9, 2012 Category: College Tips

You are off to college, ready for an exciting few years.  You have picked where you want to go and have your first semester’s classes ready.  The one thing you might not have is a major.

Being undeclared when you first start college is not too big of a deal.  You may not know what you want to major in, yet do have an inkling of what you are leaning towards.  Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to help make that choice a bit easier.

What do you enjoy?  Of course you can choose a major that you do not really like, but selecting something that you really enjoy will engage you academically and make it a bit more worthwhile.  If you are excited about going to class and, even though difficult, keeps you focused and attentive, you have made a good choice in majors.  Remember, no matter what major you choose continue taking other classes that interest you.  A well-rounded education will help you throughout your life-time.

What are you good at?  If people seem to gravitate towards you when it comes to math help or you receive kudos for your art work, you may consider a major within that skill set.

What career are you leaning towards?  If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, a lawyer or even a doctor, you do not have to limit yourself in choosing a major that focuses only on that particular career.  If you want to become a physician, but love Art History, you can major in Art History while making sure you take the pre-med requirements (biology, chemistry, statistics . . .).  This may work to your advantage because many graduate schools actually look for variety within their applicant pool.

What skills would you like to learn?  This can be a little tricky.  Let’s say Art History is your choice in majors, but you are thinking about opening an art studio in the future.  Keep in mind what other skills you may need such as business applications, marketing, accounting and so on.  These can be elective classes or you may consider a minor in business.  Keep your options open to future endeavors.

What other influences do you need to consider?  We all have that little voice in our head trying to influence us.  This voice can actually be in the form of our family, friends, financial obligations or cultural expectations.  These external forces can have a big influence in our lives, but remember you have your own future to think about.  What career, major or life choice will let you live life to its fullest?

Remember, you are not stuck in one life direction because of your choice in majors.  Personally, I majored in Biological Sciences with the plan on becoming a doctor.  I went as far as starting Optometry School, when I realized that it was not the right choice for me.  I then applied to graduate school and received my Master’s Degree in Education becoming an educator.  I never regretted my choice in majors.  I enjoyed all my biology classes and would choose the same major if I had to do it over again.  Good luck to you and remember to enjoy your college years!

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