How I chose a major

College Graduation, 2018

As my career as an undergraduate student is nearing an end, I have been thinking a lot about how I got to where I am at this point. AKA I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at the end of my senior year. I knew I was going to college, this was never a question for me and I am grateful for that. But going into my freshman year of college a major was something I was very unsure about, and this stressed me out a lot. I credit this partly to the fact that for 18 years of your life you’re expected to sit down, stay quiet, and do everything from a schedule someone else chooses for you and then you get a piece of paper and suddenly you’re supposed to know exactly what degree you want to get, what career you will pursue, and have a perfect five year plan, etc.

So as my high school graduation came closer and everyone was asking me what my next step was and all I had to offer was what school I was attending, sad I know. And it was for me, especially because of how hard I worked in high school. I was terrified of the future and not having a job and not being successful. Which is believe it or not the pressure that high school seniors face, even though it’s painted out to be the best time of your life, it is also a very insecure time as well.

Long story short, these are some of the best tips I have to chose your major.

Before starting this process I would recommend getting caffeinated because coffee will make this easier. Something that worked well for me was to rule out everything I didn’t want to do. You can start with careers specifically, and that will help to rule out entire subject areas. So on and so forth I then started to talk to professionals I knew. This was probably one of the most comforting things during this process. Because it showed me that you can still be successful if things don’t go exactly according to your original plan. Not to go for the obvious but if I could go back I wish someone would have been like “JUST CHOOSE SOMETHING!” because a lot of the time your first semester in college is just prerequisites anyways and you have more than enough time to change your major. It’s okay to change your mind.

At the end of the day, you have to make the right choices for yourself because you are going to be the one living with them. This doesn’t mean just follow your heart without paying attention to the reality of your decisions. Do research! Find out if the field you are interested in is growing, this will tell you more about if you will actually be able to get a job after you graduate. Because you don’t want to get a degree and then have nothing to do with it.

Choosing a major is a lot like getting married because it is a commitment that will change what your future will look like. So don’t take it too lightly and don’t overthink it either if that makes sense. At the end of my tedious process, I finally decided I was going to major in psychology. And I really didn’t know what I was going to do with it. This all changed when I got a job in my field and finally felt secure and confident that I had made the right choice. Looking back it seems like an obvious fit for me, but if you would have told me then things would be how they are now I would not believe you in the slightest.

“You will graduate. You will get a job. You will find love. You have an entire life! Things take time. Just enjoy where you are now. Relax.”

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