Preparing yourself for college can be overwhelming. There are classes to schedule, dorm rooms to decorate and a whole new environment to get used to. But one of the most challenging things that may start to confuse you choosing a major.
Many people get discouraged when they don’t exactly know what field they want to be in or when they have multiple interests and passions. But choose an area of focus or specialization doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. Keep reading to check out these 10 tips on finding your ideal college major.
1. Start With What You Love
People typically go back to school to continue their education to be able to do the things they love in life on a larger scale. That’s why you should be thinking about your passions when choosing a college major.
If you are genuinely interested and invested in a topic, goal or issue enough then nothing else will matter. Knowing that you are studying something that brings you joy will be most important and help you to keep going at the end of the day.
2. Reflect on Goals
Another way to choose a college major is to reflect on what goals you want to reach and the timeframe you would like to reach them in. For instance, if you want to come out of school and start running your own company then getting a four-year degree in business will probably be a good enough foundation. However, if you’re looking to start you’re a medical career as a doctor within four to five years, this might not be as realistic.
Take a look at your goals and figure out what direction you can go in to land you where you need to be.
3. Read Through a Majors List
If you’re someone that has absolutely no clue where to begin then it might be best for you to read through an extensive list of possible majors and minors. You can retrieve a list from all classes and areas of studies that are offered from the specific school(s) that you choose.
Keep in mind that if you look up a general list online the school you choose may not offer the exact same focus depending on how specialized it is. But usually, most schools will have all general college majors. Go through a list and starting circling some things that might catch your eye.
4. Go Towards Thriving Industries
Maybe you’re someone who just wants to be successful in whatever they do. In this case, you could probably benefit from doing a little research on industries that are currently thriving and choose an area of focus from there.
Start looking around on job boards to see what openings are always looking to be filled across various industries. You can also check out the average pay scales for these positions as well. This method works well for someone that prioritizes having a well-paying job straight out of school.
5. Find a General Interest
You might not know exactly what you want to do but if you have a few general interests then this could help you on your quest to choosing a college major. Write down some of the things that you like or at least have the slightest bit of interest in. Look at what types of majors they offer and choose from there.
It’s always possible to get more in-depth with your area of focus later on down the line. Start with a general study can be helpful for getting you on track.
6. Consult With an Advisor
Once you get to school you’ll be assigned to a college advisor to help you with acclimating yourself to this new lifestyle. If you’re having a hard time deciding on a college major then your advisor is the person to go to.
They’ll be able to help point you in some directions that are a good fit for you based on what you can tell them about yourself and your goals. You’ll be able to have someone assist you with mapping out a plan, as well as helping you to reroute if you find that you don’t like what you chose.
7. Take a Variety of Classes
One of the best ways to find out what you prefer in life is to try lots of different things. This same rule can apply when it comes to choosing a college major.
Start by taking a wide variety of classes and pay attention to what sticks. In other words, if you find courses or topics that you really enjoy then dive deeper into how you can expand on that more. You may at least be able to figure out what you don’t like and do a little process of elimination.
8. Get Advice From Previous Students
Another good source of advice is talking to previous students. These are the people who were in the trenches themselves so they know exactly what it’s like to pursue a particular college major.
They can provide you with a detailed report of the pros and cons of different coursework, teachers, expectations, etc. Try talking to students from a few different majors and see if you can start to narrow down your decision.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind
It’s easy for someone to hinder themselves from making a final decision on a major in college because they think it’s permanent. However, it isn’t and you are free to change your field of focus when you please.
Keeping this in mind helps take the edge off and allows you to open yourself up to trying different things and pivoting if need be. Don’t be afraid to jump in and go a direct way if you don’t like it.
Ready to Choose a College Major?
You don’t have to choose a college major right away but you shouldn’t wait for too long either. Think about your passions and goals and try to get some advice from people who know the territory to help you decide. Remember you have free will to change if you’d like.
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