If you are a prospective college student, or even a current college student, you may not have decided what area of study you would like to major in. The first time you declare a major does not necessarily mean it is set in stone, but the more you change your major, the better chance that you will continue to push your graduation date back. If you are going to change your major, you should try to have a concrete plan in place no later than by the end of your first year in college. Since deciding on a major is a very important decision that requires a lot of introspection, the following tips can help you if you are unsure of what would be the best fit for you.
1. Choose a major you are interested in. Count me as one of the people who chose a major more based on earning potential than on what I actually had a passion for. Literature and writing have always been my passion, but I erroneously thought that an English degree would provide me with little opportunity to make a living. I therefore chose business (with a minor in English), and although my business degree has helped me tremendously, I regret not majoring in English. Major in what interests and excites you, not what could potentially earn you the most income post-college.
2. Follow your own path. Your college diploma is no one’s but your own. Your parents, family members, and friends may offer some great advice, but it is up to you to decide on your major. If someone is pushing you to major in biology so you can get into medical school and become a doctor, only do that if that is truly what you want to do with your life. If not, politely tell them that you want to explore a different avenue.
3. Try something new . . . or something familiar! College is a perfect opportunity to explore new ideas and thought processes. However, it is also a perfect opportunity to expand on knowledge you may already have. There is nothing wrong with expanding your knowledge base and majoring in something you have no previous background in. On the other hand, if you have a strong background in, say, numbers, there would be nothing wrong with cultivating that knowledge by majoring in math or accounting.
4. Seek advice during orientation, advisement and registration, or other school-sponsored events. Your advisors, financial aid counselors, department chairs âˆ’ all of them are employed to assist students in making good decisions. Take advantage of that expertise. Research some of the majors you are interested in and ask informed questions. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge within the faculty and staff of any university so make sure you utilize those resources.
Choosing a major is a thought-provoking process. It will affect you for the rest of your life. Following the above tips and using sound logic and reason will aid you in making a smart choice. Remember, your college experience is about making good decisions and lifetime memories. It all starts with deciding what you want to earn your degree in!
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS