Choosing a major is a huge deal and being asked to decide your future at such a young age is very intimidating. There are so many factors that go into making such a decision; do I pick something that I have fun doing or something practical? Should I be following in the footsteps of my own passions or what others are telling me to do? Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone if these thoughts cross your mind! Though there is no correct answer for this, we’re hoping we can give you some helpful tips if you are currently in the process of entering college or having second thoughts on your major choice.
Think about what makes you happy.
Now, you might have been conditioned to think and believe that you should only be doing something that is practical and that is going to make you money. Those things can be simple factors in making your decision, but being happy with your career choice is going to have such a significant impact on you that sometimes the practicality and the financial stability of your choice often fall towards the bottom of your list. Being happy and content with your major and the path that is sets you on is often overlooked and we’re here to tell you that this is the time to put yourself first as it can make a world of difference in your days at university and in the real world. Follow your passions and your interests; you’ll be thankful for it in the long-run.
Add a minor!
Here was my personal problem in college: I loved theatre, but I had absolutely no desire to try and “make it” in that industry. I wasn’t good enough (I have no issue admitting that), but it made me so happy that I refused to believe that it couldn’t be a part of my life. So I added it as a minor. I was still able to have theatre in my life and to continue my education on it without having to worry about trying to find a career in it. Though I don’t have a job in theatre, I absolutely believe that some of skills I learned in those classes, and the critical thinking it forced me to do has been able to be applied to in all of my professional experiences. Think and aim for the transferable skills that arise out of different classes and educational backgrounds. Though something you learned won’t take place in the same scenario that you learned it, there is always a promise that you’ll take something away from it to add to your everyday life.
Don’t be afraid to change your major.
This can be even scarier than picking a major to begin with. I remember, during my first day of college orientation they told us that 50%- 70% of us would end up changing our majors before the end of our college career, and some would do it more than 3 times before graduation. I remember thinking, “Well that won’t be me. I’m solid and know what I want to do.” I wanted to be a teacher; probably because it was the one career that was around me my whole life and the environment I was comfortable in. During my junior year spring semester, I had a shocking realization that I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore. I had been exposed to so many different options while in college and I was very shocked to see that my passions had changed. But it was okay. It’s often forgotten that college is a part of that “coming of age” experience where we learn more about ourselves than we ever cared to acknowledge in the past. You evolve, you change, you grow; it would be silly to not let that play a factor in your college career.
Life is really all about how you handle Plan B. Sometimes there isn’t a right way to do something, but plenty of wrong ways. Finding your niche is a trial and error process and we at GradGuard encourage you to try something new! Use those transferable skills to do what you love. GradGuard is always interested in hearing what you have to say and loves to have guests contribute to the blog! If you have an idea or an article and you’d like to see your work featured on GradGuard’s blog, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.