How To Choose Your Major: Top 5 Tips
Are you considering or are in college but feel lost in the foreign world of majors? Then you’re on the same boat as most college students. As a recent university graduate, I’m going to share my two cents on how to choose your major in hopes that it will help you as much as it helped me a few years ago.
Now I know a lot of students worry about what university they should go to before even thinking about their major, so let me address this topic real quick. It’s important to note that when it comes to the topic of higher education, there are so many factors that contribute to where a person might end up depending on their circumstances. Such factors include the place of residence, high school GPA, desired university, financial situation, and many other factors that vary from person to person. The best advice I can share with you regarding university choice is enrolling in the university that has the best program of your desired major (if you know what you want), or the one that has the best reputation overall (if you’re still uncertain about what you want to major in) given your current circumstances.
However, for this blog, I will focus more on the area of choosing your major regardless of what university you end up attending. Here are a few tips:
1. Choose a major you love
Okay before you start thinking of all the things that could go wrong if you pursue your passion. There’s no doubt that there’s a market for specific jobs more than others. If your passion aligns with what’s hot in the job market, then you hit the jackpot. If you’re uncertain about the future career of your passion then don’t completely disregard that option yet. What you should do is try to apply your expertise to another market that could use it, or even create that market yourself. Challenge the boundaries that society created and work hard to become an industry leader fighting to establish this new market! Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than working most of your life on something that earns you more money but makes you miserable.
2. You don’t have to know what you love now
If nothing comes to mind while you’re reading the first tip, you’re not alone. It can be very intimidating when you don’t know what you love. You might even feel like you’re behind other people that know their one true calling and pursuing it. I know I felt that way. It took me a while to realize that it was more of a blessing than a curse because we’re not restricting ourselves to one subject only. Instead, we have the advantage of exploring the beautiful world of education and putting together a puzzle piece that will eventually reveal to you what you love.
3. Take a lot of electives
Now is your time to explore what the world has to offer! Go to your university class schedule and make a list of all the classes pique your interest. Try every one of them if you can. If you’re on the fence about a topic, TRY IT!! If you hate it, at least you will never live in regret or doubt thinking what if I tried this class and liked it. A motto I live by that my grandfather taught me is that it’s never a waste to learn anything, education is always valuable no matter what it is, and it will always come up to help you one way or another in your life. Trying different electives will get you so much closer to what you’re meant to be doing because you have everything to explore. If you liked that elective, then hey, you’re a step closer to figuring out what you want, if you hate it, then you’re also a step closer.
4. Learn from more knowledgeable people
If you find yourself thinking of a major or a profession, talk to others in the majors or careers you’re interested in. This will give you an insiders look of what they’re like to see if that’s something you see yourself doing in the future. Or even just to learn the tips and tricks in the field to get ahead of your game. That also includes learning through internships (paid or unpaid), volunteer, or whatever opportunity arises to get a taste of the work and learning for more knowledgeable people in that field.
5. Don’t be influenced by all people’s opinions
As important as it is to learn from others and hear their opinions, not every advice will be helpful for YOU. Only you know what you’re good at, capable of, and comfortable with. So don’t think too much about what society thinks of the major/field you’re considering if you have a clear path you’re following. It is very hard to please the people around you, but the fact is that you will never please everyone so you might as well please yourself. At the end of the day, everyone has a different life experience so take the advice that will help you and toss out anything that will not.