College can be a scary and nerve recking experience, choosing a major should not add to that stress. Often picking a major can be a challenging task for incoming freshman students, especially if they are not 100% sure of the direction they want to go in life. Some people come into college knowing exactly what they want to do, while others are still in search of the right career path. Colleges and Universities are sensitive to this and usually allow students until their 2nd year to declare a major or concentration. Hopefully I can provide you with a few tips to help with the decision making process.
Develop a list of majors that best fits who you are, what you are good at, as well as what you enjoy doing
- If you are a person who enjoys being around people, enjoys helping others, and works well with others in an effort to help them you might consider jobs in a service field such as social work, psychology, and nursing. Colleges have websites and booklets with program and course descriptions; utilize them to learn more about the list of majors that interest you.
Take classes or volunteer in the fields that you are most interested in
- Colleges have core requirements that every student must take. Usually those requirements allow you to pick from a list of about four courses. Use the flexibility with your core courses to take classes in majors that interest you. This way you are exposed to the major and the course allows you to meet the core requirement. Some colleges require for their students to do community services in their first year. Use that as another opportunity to volunteer at an organization in your field(s) of interest.
Talk to professors, advisors, and/or students
- Often times when talking to people who have been where we are trying to go it provides us with clarity, guidance, and a different perspective. Colleges are full of organizations and clubs and a great deal of them are geared towards majors. Using the list that we used in the above, if there is a psychology club, find out when/where they hold meetings, and go visit. In the visit ask questions that you have regarding the major.
It is okay to be interested in more than one thing (major, double majors, and minors)
- After you have done all this, (if your list is still a list) you should have one or two that sticks out more than others. If you have more than one, IT IS OK, you have options. One of them can be a major and the other can be a minor. Or, you can double major in both, meaning that you will have a degree in two different fields of interest. The options of majors, double majors, and minors can be better explained by college advisors.