Choosing the right major in college is a seminal decision in the lives of most young people. For many, it’s the first time they’ll make a choice that has such far-reaching implications. That means it can be a very stressful process for most, and many feel as though they don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are a few universal guidelines out there to help those who feel stymied and frustrated before they even sign up for classes.
You Don’t Know Your Passion Yet
You might have cultivated a few interests by the time you’re 18, but when it comes to careers, you don’t have enough experience to know your passions. You might think you adore writing, but if you’ve never had to do it for someone else and work on a deadline, you have no idea if you’ll adore writing as a job. When picking a major, make sure you’ll also be able to gain some work experience in that same field while you’re at school, because that will be the best indicator of whether or not you’ll be able to put your major to use in an enjoyable fashion once you graduate.
You are Not Your Parents
So many students have lovely parents who want the best for them. Those parents no doubt offer opinions on what their child should study to ensure said child has a good future ahead of them. Unfortunately, this can often motivate a student to pick a major that doesn’t necessarily interest them but does please their parents. Please, do not do this. Your parents do not have to live your life after college. You have to live your life after college, and it won’t be a pleasant one if you’ve spent four years and lots of money studying something that’s prepared you for a career you don’t like. If you manage to snag ACU’s conflict resolution degree, but you really want to start your own business, you’ve signed yourself up for lots of future frustration. Also, your parents won’t be happy if you’re miserable. Going your own way and making sure to choose a major that’s right for you will be the best thing for all of you.
Think About What Comes After College
Regardless of what you decide to study, it’s important to remember that one of the main purposes of college is to acquire marketable skills that can be used to secure employment after graduation. You might have a great four years ahead you studying pottery at Pomona College, but will that help you get a job that will support you? It legitimately might, but the point here is that you need to at least think about the kind of life you want after school. Will you be comfortable on an artist’s typically low salary? If not, perhaps find a way to be creative that offers you a higher paycheck. There are opportunities to do what you like and make money in almost every field, and choosing the right major can set you on the best path to finding those opportunities.