Over 60% of college students change their major their freshman or sophomore years of college. Even I did. My theory of why this is: We’re kids who haven’t experienced life yet! How are we supposed to know what field we want to work in for the rest of our lives? But if your parents are anything like most, they want you to choose a major because college is a lot of money. And they have a very good point there.
So how do you figure out what to major in? Here are a few guidelines to help you:
- First and foremost, what do you like to do? And what are you good at? There’s a good chance that the activities you really enjoy are the ones that you have a strong talent for.
ECG Challenge: Get out a notebook and start listing things you love. Start with hobbies, but then get more specific. What about cooking makes you happy? Is it the creativity you have in making a new dish? Basketball? Is it the teamwork or leadership you show on the court? Use this brainstorming to figure out your core values and where your talents lie.
- Once you have a better understanding of yourself and what you love, ask yourself again. What is it that gives you joy? What is something that you can do all day and never get bored? What is your biggest dream? At this point pick out your dream careers.
- Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to get realistic-what are the chances of you getting your dream job? Are you willing to put in the work? Make a timeline of what you will do with your future to attain your job.
ECG Challenge: Do your homework about your future. Ask around and find people who have the career you’re dreaming of. Ask them how they got to the point they are at. And above all else, ask how they enjoy their job.
- How competitive is the career you’re going for? If it’s something like acting you might want to have another major or have a minor so that you can make money while you are trying to land a job. If it’s something in the medical field or criminal justice your level of difficulty in getting a job once you get your degree are pretty low so there’s no need to double major.
- What is the average salary? Can you live off of that salary? If you want a family could raise it on that salary?
- What is the level of demand in the state you want to work? You’ll have to do some research. Here’s an article to get you started: http://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hub/What-Jobs-are-In-Demand
These guidelines can help you get a head start on deciding what you want to major in, but above this I’d like remind you, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” You may go into school thinking one thing, but college is a learning experience. Not just learning about the books or the papers, but about learning about yourself. You may discover talents you did not know you had. Or discover a new dream career. Don’t be afraid to change majors or get work experience in fields that you did not initially find interesting. If you show your parents and others how mature you are becoming and how much you are thinking about your future, they will not think not be disappointed in you for wanting to change majors.
What Do You Think?
Have you changed your major? Are you not yet in college and still making some decisions? Will this help you?