I’m sort of freaking out because I thought I knew what I wanted my major to be, but after taking 1st Semester classes I’m having doubts about my decision. I have a few things in mind that might be possibilities but I don’t want to waste my parents’ money just wandering from major to major without committing to anything.
Picking a college major is not an easy decision. I’m a 23-year-old college graduate and I am still figuring out what I want to do with my life. Here are my notes about picking your college major:
This is easier said than done, but trust me, you are not alone. Granted, there are those people who have known exactly what they have wanted to do since birth. But for the majority of college freshmen, whether they admit it or not, have no idea what they want to be when they grow up, let alone their college majors.
College is a time for major transitions. Everything about your life, including your interests, are developing and changing. For this reason, it is important to take a variety of courses during your freshman and sophomore years. Take everything from Math to Communication. Once you’ve taken classes ranging from Humanities to Natural Sciences, sit back and think about which classes resonated with you.
What are those classes that you were eager to do the homework and attend? When you have taken enough of these classes and determined it to be the right fit for you, then declare a major.
When you find a string of classes that make your heart sing and decide to declare a major, I suggest that you look into possible careers that are applicable to your major. Once you’ve identified potential careers that fit your major, apply for internships. Interning will give you real-life experience and let you know if this major is for you.
Tip: Internships also provide experience which is vital to landing that job when you graduate.
Talk to everybody. No, really. Talk to your parents; talk to the senior in the major you’re considering; talk to people who are working in the career field that you’ve got your eye on. These people are crucial because they are in the trenches. They know what it’s like to be X major or Y professional. They know the good and the bad. Don’t be afraid to approach these people because they hold gold.
Also, talk to your adviser. This person knows the combination of classes you need to graduate on time as well as invaluable insight.
Taking a career test can help determine which major might be right for you. However, do not rely too heavily on these as experience (trial and error) is your best friend.
Don’t try to impress people with your major. Don’t pick computer engineering if you hate computers. If the only reason you’ve picked a major is because it sounds good or makes a lot of money…that’s the wrong degree from the jump.
On the same note, don’t pick a degree where you can’t find a job. It is important that your degree gives you tangible skills that make you marketable to employers or adds to your side hustle. Sometimes the major you pick isn’t worth the loans you take out. Be careful.
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This post is super insightful. I honestly wish that I had read it before I entered college. My first semester was such a mess. I’m new to your blog and can’t wait to read more from you. Time to dig into your old posts. Because once I graduate in May I will be a rookie again!
Jas | JasmineDiane.com
Yes hunny! Thank you for reading. If you know someone who could need it please share it. And if you are on facebook, I would love it if you liked my facebook page: facebook.com/rookienotes
Great tips! 🙂 I definitely struggled with choosing a major when I started college, but once I started to take different classes and do internships I was able to find my major that I’m extremely happy with now. Great post! 🙂
Thank you! And I love that you found the major that is right for you :-). Thanks for commenting!
Thanks for your post! I sent it to my son, who is a senior in high school stressing out whenever he gets the “What are you going to go to school for?” question. It’s hard to know what the heck you want to do for the next 50 years or so of your life when you’re 18 years old! Thanks again!
Thank you so much! I hope your son finds it helpful. Tell him don’t stress. If you haven’t already, please like Rookie Notes at facebook.com/rookienotes or @rookienotes on Twitter for more updates :-). If you have any questions that you think I can answer don’e be afraid to ask 🙂
I would also say for that first semester or two don’t declare anything. Just take a wide range of classes.
Great post Rookie! I wish I would have had this before I went to college. Good information.
Thank you Mr. Tony <3
Rookie, I like your advice and I’m glad you shared it with other students. If I might add something: When considering a major that will get you a job, keep in mind that many jobs in business, organizations, and non-profits don’t require a particular degree. They may just want someone who is educated, can write, can do analysis, and can communicate. Many liberal arts degrees (I point out those since they’re often considered the least useful or vocational) provide those skills even if they don’t prepare you for any one specific job. Combine a not-so-vocational major that you’re passionate about with good internships that will teach you good job skills and provide work experience. Good luck to you and all of your undecided readers.
I love this advice! I might have to make a spin off post and credit you for sure 🙂 Great advice professor!
I would have to say that I never thought picking a major would be so hard. I went into college thinking I knew what I wanted to do and after two semesters I realized that wasn’t for me so I kinda freaked out and thought I’d be in college forever bc I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But I’m so glad that after being able to intern with a company I finally knew what I wanted to do in life. So it’s important to do some serious thinking and researching before hand. I wish I would’ve known that lol
Awesome post! Your introduction, that’s exactly how I felt back then. Took me three more semesters to figure out my calling.
I’m glad you’ve found it! And thank you for reading <3
Your post “How Do You Pick A College Major” was, to me anyway, sound advice for a young person entering college and deciding on their future path (to success hopefully). I attended briefly, at an advanced age, and chose Business Communications. I did very well with a GPA of 4.0, but, after a rather bizzared incident that did not find resolve with university staff, I withdrew.
Anyway, thanks for your insights shared with many others I’m sure. As well, thank you for the vote of confidence in the follow.
I changed majors three times. Once I took the MAPP Assessment, I finally was able to focus on my skills and motivations. Great post on all points.
Yes! Focusing on your skills and motivations is essential! Once you’ve done that it is easier to narrow down your choices and the right major for you. I’m glad you made the right decision. Thank you for commenting
Great advice. I admit, I picked a major that is often considered “worthless”–English. However, I found a love and a passion for it, and I guess that made up for the lack of job security. Very insightful post though!
Great piece that could be helpful to a lot of people! I also think people need to realize that they are not locked into a career path based upon their major. Interests change, and it is never too late to pursue your true passions 🙂
Hey there Rookie! What a great piece on college majors. I got swallowed up into Journalism freshman year and I never wrote for a newspaper. Who knows exactly what they want to do at age 18? Actually, I thought of another related blog I read recently on internships:
In case you may be interested in reading (or using for a stepping off point for your next blog!)
Hello there, I was just scanning through your blog. Don´t have much time today but tomorrow I´ll be your new and best stalker, I promise.
Quite an interesting blog you have with a lot of variety. I found that post about the actress who was black to be quite fascinating, and her parents where well off considering that period of time. Again didn´t have much time to read it, but hopefully tomorrow I can spend more time, as I say, I call this wordpress thing my free online university if you don´t count what I pay for the internet that is since I got thrown out of the university after 1and half years which brings me to the topic of this post. Very good advice. I can add my two cents for what is worth….. One, if you have a scholarship like I did don´t screw it up. And two you said don´t impress people with your major like computer engineering, but as the economy is right now as you well stated later on you do now have to pick a major that provides you with more accessible job opportunities when you get out of college. I was there with a scholarship of English Lit. with creative writing. Go figure what opportunities I would had to live out of that, very very slim. So yes I do agree with you that don´t pick something you hate because it provides you with a better option for a career and a stable life but by the same token be realistic and see what the trends are now in the market and in the foreseeable future and even if it´s not your childhood passion I would suggest you study that. Better have now a well paying and steady job and later you can try out your real passion. Life is not fair, we can´t always get what we would love to get, so better settle for something realistic, specially now, being redundant, when the job market is not very good.
Glad you stumbles upon my crazy little blog. Be reading ya!