Choosing a major


When choosing a major, there are three very important things to take into consideration. Make sure the major you choose is something that you could see yourself doing for the rest of your life. You have to love what you are studying or it will become dull very fast. And imagine, if you are already bored by it in college, how much more will you dread doing it for the rest of your life?! But you aren’t sure what you are interested in, you say. Well, don’t start stressing out about it immediately. You have time. When students start college, most have approximately 2 years of general courses to take before they can even start taking any classes pertaining to their major. Use this time to explore what interests you. Which class excites you to go to? Which subject do you wish you knew more about? These are the classes to especially think about specializing in. And don’t feel like finding your interest needs to be contained to a class only.

Consider the extracurricular activities you are doing as well. Maybe you are involved with an elementary school mentoring program that you look forward to doing every week. You love working with the kids and helping them understand their homework. Maybe this program is the highlight of your week. Perhaps you should consider majoring in Early Childhood and Development or Education and becoming a teacher. Maybe, you love student government and intend on running for president later on in college. You love attending the meetings and proposing new ideas on how to make college an easier and more fun place to live. Perhaps you should study Political Science and become a politician. Keep your mind open and be involved in class and outside of it.

Once you decided what you love and what your interests are, make sure it is something you are good at doing. Now, I am not saying that you have to be the very best in the nation at what you do, but make sure it is something you have some skill at doing. Maybe you decide that you want to be a geneticist but you cannot seem to get anything higher than a D in any of the genetics classes and decide not to pay much attention in class, saying you can make up for it by studying extra hard later. Because of this, being a Geneticist may not be what you are set out to do. However, do not worry about this too much. Very few people are highly interested in a subject they are not also decently competent in. Honestly, who likes doing something they are not good at?! Just something to keep in mind.

Lastly, especially in this day and age, where many jobs are becoming unnecessary, it is important to think about what jobs ‘need doing’. There is no reason to go into a field that is becoming increasingly dominated by machines or robots. I know this may sound a little harsh, but remember, this doesn’t mean that you have to completely cut this interest out of your life. This just means it will probably function better as a hobby or organization that you can participate in instead of the focus of your life. Instead, find something you are equally interested in and that is needed and try to pursue that as your major and career. This also means that you have to know what job opportunities will be available with the major you decide to study. Make sure that what you are studying will set you up for a successful and life long career. Ultimately, you will be happier you chose something that you are equally interested in and will support you throughout your life over an interest that will give you little job security.

As you are in the process of picking your major, make sure you take ALL 3 aspects into consideration. Some people fall into the trap of only thinking about what they are good at and what needs doing when picking a major. Many of these people feel pressured to go into a field they may not love by parents or other important people in their life. However, in the end this will only hurt them. They could have been spending their time doing what they love instead of trying to please others with their life. I know it may be a difficult decision, but it is your life and you owe it to yourself to enjoy it, doing what you are interested in. Ultimately, it is only YOU who will reap the benefits of your labor or feel the pain of missed opportunities.

By Yoki Ermias


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