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Choosing Your Major

by Laura Flynn

One of the most challenging decisions regarding college is choosing your major.

There is often time a lot of pressure surrounding "choosing the 'right' major." But know that deciding on one is not a decision that will affect the rest of your life. Most people go on to jobs that have nothing to do with their undergraduate major. "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person will hold over 10 jobs during the course of their career. Other statistics show that 80% of college grads work in a field unrelated to their major.” (CollegePlus)

Make your decision based on your interests and skills. Although your major does not need to be something that “defines” you, it should reflect your passions as well as highlight your strengths. So ask yourself, “What is it that I like to do, AND what am I good at?” I also recommend asking for other people’s opinions too -- your teachers, your parents, your mentors. What strengths do they see? Remember, while their opinions are helpful, know that this is your life and if your gut is telling you to go in one direction, follow it!

Many schools allow you to come in as a freshman as “undeclared.” And most don’t require you to actually declare a major until the end of sophomore year. Unless you’re quite certain of the major you’d like to pursue, I’d recommend going in as an “undeclared.” This gives you more opportunity to take classes in a variety of different areas – some you might have never known even existed. Obviously, take the core courses your school requires of you, but my advice…be bold and explore. You’ll never know what excites you if you never try it!

And remember, choosing a major is not a life or death decision. It’s okay to be unsure of what you want to do…if anything it’s normal. No one expects you to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. There are plenty of adults who still don’t know! Enjoy the process!

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