Undeclared? Undecided? Well, whatever the preferred term, do college majors even matter anymore?
50% of college students will change their college major. Combine that fact with claims that average Americans may have up to seven careers in a lifetime, and it seems that college majors today matter much less than they used to.
Now, these statistics don’t give you license to spend 4 years majoring in “social gatherings” or “policies of western fraternities,” but they do show that many students often change their mind…and change them pretty often.Despite the statistics, partying should still take a backseat to your education.
That said, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to “just pick something” without due diligence into what’s required or if it’s even a field that you will enjoy. So, we’ve put together three questions to help you decide on a college major and ensure it’s something that you WANT to study.
1. What are my current academic interests?
This question is a great starting point for all those that are still undeclared, as going with a major that you don’t particularly love can make for a long college career. Fortunately for freshmen, many schools have a core curriculum that you must complete, which often times will give you a sample of many different subjects and class styles.
Also, be sure to do your “life homework” and talk to others in that major before you make it official. These conversations can be key, since you’ll find out the lowdown on certain professors, what will be required before you can graduate and much more. Often times, a good department can take a “boring” subject and make it come alive. Don’t worry if it takes you a few semesters to figure out exactly where your interests lie, but in the meantime, always try to consider the following question…
2. What are my goals?
No longer subjected to what your parents believe you should be on a daily basis, college will give you the experience to think about what you really want to do. Now, here’s the big secret: most people continually change their goals throughout college AND throughout life.
So, what could be your first goal when you get to school? Achieving good grades, finding a major you enjoy, or meeting friends in a new setting are all great goals for one’s first semester from home. For those of you who have been abroad for one semester or more, then the pendulum may swing away from finding friends and more towards finding a major or achieving good grades (especially for those with their eyes set on grad school). Those of you that are upperclassmen, your goals will most likely be focused on the next step whether that’s grad school or finding employment.
Taking that a step further, you’ll then need to ask yourself…
3. What’s important to meet those goals?
This question is simple, but it’s not always easy to follow through. If you’re financing your own education and know that repaying those loans is a priority, you may want to focus on a major that will enable you to be employed soon after you graduate. Or, if one of your goals is to get into med school, then what’s important to you may be filling up on those extracurriculars, and taking a few “easier classes” to boost that GPA.
Picking a college major is simple, but it’s definitely not easy. We hope these questions help you narrow down your search, and really help to pick something you enjoy.
Have you picked your college major? Was it an easy or difficult process for you?