Choosing a Major

Choosing a Major 799 446 Teaching Staff

Choosing a major is hard! Of the countless interesting programs available, it is difficult to know which one is going to be the best fit personally. Although switching majors throughout your studies is always an option, finding satisfaction in your initial choice can help to create a positive university experience. Like any important decision, the best approach is to research and to consider multiple factors. Below are some suggestions to aid you in this difficult process.

Create a Self Profile

If you are beginning your career planning from scratch, taking some time to create a self profile is definitely your first step. This should summarize your various interests, skills, and personality traits. Try to be as specific as possible with this exercise. You can even ask friends and family for suggestions but remember, you are the expert on your true self. Once you’ve completed this profile, begin organizing related answers into categories. Having a concise description of your abilities will allow for more fruitful research.

Brainstorm General Life Goals

This is another approach to creating a shortlist of possible majors. Think of this exercise as working backwards. Instead of finding ideas based solely on compatibility, you are selecting programs that are likely to deliver you a desired outcome. Take some time to record your ambitions in life, remembering that these goals don’t have to be prolific to be helpful. Anything from an organization you’ve always wanted to work for, to a skill you would like to obtain, is relevant to the decision making process. Performing research on fields related to these ideas is a great way to determine which areas of study are potentially suited to you. If you’ve completed the self profile as well, consider combining the results from each activity.     

Talk to an Advisor

Once you have pondered some options, it may be time to consult a professional. Most high schools have career advisors available to their students (ask if you’re not sure) and this is a fantastic resource, one that is often ignored. Make an appointment to discuss your future and be sure to come prepared with any research and/or brainstorming you have already completed. This will provide your advisor with a better sense of who you are and where you are headed so that they can give pertinent advice. Even if are someone with a predetermined plan, an advisor will be able to offer further guidance on how to achieve your goals. Regardless of your situation, you will definitely leave your appointment with important insight!

Take Faculty Tours  

In some situations, research does not provide enough of a picture for it to be the sole deciding factor. With a decision as momentous as choosing a major, you need to actually experience the atmosphere for yourself. Taking a faculty tour is the best way to accomplish this. All institutions are eager to market their programs so they provide these services for free (most however, are by appointment only). Capitalize on this opportunity to immerse yourself in the faculty’s environment and you won’t be sorry! Actually seeing a possible variation of your future should help finalize your decision. Ultimately, your instincts will lead you in the right direction.

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