When I was a high school senior applying for colleges, choosing a major (field of study) seemed like the most intimidating decision I had to make in my short 18 years on this earth. I talked to counselors, parents, and friends and none of it seemed to make me rest easy. I thought that once I made the decision I would not only be trapped in that major for four years or more, but that I was also determining the rest of my life. If you feel that way, breathe easy and understand that people go through major changes all the time, mostly because they had no idea what they were really getting into. Here are some tips that I did not know coming into college that will help you choose a major you’ll feel more comfortable with, and some techniques to changing your major that will make it feel easier and not like you are adding on years to your stay in college.
First off, pick a major that caters to your interests, passions, and strong suites. This will give you more motivation in researching the major, the professors who teach in the major, and the opportunities you’ll receive during and after your college degree with your selected education path. Every school has stronger or weaker colleges of business, social sciences, physical sciences, etc. If your heart lies with science, go with a school that offers more opportunities in that field.
When you visit the campus, make sure to talk to people that deal directly with your possible major. Visit the clubs associated with the major, so you can talk to students and ask them about the experiences they’ve had over their past few years and how they feel about it. Ask yourself if you relate to the type of individuals that end up in that field. Talk to advisors specifically dedicated to the subject. This will give you insight into what type of people are going down your desired path, what type of professors and courses you’ll be dealing with, and it will give you a broader perspective of the experiences you will encounter during your time in college.
If you still feel unsure, or what to leave yourself options later down the line, mainly register for classes that will apply towards general education. This way, if you decide a year or so in that you want to change majors or head down a different path, you never really wasted any time in getting your degree. When I entered college as a biology major, I mainly took general education courses. I ended up deciding two years into my major to switch to psychology, and even though the course paths were very different, I had already completed much of my general education and still had biology classes that went into a minor.
Do not stress if you are not 110% sure about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Even if you do feel that sure, you most likely aren’t. Take it slow your first year or two in college, keep your eyes and ears open , and plan accordingly to make any last minute changes.