How to Discover the Best Major For You

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If you’re struggling to decide on a major, you’re not alone. Many students aren’t quite sure what they’d like to study and those that are sure sometimes change their mind once they start attending school. It’s not uncommon for college students to change their major once or even twice before graduating. Here are some tips though to help you discover the best major for you.

Research What Interests You

Everyone has interests. Start there. Research jobs and majors that are directly related to your interests. Are there any that sound appealing to you? To make it easier, you may want to look at one then the other. Look at the subjects available to you and see what careers you could get with that degree. Or the other way: Take a look at the careers that sound like they’d fit you and then see what majors and degrees you would need to be hired.

You’ll also want to research the courses you’ll need to take, job opportunities after college, and maybe even talk to a few students who are in that major too. What do they think? The courses awaiting you for that particular major may be extremely difficult, so it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you’re prepared.

Take Courses That Sound Interesting

Even if you’re not sure in your freshman year of college what you’d like to major in, that’s okay. This is your time to test the waters. When you choose your classes, choose some electives or even GE requirements that sound particularly interesting to you. You may be going for one degree in chemistry, but decide after a course or two of biology that this subject calls to you much more than the original choice.

There will be plenty of options for your first two years of classes where you can just take courses that sound cool and have them count towards your degree. This is the perfect opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone a little and even learn something different.

Take Major or Career Tests

Many high schools and colleges actually offer major or career tests for students. This can help you identify your weaknesses, strengths, interests, and disinterests. From the results, the test can show you which careers or majors are best suited for you and your personality.

There are tests for this sort of thing online too, but be wary. Not all of these are truly accurate. It’s best to get it done through a legitimate website, your school, or college career center. You’ll also want to take it with a grain of salt. It is entirely possible for the test to get it wrong or “close”. For example, mine said “doctor” with “writer” just behind. I don’t have the patience to be a doctor, but I definitely saw the appeal. So remember to read over the results carefully and not just go with whatever they suggest first. You might find that the second or third suggestions are much better for you.

Choosing the best major for you can be a difficult decision. However, don’t rush the choice. Think about it carefully and remember, you often have until your junior year to actually declare. If you need to change it, you most likely can.

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Hilary Cairns

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