Myth: You Should Major in a Subject You Are Really Good At

It’s a common belief that if you’re good at something, you should make it your life’s path. This is especially the case when it comes to college. Many students believe that if they’re really good at a certain subject, they should major in it. However, that’s not always the case. You might find you’re strong in history, but it might not be the best major for you and your goals. Here’s an explanation on why this idea is a myth and how you can go about using your strengths in the major you choose.

There May Not Be a Career You’re Interested In

When considering a major, you should have some sort of career or end goal of what you’d like to do in mind. What you’re strong at doesn’t always translate to your career goals. You have to consider the whole before diving into one particular subject.

You May Not Be Passionate About It

You may excel at math and have been in all advanced classes during high school, but that doesn’t always mean you’re passionate about it. You could find yourself taking courses, intending on majoring in math, and realize you just don’t enjoy the subject or career path you’re on. That’s okay. What you’re good at doesn’t always translate to a career.

Consider Both Strengths AND Passions

When choosing a major, it’s important to consider both your strengths and your passions. Together they can help you find a path that fits your interests and personality. There could also be a way to incorporate your strengths into your major. For example, you may want to minor in history, a strong subject for you, even if you decide to major in English.

Take Electives

Electives, especially during your freshman and sophomore years of college, can be a gift to your education and future. They are an excellent way to explore your interests, passions, major, and even just classes you may think sound interesting. You can look into subjects that you’re considering or strong in.

You can also take courses related to your intended major and your strengths. Take the prior example: Majoring in English, but strong in history. You may want to consider a nonfiction writing course or an expository writing class. You may have ways of incorporating history into those courses.

Taking different electives can also help you find strengths or interests you never knew you had. If you think a course sounds interesting or could help you in the future, look into it! Research the class and see what it’s all about. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, take it!

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what we excel at should be our career. However, you shouldn’t be looking at just your strengths or just your passions. It’s important to look at the whole picture and put together the pieces. Thinking about what you might like to do after graduation along with your interests can help you decide just what you should major in.

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