Some students are 100% certain of what they want to study in college, even if they’re not 100% certain which college they want to attend. But that begs the question: which is more important—the major or the college?
Many students who are certain of their major end up changing it midway through college. Imagine if you had chosen a college that did not meet any of your criteria except for the major it offered. If you then change your major, your college will essentially have nothing to offer you. Also, it is easier to change your major than it is to change your college.
The Importance of Overall College Fit
If, on the other hand, you choose the right college, regardless of whether you already have a major in mind or not, you stand a much better chance of thriving in an environment that is a good fit for you. You will be happier, more productive, and more likely to focus on what matters most—building up on your knowledge and skills.
Is There a Compromise?
Ideally, you can find a good college fit that includes your desired major. However, if you find a great college that doesn’t offer the exact major you want, it may be time to reconsider your major. It can help to go broader. For example, if you really want to study Microbiology, but your best college fit only offers Biology, it may be worthwhile to broaden your focus. If you’re aiming for a certain career, look into other beneficial majors that suit the job.
When short-listing colleges to apply to, it is advisable to choose colleges that are a good fit for you, and while college majors offered can definitely be a factor there, it may not be advisable to have it be the deciding factor.
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