Executive Director of Enrollment Management
University of Northern Colorado
I am sure that you have heard it from your parents, friends, family, etc., how important that decision—choosing a major—is. It’s as if your entire career and life hinges on that one decision! How about that for pressure? It is hard enough going through high school, taking all those college preparatory classes, studying for and taking the ACT/SAT, and applying for college . . . and now this?
Well, first don’t panic! According to many studies, college students change their major on average more than five times. Yes, five times! College major choice is meant as an exploratory process. That is, you have a wonderful opportunity to spend the first two years of college (while you take prescribed core classes) taking a few classes that truly interest you. It is during this time that you will have a chance to “test the waters” and see what really interests you. Take this time to also speak with friends, college advisors, and others that have either already gone through this process or are also experiencing it as this is a great support group for you. In the end, much like all of the students that came before you, the decision on college major will evolve through college and without a doubt you will have a better idea of a major decision before you graduate!
Donald K. Sherman
Attorney, Author, Founder
Somebody Does That?!
It can be challenging to find a major if you don’t know what you want to do after school. Still, that ambivalence is actually quite freeing. If you are truly undecided, I would select a major based on the classes that I like the best and the evaluation metric that caters to my strengths. If you are taking courses you’re interested in, chances are you will work harder and perform better. Likewise, if you aren’t a great test-taker and are better at writing papers, then I would try to find a major that accentuates your skills. College is a place where you should challenge yourself socially and academically, but that doesn’t mean picking a major in your worst subject. Finding your comfort zone—in the sense of a place of engagement, strength, skill, and enjoyment—is the best way to succeed.
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