Choosing your college major is an important decision that will undoubtedly have a large impact on the rest of your life. That makes picking the one that’s best for you a stressful process. No one wants to waste time and money studying something that isn’t right for them, so you should absolutely take extra special care when choosing a course of study. Luckily, there are some universal guidelines we can share that will help you start off on the right foot.
Who are Your Idols?
We aspire to be what we admire, so when picking a major, think about people whose lives have inspired you. What were their priorities and strategies for success? If you have great respect for a wide range of different artists, maybe a creative field would suit you. If you find yourself wishing you were like an entrepreneur, perhaps a major in business that would give you the tools to create your own opportunities is the way to go. It could be that you find yourself most attracted to people who branched out into several different careers in the course of their lifetime, so you could plan to find a broader major that will give you a wide range of job opportunities once you graduate. Whatever your particular inspiration, focusing on it will ensure that you at least end up in the neighborhood of subject matter you enjoy.
What Are Your Strengths?
As much as we hate to say it, if you know you’re not good at something, it can be risky attempting to major in it in college. Yes, you may be fascinated with biology, but if you’re notoriously bad at memorizing anatomy, you might be opening yourself up to a world of frustration. However, if you’re a great writer and fascinated with biology, it could be that you’d do well to major in journalism. You’re already better suited to it, and it could eventually lead to a job as a science writer for a newspaper or other publication. The point is, if you’re good at something, it will be more satisfying to study it, and you’ll have a higher chance of success.
What Interests You?
It can be tempting to think you’ll love something if it pays you a lot of money. It can be just as tempting to think you’ll love something if the pursuit of it pleases those around you. Guess what? You won’t. You will love what interests you; everything else is a means to an end. Yes, tax lawyers make a lot of cash, but if you pursue that kind of career for the paycheck, you love the money, not the job. Odds are you’ll hate studying for it considering you don’t get paid at all to do that. Obviously, it’s important to be a little practical when choosing your field of study, but you should always start with some kind of major that you simply want to learn more about. We promise you’ll find something that fits that most basic criterion that will also offer you financial security and the respect of your friends, family, and peers.
What will Prepare You for Life After Graduation?
Unless you have unlimited funds, you’re going to need a job once school’s out. One of the purposes of college is to give you marketable skills that you can use to enter the workforce. While it absolutely shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision-making process, picking a major that will improve your prospects of getting a job will go a long way toward making you feel optimistic about your future. It may be that your major will necessitate a graduate program, so it’s good to understand that you might have to spend an extra few years at an institution like Claremont Graduate University. If you’re choosing a major in college without thinking about what your life will be like after graduation, you could be in for some terrifying anxiety once your senior year rolls around.