First, take a deep breath. It’s okay. Many students apply to college undecided. Not knowing what you want your life to look like at 17 years old is reasonable. When you get to college, you step into a new world of possibility. Take a philosophy class. Take a marine biology class. Take a criminal justice class. Take anything that sounds interesting to you. Most importantly, don’t panic. On average, 75 percent of college students change their major at least once before they graduate.
Think about what makes you happy. Do you love music? Make it your major, maybe pair it with business management, and work towards getting an internship in the industry. Does helping people make you happy? Consider majoring in sociology and pair it with a concentration or minor in something else you love. It’s the best of both worlds. They say that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
Think about what you are good at. Be honest with yourself. If calculus and advanced algebra are not your strong suit, you probably should consider a different path. Think about what comes naturally to you, because that is what you will be best at. By channeling all of your strengths into your education, internships, and post-graduate jobs, your chances of success are much higher.
Consider future employment. It is no doubt that over every Thanksgiving dinner and holidays with family, you are regularly questioned about what you want to do with your life. Many times, you probably dodge all related questions. When deciding what you want to study, think about where the journey will take you. Not only should you find something you love, but you should consider what would help maintain financial stability.
Separate your goals from those who have different goals for you. Sometimes, people will try and influence you to make a decision and set goals for you. Remember to stay true to yourself and focus on what feels right for you. Your own personal goals will be the foundation that guides you through life. If someone is encouraging you to go to law school but you know you have zero interest, don’t be afraid to concentrate on yourself. This is your time to be selfish.
Follow an interest. Evaluate your beliefs and values. Take something that ignites a fire in your brain and learn as much as you can about it. Let it take you somewhere. You might just find out what you were meant to do.
Many students on this campus have struggled to find their niche.
Aimee Slatkavitz, class of 2018, switched majors multiple times.
“I started as a dance and communications double major, then I was political science and journalism, then I was political science and legal studies, now I am education studies with a minor in political science,” she said. “My advice would be to simply do what you like. Find what makes you happy.”
Andrew Wessel, class of 2019, switched from marine biology to business management.
“I switched because I really didn’t feel like it was for me. I took business enterprise to see
if I liked it,” Wessel said. “Then I took Principles of Management and knew it was what I wanted.”
Ryan Celli, class of 2019, changed majors from psychology to music.
“Music felt more like home. Follow your passions. Don’t let other people tell you what you should be doing,” Celli said.
Kate Tufts, class of 2018, changed her major from journalism to communications after taking a few classes in both areas.
“I switched because I always thought I wanted to write for a magazine and then realized that that’s not actually what I wanted to do and thought that journalism was really narrow for what I could do,” she said. “So I switched to communications because it had a lot of the same classes and gave me a wider range of opportunities and possibilities.”
Tyler Bergstrom, class of 2021, has gone through major related confusion during his beginning months here as a first year student.
“I would definitely say to follow what you’re passionate about and what you enjoy doing during your free time. Reflect on the importance of your interests and how you can learn more and take it to the next step. Finding ways to expand and profit off your interests/hobbies is key. When I came here I decided on criminal justice, but I found out I wanted to follow a film career so now I am a Visual Arts major.”
Alissa Assad, class of 2019, has similar views.
“I changed majors my sophomore year from business management to psychology and I could not be happier,” she said. “I was always interested in psych, but I forced myself to do business because I thought I would make more money and thought that was most important. But the reality is you need to love what you do and your classes should feel fulfilling and worth your time and money.”
College is your time to shine. Focus on yourself while your new chapter begins.