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Selecting your Major

By Ryan Thomas

One of the most stressful aspects of college is making sure that the major(s) you choose is right for you. If you are like the majority of America’s youth and are not quite sure what you want to do for the rest of your life, no need to worry, this is actually very normal.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 80% of college students change their majors at least once. Some sources have even found that it is not unusual for an individual to change their majors as many as three times.

The most important thing when mulling your options is to envision yourself in the future. Can you see yourself doing this for the next 40-50 years? This can be a daunting question, obviously, but it’s a crucial one, nevertheless.
Everyone wants to make money and, although that is always going to be part of life, this is not the main factor to consider when it comes to your higher education.

No amount of money can compensate for a life you, yourself, are not pleased with.

Personally, I changed my major after my freshman year. At the time, I was a marketing major but was not all that interested in business. As a sports fanatic, I knew the sports media industry was something that fascinated me.
I was a little reluctant to switch, however, because I had already taken several classes specific to a marketing major rather than general education courses like most freshmen.
At any rate, I was fortunate enough to listen to a guest speaker in one of my courses who said something that has stuck with me the past two years. She spoke passionately about her career and said, “If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. It is a labor of love”.
We’ve all worked jobs we hated, and I’m no exception.

After hearing this quote, I began to ponder about my future and what I could really envision myself doing down the road. I think I already knew what I wanted to do.
A few weeks later I made the switch from Marketing to Mass Communications. I elected to pursue a minor in Marketing still, however, as I had already completed several courses and the two pair well together.

My advice to any freshman or sophomore who is unsure about their major is to not force it. It takes time to find what you really enjoy.
I know it may seem like you’re the only one who doesn’t have it figured out, but I assure you that this is not the case.

You’re going to have your own experiences that will help you navigate the spectrum and lead you to an eventual conclusion.   I know people that have graduated with a major they are unsatisfied with and end up going back to school later in life in search of something better.
Bottom line is that it’s not a race.

Explore your options, talk to your advisor, switch your advisor, take different courses you may not normally consider, and do anything else that can broaden your horizons.
You will grow and learn more about yourself than you ever could by rushing to a decision.