Choose The Right College Major With These Expert Tips

Choosing a major is an important process, and you should give yourself enough time to assess all the important variables. It’s quite easy to get overwhelmed when contemplating the future. It’s even easier when you feel like you’re in a time crunch, and like everything depends on it. However, with some guidance, you will be able to find the right major.

The key to picking the right major lies in combining introspection with thorough research. You need to dig inside in order to find your aspirations and what you’re truly good at. At the same time, you might not have enough information on a certain area of expertise and what it truly is. If you want to read more about that, as well as other tips that are going to help you choose the right major, you have come to the right place.

Start early and keep track of your thoughts

Choosing a major should not be a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision. Even though some people know from a young age exactly what they want to do, this is usually not the case. Waiting for the decision to come out of nowhere most likely isn’t going to do you any good. Instead, it is important for you to take time to contemplate and digest all the information in order to make a well-informed decision. 

In addition, it’s highly recommended that you keep track of your thoughts throughout this journey. It will help you reflect more constructively on where you are with your search. In this journal of sorts, the key information to write down are the best college majors that you’ve found, the requirements for them, your motivation, as well as a quick rundown of the opportunities that it offers in the future. You can always go back and revise if you’ve found something better, or if you just want to compare different options.

Extrinsic motivation is a short-term drive

One of the most common mistakes when choosing a college major is based on people not being able to distinguish between short-term and long-term drive. This is similar to romanticizing a certain field to an extent where it is not representable of what it entails anymore. There are two main strategies to tackle this issue, and both of them are based on painting the full picture. 

The first one is to dig deep and try and understand why you want to pursue this major in the first place. If the answer is vague and/or highly superficial, you might want to consider opting for something else. The second one is to learn more about the hardships of the major that you’re looking into rather than just the positives. Every profession comes with its difficulties, but many people don’t think about that on time. This leads to unpleasant surprises down the road, and it would be best to avoid that.

Pick based on values, but also your abilities 

Values aren’t the only aspect that is important for consideration when choosing a major. A large role in your success is played by what you have to bring to the table. This doesn’t mean that you already have to be highly knowledgeable and experienced in what you want to do in the future. The whole point of studying is to get to that point. But, you will probably have a rough time picking a major that you just aren’t all that good at. 

So, it’s all about balance – you want to pick something in which you have the potential to grow, but also enjoy the journey. Solely focusing on either abilities or values can possibly result in unhappiness and regret. 

Think about employability

Surely, employability is something that you don’t want to think about right now, but it is important to do so. It is common sense that some majors offer a higher number of employment options. If you yearn to become financially independent as soon as possible, this is definitely something to think about. 

In addition, some majors will require you to move away to a certain location when you start looking for a job. That might seem like something in the distant future now, but it is still something to consider. Are you okay with leaving your hometown, town you currently live in – or even your country down the road?

Seek out the personal experience before you decide

The last tip on this list is arguably the most insightful one, as it helps you gain necessary insight into the major that you’re interested in. What you should do is to seek out different people that have experience in what you’re interested in. So, people that have finished the major in question, professors, and even the people that work in a branch that this major leads you to in the future. Ask them about everything that comes to mind, their insight is invaluable. In addition – don’t settle for only one opinion, go and find as many people as possible.

This process can be a stressful one. Be sure to research well, use the tips from this article, and you will find a major that fits your goals.

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