If you’re like most college freshmen, you don’t have a realistic idea of what you want to do with your life. Frankly, we’d be a little suspicious if you said you did. So, understand that it’s completely normal to enter college without knowing what you want your major to be. Since it’s something that can have a profound impact on your life, choosing a major should be something you take seriously. Luckily, there are a few basic rules you can follow that will set you on the right track to picking the course of study that’s right for you.
Follow Your Interests
This is a little bit of a no-brainer, but it bears mentioning. Study something that you have some interest in. If you pick medicine because you like the job security surrounding the medical profession, but you have no interest in science, you’re signing up for a lot of frustration. You will not be able to become effectively skilled at something that turns you off mentally. Picking a major that doesn’t excite at least some part of your brain will give you an uphill battle to fight all four years.
While we still maintain you should follow your interests, it’s also important to be practical. College is an investment in your future. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you will need to work once you graduate. When you choose a major, think about whether or not it will offer you any marketable skills or make you employable in a field you like once you graduate. If the subjects you’re most passionate about don’t do that, think long and hard before spending a lot of money and time studying them.
Ignore Your Parents (a little)
Your parents are wonderful, good people with your best interests at heart, but they do not have to live your life once you graduate. You have to live your life once you graduate. If they really want you to be an archeologist, but you want a degree in conflict resolution, tell them they’re out of luck. You will only please them in the short term if you choose something you don’t like. No parent wants to see their child unhappy, so ultimately they’ll be pleased if you get busy doing something you love, even if they don’t get it.
The most important part of choosing a particular field of study is knowing yourself. You have to start this journey from the inside and work out, not start from the outside and work in. If you decided to go to Hofstra University, for example, even if they offered a particular set of classes that you liked, you probably felt something instinctively once you visited that said it was the place for you. Sure, there were probably external factors like tuition costs, location, and size, but those are only contributing factors to how you feel as a whole about the school you chose. It’s the same with a major. If you pick one just because your parents like it or just because you think it will net you a big paycheck, you’re putting yourself at risk. If you start with something that grabs you personally in some fashion, you’re already on the right path to finding your best fit.