Ask a Collegiette: How to Choose a Major You’ll Love

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

How did you decide which major was right for you? – Kiana

Kiana,

When I started college, I was originally a nutrition and dietetics major. This is a field that’s doing well and has so much potential, but after tackling tricky lab sciences and analyzing my true intentions for choosing the major (status and a decent salary), I knew I needed to re-evaluate my decision. I was miserable, and I didn’t want to deal with a lifetime of student loans and sleepless nights studying for something I hated.

I chose my current major, journalism, based on my personal passions and interests. I’m really into social justice, writing, feminism and community outreach, so journalism was perfect for me. I get to incorporate all of those into my major and my coursework, and it’s pretty fantastic.

When I think back on my days as a nutrition and dietetics major, I often will just laugh about it. I’m terrible at science (especially chemistry), and I don’t think I’d be so good at telling people how to eat properly as a career, since I’m still working on my own eating habits. I’m super involved in my community, so I like to be away from a desk and out in the city talking to people about important issues. Since my nutrition and dietetics major wasn’t going to allow me to do that in the same way journalism would, I said deuces to that department (and to my chemistry class, of course) after about two months into the major.

Now I absolutely love what I do, and I’m so happy! I see a career in journalism as having faith in the future and what lies ahead for our generation, and I’m pumped to be a part of that.

If you’re not 100 percent sure about what you want to do, wait it out a bit and start off your college journey undeclared. Doing so will let you have the space to take general education (gen ed) classes that you’ll likely need to graduate with any degree. I wish I had known this before I went to college, since I didn’t earn many credits from fall semester of freshman year after I changed my major.

There are also a ton of quizzes you can take online that can help guide you towards possible majors that might be a good fit for you based on your personality and talents. I highly suggest you take one, since it can give you some ideas to consider if you’re totally confused about what you might want to study. Many of the quizzes I’ve taken have said I’d be a great social worker, teacher or counselor, and it was cool to be able to consider working in one of those fields.

Basically, figuring out the right major for you is similar to figuring out if you’re in love: when you know, you know.

If you’re dreading going to class every day, you can’t see yourself in that field at graduation or you’re only in that major for the good salary, those are bad reasons to go into a field, and you’ll want to re-evaluate your motives.

Before I switched to journalism, I thought about all of these questions and so many others before making a decision. It’s definitely not something that you’ll want to take lightly or decide on overnight.

One more thing you can try is to see how you procrastinate, and decide if what you do can be turned into a profitable career. Sadly, you can’t major in Netflix or Pinterest in college, but you can go into communications to learn how to navigate social media, or film to learn the behind-the-scenes work that goes into your fave shows. When I was supposed to be studying for my anatomy and physiology exams, I’d analyze the layouts of different magazines instead, which is my kind of fun (turn down for what?). Then I realized that if I wanted to, I could work at a magazine someday. Soon afterwards, I switched my major, and I’ve never looked back.

At the end of the day, this is your decision, and you’ll know what’s right for you based on what you feel the most passionate about. Stick to your gut, but also remember to think through all of your options and the long-term effects of your decisions. Good luck!

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