Where Do You Fit In: Choosing a Major and How to Find the Right One

You’ve decided on the college you want. You’ve decided if you’re living on campus. You just have one last thing to decide - where do you fit in?

College is a big decision - there’s no question about that. It’s hard trying to find which university you feel most at home at, if you want to commute or live on campus, and even just the transition from high school to college can be difficult. On top of all of this, you must also choose a major. But how do you know which one is the right fit for you?

I understand that there are some rare cases where someone may know what they want to do from an early age, and even have a fool-proof plan to get there. However, if you aren’t one of these rarities, fear not - you’re not alone. According to BusinessWire, at least 51% students are not confident in their career path when enrolling, and about 66% feel overwhelmed when choosing a major. 

Now, I can only speak from my personal experience, but I know how stressful it can be changing a major. I’ve done it twice. The uncertainty. The fear. The stress. It’s a lot. Hopefully, you’ll find something you love and stick with it, and maybe I can help by sharing a few tips I’ve learned in my experience.

For me, one of the things that helped while I was stranded in the land of uncertainty was simply knowing I wasn’t alone. I grew up with a mom who had known from an early age what she wanted to do, never wavering on her major, so when I began to question my decisions, I thought it was unusual. I thought I was the rarity. Soon enough though, I learned that it’s completely normal to change your mind, and your major. Many students go through this, especially early on in their college career, and knowing that there were so many others like me made me feel a lot less stressed about my situation.

Another thing that I found helpful was forgetting about job titles and career paths. I know, it sounds kind of opposite, right? When I actually stopped thinking about technicalities though, I finally began thinking about things that I love doing, what makes me happy. For me, that was writing. Once I established something I love to do, I began searching for jobs that had to do with writing. From there, I was able to establish what direction I wanted to go in for my major. Zooming out to see the big picture really helped me to narrow down what I love doing, and how I could incorporate that in my future career.

I have one word: goals. Setting goals for myself has been a lifesaver when it comes to planning for the future. Once I finally sat down and figured out what I wanted to accomplish in whatever my future was going to be, the picture got a lot clearer. This doesn’t have to be anything formal, either. Maybe you just keep your goals in your head. Or maybe you write them in a journal. The point is: set the goals. I promise, it helped me a lot in narrowing down my major, as well as helping me feel less stressed because I felt like I had a plan.

My last piece of advice is to simply not be afraid. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to go for something you want. Don’t be afraid of what people will think. This is your choice, so the person who ultimately has to be happy with your decision is you. I know that it’s scary to fail, but if you don’t leap, what if you miss out on something sweet at the bottom? I was hesitant when changing my major to English because I was unsure if I could really write for a living. Getting rid of the self-doubt and fear spurred me into making the switch, and now I’ve never been happier. Fear can often cloud our judgement, so just remember that whatever it is, you’ve got this.

I’d like to end this by saying that all of these tips are strictly based on what I found has helped me. They may or may not work for everyone, but in the end we will all find where we belong, one way or another.