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Undecided No More: Tips from a Former Undecided Major

Navigating through college undecided can be stressful and overwhelming, but if you stay grounded, you can learn what works best for you (and maybe what doesn’t!) I spent my entire freshman year as an undecided major, so I collected advice from others and things that worked for me in order to pass on to other undecided majors. 

  1. Talk about it! 

Use your academic advisor as a resource and don’t be afraid to schedule meetings to talk about how you are feeling and what interests you. I had candid conversations with my advisor and we discussed which classes I liked more and what about them excited me. Baylor’s career center is also open for appointments, so you can talk to an advisor there and they can assess your strengths and weaknesses or give you more information about different fields of study that you may be interested in. I had conversations with a lot of my trusted family and friends and it was interesting to see what they thought my strengths were and what they thought I should explore. I often came bursting into my friends’ dorms in distress and was often calmed down when I sat down to explain my feelings on the major search process. 

  1. Take personality tests

Personality tests are not the end-all-be-all by any means, but they can help guide you in the right direction or help you learn more about yourself. You do not need to put yourself in a box because of what your results might tell you. These helped me analyze my strengths and weaknesses and I tied it into how these might translate into a career. 

Here are links to certain personality tests below: 16 Personalities Test

Skills You Need – this site presents skills that are useful in the workplace and evaluates your competency in each one. 

  1. Ask yourself, “Why?”

If you are interested in a certain field or career, ask yourself why you would be a good fit for it and why it would be meaningful to you. Oftentimes, people may chase certain career paths for the money, which can end up in an unfulfilling and unsatisfying life. While your major may not necessarily correlate with your career, you need to think of your goals and aspirations and align them with your potential major. 

  1. Explore! 

Reach out to people in careers you might be interested in – this can be called an informational interview. Ask them about their career and what they majored in during their undergraduate career and how that helped them. Try out different shadowing or internship opportunities and utilize connections you may already have through friends of friends or family members. In addition, you can utilize platforms like LinkedIn and search for people in your field of interest and ask them to explain what they like about their career or what their day-to-day looks like. 

For example, I had some interest in pursuing physical therapy and it just so happened that my brother hurt his shoulder. Obviously, this was a very specific circumstance and I did not purposely want my brother to strain his shoulder during baseball practice. I went with him to all of his physical therapy appointments and asked the PT if he could explain to me what he was doing and which muscle groups the exercises were benefitting. I learned a lot from that short time period and it was a super helpful way for me to test the waters on whether or not I would be a good PT. 

  1. Remember that it will be okay!

I often forget that a lot of other students enter college with an undecided major and so many people also change paths from the one they started in. In addition, your major does not necessarily equate to a career. For example, you do not have to graduate with a political science or English degree to attend law school and you do not have to be a biology or chemistry major to apply to medical school. Some employers value certain life skills such as critical thinking and organization over what an applicant’s undergraduate major was. 

It is completely okay not to have declared a major going into college, and you do not need to have everything figured out. Trust that you will find your way to what is meant for you, and work diligently in school so that you do not limit your options. Be open-minded because half of the struggle can oftentimes be finding what you DON’T want to do. Good luck on your major search process!

Michelle Tasaki is a sophomore at Baylor University and grew up in Maui, Hawai'i-- bringing her island lifestyle to the middle of Texas. She has a passion for social justice issues, loves exploring the outdoors, and curling up to read a good psychological thriller once in a while. She has a love for all things fashion and thrifting, and is pursuing a degree in Public Health within Baylor's Honors Program with aspirations to attend law school post-grad.
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