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Spring is coming which means MAJOR SELECTION season is coming! Sounds pretty exciting right? I mean yes, for people who know what they want to do, but probably half/half for people who are still unsure. No worries, I promised I have been there before as well. I remembered all the conflicts I had with my parents and those around me. Should we listen to them though? Of course, take some of their advice, but finally, you have to make your own decision. And here I am, a sociology major, and I can’t be much happier. Here are three tips that I’d like to share with everyone and hopefully the whole process can be as smooth as possible. 

1. Choose what you love 

It happens to a lot of people when they fall in love with a subject that won’t bring them money after graduation. For example, let’s say after taking two anthropology courses, you really love this subject and want to explore more, but your parents seem unhappy about this idea, because of the job prospect of this major. What should you do? The same kind of thing actually happened on me in my freshman year. Although my parents knew I always love the humanities, they still wanted me to be a pre-med. I could not remember how many times we fought, mostly because of the financial instabilities after graduation. At the same time, I never made compromises. I clearly knew at the time if I listened to my parents and chose those science courses; I could not be happy and would not have the passion to do it well. I would not want to see how I wasted the best four years in life doing something that I hated about. I’m sure you don’t want to get up every day and complain about the things you yearn hopelessly. Education is always a lifetime chance, value each year as a one-time experience. Choose a major that you like and that you won't regret when you look back. 

2. Your major does not equal to your job

There is a misunderstanding that the reason why you choose your major is because you want to work in this related field in the future. Though it is true for some people, this theory can’t be applied to everyone, not mentioning the fact that people usually switch jobs 3-5 times during their lifetimes. Most investment banks recruit 10%-15% of humanities majors who did not have any previous working experiences before but would fit the marketing analysts position very well. Within the consulting field, a background is even more varied and humanities majors actually have more advantages in terms of public speaking, interpersonal communications, and critical analyzing. There’re tons of opportunities out there, as long as you don’t shut the door on yourself. 

3. So what are the things I should actually learn from my major? 

Other than the content as well as the “professional skills,” there are some “soft skills” that are equally important, served as a toolbox. Examples would be interpersonal skills, writing skills, reading skills, critical thinking skills, and life-long learning skills. Though relatively abstract, these skills can be improved by each assignment over four years. These skills are those that can be beneficial to you in the long run. Though professional skills are important as well, if you possess these soft skills, they are much easier to be learned.

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Erica Yao

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