The Do’s And Don’ts Of Picking A Major At Ohio State

Maybe you’re a prospective freshman in hot anticipation of designing your first semester schedule at orientation this summer. Maybe you’re a veteran Buckeye terrified of crafting your course of study, unwilling to commit to one specific track. Or maybe you’re being pulled in all directions -- on one hand eager to move on with your degree, but also scared of picking the wrong one. Wherever you are on the spectrum, a do’s and don’ts list is a helpful tool to weigh the pros and cons, and the upcoming suggestions may be helpful in mapping your course of study.

Do consider your interests.

Passion should be the primary consideration when picking your course of study. If you hate your major, don’t sentence yourself to four (or more) years of it. It’s always easier to pursue an area you enjoy as opposed to one you don’t, and your GPA may thank you for choosing a field you’re excited to work in.

Do consider your talents.

Ability to do the required work is important. It’s not everything, and it’s not an excuse to major in something that repulses you just because you’re good at it. Talent in a certain area does make life easier in the college whirlwind, and it could make life much easier if you put those skills to use in the workplace.

Do consider the job you want.

It’s terrifying to think about as a collegiate child, but have an idea of what you want to do with your life. Salary, job availability, travel and work environments are all crucial considerations. Yes, tons of people switch careers multiple times, but that doesn’t nullify the importance of thinking ahead.

Do take advice from your advisor.

Make friends with your advisors! At a school like Ohio State, they are an extremely valuable resource for your undergraduate years, so take advantage. Don’t be afraid to schedule meetings and speak honestly about your goals. They’ve heard it all at a place like this, so don’t feel insecure.

Don’t fret about what others think.

Ultimately, your choices are your choices. Your happiness is your happiness. Others will offer their career suggestions, but they aren’t the ones living it day after day. Trust your instincts on a decision like this, because its consequences are on you.

Don’t take projected salary as the be-all, end-all.

You have to make a living somehow, and you have to consider your lifestyle when choosing a job after graduation. Don’t be fooled - it’s not everything, and it may not be reliable. Salaries fluctuate in multiple careers, year after year. Being driven solely by money won’t lead to personal satisfaction in the long run, either.

Don’t be afraid to change it.

You can’t settle when it comes to a decision like this. If you don’t like your major, change it. Add to it. Subtract from it, then add something else. Switch paths entirely. Whatever you do, remember that it’s your choice, and Ohio State can offer resources in almost every area imaginable. Discover what you genuinely want and roll with it.  

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