How to Choose Your Major

The transition from high school to college can be very daunting for so many reasons: living by yourself, not knowing as many people, living off of ramen noodles and most importantly, having the power to choose your future. Where do you start? How do you know which major you’ll love the most? What if you choose the wrong major and it’s too late to switch? 

As a young 18-year-old girl first coming into college, I had the same questions and here’s how I chose my major:

  1. 1. Do What You Love

    I know this seems a bit cliche, but it is 100% true! If you enjoy writing, then join the English department. If you love to sing and dance, then become a music major. If you like programming and creating apps, then become a computer science major! It is very important that you major in something you love, because that way you will be the most successful—academically and socially.

  2. 2. Don't Follow Society

    This relates back to the first point in the sense that I have seen so many of my friends declare a Biology major on the Pre-Medicine track because it is one of the most popular majors at VCU. Please do not choose your major because you see everyone else doing it. If you choose your major just because your friends are pursuing it or because your parents told you to, then you will never be happy learning the material or even going to class. Academically, you won’t be satisfied. 

  3. 3. College Only Comes Once

    I am a Biology major with a double minor in Psychology and Medical Humanities on the Pre-Medicine track. I love learning about the human body and cannot wait to attend medical school, but I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that I don't need my double minor because it won’t increase my chances of getting into a medical program. However, I am a double minor because I love learning about Psychology, and the field of Medical Humanities is a subject that I have never been exposed to before. I am ecstatic to learn more. Don't take classes only because you think it will impress a graduate school or make your résumé stand out. Have a double major or take an interesting class because you want to learn more, and you are passionate about the subject.  You will only go to an undergraduate university once in your life, so make use of it! Take fun classes and learn a new skill in a subject that you enjoy learning about! 

  4. 4. Be Realistic

    As I mentioned before, it is important that you choose your major based on your interests and passions. However, you need to be realistic. Don't choose a music major after a week of guitar lessons, or an arts major based on your intro to art class in high school. Choose a major you know you can be successful in and one that you won't get bored of after a month of classes. Yes, it is amazing to follow your dreams, and college will give you an opportunity to do so, but when choosing a major it is also crucial to think about whether or not this major is realistic. Do you have enough background knowledge to take 120 credits of classes for 4 years? If you are interested in music, but have only started singing lessons a couple weeks ago, maybe minor in music or take more classes first. Gain more experience, and then apply!

It can be overwhelming trying to choose one subject to focus on for four years when you took all different types of subjects in high school. However, this is also an exciting part of college! You can be whoever you want: a doctor, journalist, fashion designer or lawyer! The world is your oyster.

My biggest recommendation is to choose a major that you will love learning about for four years and won't get bored of. In the beginning, it will be easy, but courses get harder the further you go on in your undergraduate program. At the end of the day, your major should be something you enjoy and are passionate about. Do not choose your major to please someone else! Happy studying!