How to Not Choose Your Major

When I was in high school, I had no idea what I was going to major in in college. More importantly, I had no idea what there was to major in college. How can you choose something if you don’t even know what your options are? Now, you may be wondering, “Meagan, why did you not just go to your universities website and look at the different majors available?" The thing is, I did do that, and I read through the different majors available, but what type of job was that major going to get me? Some majors are self explanatory as to the job that would be associated with the major. For example, an engineering major would most likely get a job as an engineer. But what about my major now: Health Sciences. What kind of job am I going to get with a health science degree and how did I get to this point? Well, here is the story of how I became a health science major and why you shouldn’t do what I did.



I always knew I was going to go to college. My mom, dad and older brother had all attended college and it was never really a discussion with my parents of if I wanted to go or not. As my sophomore year of high school came to a close, I knew I needed to begin my search for what colleges I wanted to apply to by the end of that next year. By mid-junior year, I had figured out a few options for deciding where I wanted to apply. For starters, my parents' requirements were that the colleges had to be both in-state and public universities. So that narrowed down my search quite a bit. 


My biggest dilemma was figuring out what I wanted to study in college. What degree was I going to obtain? Somehow, I decided I wanted to be a nurse. The way I came to that conclusion was because I knew I didn’t want to work a typical nine-to-five-sit-at-a-desk-all-day job, I wanted to be moving around. I also didn’t want to have to dress fancy and have to wear a pant suit to work everyday, because that’s just not me. After some deliberation in my head, I came to the conclusion that I was going to apply to become a nurse for a few different reasons:


1. The medical field has always intrigued me and although I did not want to commit the time and money into becoming a full blown doctor, nursing seemed like a happy alternative. 

2. I liked that nurses were active for their shifts

3. Nurses wear scrubs and I liked the idea of working in pjs

So, I began searching for schools in Virginia that had nursing programs. There were more than a few and I visited three out of four of my potential choices. Long story short, I got into my current university (VCU) and after taking my prerequisites freshman year, I could then apply to the nursing program. I did that and well, I didn’t get in. I applied again as a sophomore and didn’t get in that time, either. The truth is, I wasn’t even sad when I didn’t get in the second time applying. 


The idea of becoming a nurse wasn’t really ever set in stone in my mind. I was kind of just like, “Well okay, I guess I am going to try and become a nurse.” It wasn’t like I had always dreamed of becoming a nurse since I was five or everyone in my family were all nurses, I just kind of blindly choose a major that I thought would suit me (and I was wrong). 


One thing I will always be grateful for is my parents’ support and choice to let me choose my major. My parents never persuaded me to choose a certain major because of job salary or thinking a certain major is more prestigious than the other, and that I will always be thankful for. 


After I didn’t get into the nursing program at my university, I was already essentially half way done with college, and I wanted to keep it that way. As much as I wish I could have started over and gone back in time to choose a different major at the beginning of my freshman year of college, I couldn’t, and I didn’t want to throw away four semesters of classes and tuition. I knew I needed to choose a new major that I hopefully liked and but more importantly one that I had a majority of the classes completed in. That’s when I found HPEX. HPEX stands for Health, Physical Education and Exercise science. 

Luckily, HPEX was a great option for me for a variety of different reasons. One of the reasons I decided to go for nursing was because I have an interest in wellness and helping others. Now, HPEX wont give the vigorous training nurses must go through in their classes and hospital work, but it will give me a starting point for becoming a nurse in the future, or any medical job.


So, what was this long and boring story trying to tell you? I decided to tell this story so that if other people, like me, don’t realize there are hundreds of different majors out there, that you should not just settle on a major because it feels safe. Look into all the different majors the university you are attending has and look at the different job possibilities for that major. I didn’t do this well enough before going to college and ended up picking the wrong major for myself. Luckily, everything ended up working out me, and if you are in the same predicament that I was in, things may seem frustration or confusing at first, but if you persevere and keep your options open everything will always end up working out in the end.

If you are looking into different majors and need a little help obtaining information, I recommend going to College Majors 101's website and exploring all the different information on various college majors they have.

Pictures: Cover photo, 1, 2, 3