Pick a Major before a Major Picks You

Oddly enough, most universities expect you to announce a major before you graduate.  Now, don’t panic.  If you are already 12 semesters behind with a future of indentured slavery before you, you will be wanting to pick the majors with the fewest credit hour requirements.  Chef? Sure, you’re terrified of stoves, can’t even boil water properly, and may have accidentally poisoned your boyfriend once, but you’d only have to take 6 more classes - you’d be out in a semester!

However, most students have got a lot more options that they can look through. In fact, looking through the plethora of possibilities can make selecting a major a heart-pounding hour of horror.  Luckily universities have already planned for this.  They know that you don’t know squat about your future.  So, they employ career and academic advisors, they print pamphlets and brochures, they require you to take meaningless general requirement classes.  Could it be, that general requirement classes might actually have a point (other than lowering your GPA, of course).

It turns out, in a world where most college students have a better idea of what they’d like for lunch than what they’d like to do for the rest of their lives, the classes commonly referred to as “Generals” actually serve an important purpose - they help you to narrow down your major list.  Your first semester could se you trying out economics, business, biology, dance, writing, and art.  Your second semester you could take sociology, bowling, chemistry, philosophy, and construction trades.  By the end of that first year, you’d have covered the basics for nearly every career field out there.  If you didn’t sleep through the classes, you should have a pretty good idea for what sort of career you want out of school.

General requirements saved me from becoming a Chef (really, it was a bad idea).  With about 6 majors’ changes behind me, I was beginning to get threatening letters from the registrar’s office.  I was still at a loss for my future.  Luckily, I had a required social studies class to get out of the way.  I signed up for an Anthropology class, and before I knew it I was out the door, diploma in hand, a career path before me.

Of course, taking those classes isn’t the only thing to get you to the right major.  Choosing a major is a lot like choosing a career.  It can be complicated, and you may find yourself flipping burgers along the way.  You have to get to know yourself.  If you don’t really thrive on social interaction, a job in Anthropology is probably not a good idea.  If you hate sitting down all day, don’t go into a computer based program.

So, if you don’t know what you want to do, take a look at yourself.  What are you good at, and what do you hate?  What do you expect in a job, and what could you live without?  I don’t mean money, it’s not like you can control that, anyway.  But, do you like praise?  Is independence important to you?  Do you imagine yourself locked away in an ivory tower with other professors?  Do you imagine yourself bossing people around?  There is a major and a path to every one of those goals, it’s just finding the one that is least offensive that you want to go with.  So, a quick trip to your career center and a couple of hard classes done, you should be on your way to getting a degree in no time at all.

About the Author
Kathryn is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers is one of the best sites for you if you want to further your education and enroll in the best online master’s degree programs

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Oracle Apps Guy: Pick a Major before a Major Picks You
Pick a Major before a Major Picks You
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