“I know what I like to do, but what am I going to do with the rest of my life?”
So you haven’t declared your major yet. Whether you are an underclassman still exploring your options or an upperclassman who has finally realized you hate what you’re studying, picking a major can seem like an impossible task. Are you interested in too many things? Do you have no idea what you want to do? Is this indecision giving you anxiety? During Friday’s “The Academic Road Map: Unwrapping the Academic Mechanics to Graduation”, Career Services’ Mary Beth Snell and Freshman Resource Center’s Brenda Greiner addressed these fears and put them to rest. Were you unable to make it? We’ve got you covered.
Do you feel like you’re the only person who isn’t on a path toward direct success? Does everybody seem like they know exactly where they’re going and how to get there? You’re not alone. Nationally, 30-40% of incoming freshman go into college undeclared. Moreover, 75-80% of students change their major at least once.
Many students hope to major in something they can get a job with, but realistically, a person’s major does not usually translate into a predetermined career. Only 50% of grads report that their career closely relates to the subject they studied during college. In addition, it’s estimated that a person will change careers 3-5 times over the course of their adult life. For this reason, it’s essential to major in something you enjoy learning about. While you will probably forget the theories and facts you learn in the classroom, the passion and skills you attain will transfer over to any job in any field.
The first step in figuring out what you want to major in is to get to know yourself. What do you value? What are you interested in? What are your strengths and your weaknesses? Being able to identify these traits within yourself and what you enjoy learning about is key to figuring out what you want to study. Don’t be afraid to sit down and have this conversation with yourself.
The second step towards choosing a major is simple: Go to class. No matter how tempting your bed and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy may seem on Monday mornings, it’s really important to go to that 8:10 Introduction to Statistics course. By engaging in your classes, you may find that you really enjoy one of the subjects you are studying.
UP’s core curriculum is set up to assist students in making these discoveries, requiring students to take 13 classes introducing the basics of many different areas of study. These seemingly pointless classes really do have a point, as they may steer you in the direction of a deciding on a major.
Moreover, UP students are required to take elective classes outside of their major. In the College of Arts of Sciences, students are given up to 15 elective courses of WHATEVER THEY WANT. This not only allows for undeclared students to explore what they want to do, but for already declared majors to pick up another major or minor.
So after some self-discovery and studying, you may be asking yourself what next? For additional assistance, stop by Career Services and Freshman Resource Center to make a one-on-one appointment with a counselor. They’ll be happy to help you during the decision process. Additionally, come to “Connecting Interests and Skills with Majors” on Friday, October 3rd from 4-5 and “Making a Major Decision” on Friday, November 7th from 4-5 in Career Services.
Written by Emily Neelon.