The Basics of Choosing a Major and Minor: Planning and Preparing

So, you have made it to college, the highly anticipated time of your life, but wait you need to choose a major. When asked what is your major? Your response ranges from to hesitation upon hesitation to not having a clue. Maybe, you get to college and your advisor lets you know that your major requires a minor. You start panicking on what you can minor in? What do I do? How do I choose a major that is right for me? These are the simple basics on how to go about choosing a major and minor.

The first step in choosing a major or minor is to find your interests. Find out what you are interested in. You can do these in several ways. Ask yourself these questions: –

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do I like to do? Sometimes it also helps to ask, what don’t I like to do?
  • What makes me happy? What are some things I can’t ever stop talking about?
  • If I could I do this for the rest of my life, would I be fulfilled and satisfied?
  • Do I see myself getting out of bed each day for this career?

Feel free to write the answers to these questions down. Ask your close friends and family that know you really well to confirm if those answers are true of you. Research into what major(s) is out there that best fit into your interests. Not every interest of yours would perfectly match into the exact major. Some of your interests could be close or revolve around the major that is offered at your college.

The most important thing is to do what you are passionate about, do what you love, and do what you are great at!

  • Is the major you would like to pursue at the college you are attending? Can you transfer? What are your options? In some cases, it may be best to transfer to the college that offers your major and that has the best faculty and resources for your major. In other cases, it may not make too much of a difference. Research! Research and Research to evaluate what would work best.
  • Talk to your advisor and career-center. Some of them are experts in helping students choose a major that fits them. Reach out to them if you can. If their advice in some way conflicts with your desires, take a moment to truly evaluate it and ultimately follow your passions regardless.
  • If choosing a minor, make sure that you can still fulfill the requirements and graduate on time. You want to choose a minor that is not as demanding so as to not affect the balance with your major. Choose a minor that you love and is not too much of a stressor. A minor does not have to relate to your major or future career, it just has to be what you love!
  • As important as it is to choose a major or minor you love, you also need to pick a major that will still be relevant in the next 20-30 years. With the ever-growing Artificial intelligence replacing most tasks and duties, it is important that you choose a major that is time relevant. You do not want to work so hard for 4 years of your life only to find that your job “no longer exists.”
  • Money is important but not everything when choosing a major. With the costs of college and standard of living, it is important to make sure that your job is providing a significant amount of income that can sustain you in the future. So, please research to find out the annual salary of someone who works in your aspiring field. Consider what your lifestyle would look like and evaluate if you could stick with that career field. Also, if whatever you love does not make as much money, it is not the end of the world because you could look into venturing into extra sources of income.
  • Versatility-What can you do with your major? Do you have a variety of options? Some majors are quite limited into where you can work, job opportunities and what you can do. This makes finding a job more difficult than it already is. Is your major versatile? If you enjoy versatility in the different kind of work you can do, you need to see if the choice of your major is a good fit for you. However, you might also be ok with a major that is limited. It is a matter of personal choice.
  • What does the workload look like for my major classes? Can I handle it? Would I enjoy most of the classes? Some majors are quite heavy in essay writing, presentations or calculations. Other majors might not be intense in any of those areas. Do you love calculations? Do you mind writing pages upon pages of essays? Are you confident enough to constantly be giving presentations? Look at the list of classes you have to take for your major and find out the pattern in these classes. You can find the pattern by simply reaching out to your advisor or talking to upper classmen that are in that major. You want to be in a major or minor that makes use of your strengths, not one that takes advantage of your weaknesses.

What does your end goal look like for you in whatever major or minor you choose? With that end goal in mind, weigh your options with some of the points above and choose a major or minor that you enjoy and can see your self loving more and more in the future.

Published by Busola Oseni

In it all and through it all, give thanks! Reflections from my love journey with Abba.

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