Posts Tagged ‘choosing a major’
If you’re like most freshmen and sophomore college students, you either haven’t chosen a major yet, or you’re rethinking the major you did choose. You may have even already changed your major once and are considering changing it again! The fact is, most college students don’t walk into their first lecture knowing what they want to do with their lives, and four years later, walk across the stage, diploma in hand, with the same plans. It’s just not that simple.
In college, you will uncover talents you didn’t know you had. You will become interested in subjects you didn’t even know existed. You may realize that despite how hard you try, there are some things you just were not meant to do. You may also discover something you enjoyed on a high school level isn’t so much fun at the college level. Academia is full of doors of opportunity swinging open, left and right, and you’re being asked to pick just one and follow through? For the rest of your life? How can you be sure which is the right door?
Of course choosing a major is overwhelming! So here is a list of tips to consider when choosing your college major:
If you have no clue:
- Get your mandatory core classes out of the way. This will free up your schedule in the following semesters so when you do choose your major, you will have time to really focus in on it, and simply enjoy doing what you love all day, everyday.
- Start at a community college. This will allow you to get your feet wet in some classes that interest you without breaking the bank.
- Take time away from school. By taking a few months to travel or work, you’ll be more in touch with what subjects you start to miss and why.
If you have some clue:
- Do your research. Talk to students in the major, professors, and individuals who have the job you someday seek. Never rely on how the media portrays a particular career.
- Make your college catalog your best friend. Here you will find all the courses you are required to take for any major. Read their descriptions. If you’re bored to tears or if you’re already completely lost, chances are, you haven’t found your major.
- Visit your career center/liberal arts department. Most campuses have councilors and/or programs there to advise students on choosing a major including working with you to help get in the classes you need, when you need them, so you can graduate on time.
Things to remember:
- Your major should be a combination of something that interests you and something you’re capable of doing. Choosing a major you can’t stand just because you’re good at it won’t bring you happiness or satisfaction. Choosing a major you love but can’t handle won’t bring you success.
- Choosing a major in a field that is flourishing might land you a great job after college, but if that field doesn’t excite you, what’s the point?
- Your major should not be dictated by anyone except yourself. While family members and professors may wish to steer you in a particular direction, it’s your life and your future.
- Your major is not your identity or destiny. You can continue to pursue many other doors of opportunity through clubs, organizations, and as hobbies. You could graduate with a degree in one area, and use it to contribute to something completely different. Your major isn’t a lock-down on your life.
- Everyone hates their major at some point, often right before exams. If you’re considering switching majors, take time to seriously consider if you’re truly uninterested and/or incapable, or if you’ve just had a rough week.
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If you’re a recent high school grad getting ready for college next fall, you probably cannot contain your excitement. College is the reason you’ve been working your butt off the last year and a half–and sometimes way longer. You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into your college applications (hopefully just metaphorically), and in just a couple of months you will finally reap the benefits of your hard work.
Often times, college freshman are so excited about just being in college that they lose sight of their academic aspirations. There’s so many other things to worry about–your living situation, new roommate, that guy down the hall who gave you some spare quarters so you could do a load of laundry, the 15 or so a capella groups you’re auditioning for, and not to mention the football game on Saturday.
So when it comes time to register for classes, you might be thinking the following thoughts:
What should I do? I gave this college classes thing no forethought. I’m never going to graduate. What do I want to do with my life?!
If that’s the case, here are 5 tips to help undecided freshman decide what they should register for their first semester:
1. Get your general education requirements out of the way
Most colleges and universities require that their students take a core curriculum. A lot of times, these classes might not have anything to do with your interest or major–English majors might have to take some quantitative reasoning and biology majors might have to take a a fine arts credit. Whether or not you know what you’re going to major in, getting your gen ed requirements out of the way is a great strategy. You don’t want to have to take a physics class you’ve been dreading your second semester senior year.
2. Follow your passions
Even if you’re not sure what you want to major in, you still have subjects you’re passionate about or at least enjoy. Chances are, your genuine interests will lead you to your field of study.
3. Choose by professor
Sometimes you don’t choose a class for the subject matter as much as you do because of the world renowned professor who teaches it. There might be a beloved or even quite famous and influential professor who teaches at your college that you have the opportunity to learn from!
4. Word of mouth
If you chat it up with upperclassman, your RA, friends of friends who go or have gone to your school, you might hear about a must-take class. It could be super interesting, it could be a great way to get a gen ed credit taken care of, just keep your ears open for what students are saying.
5. The “cool” factor
While browsing through your college’s course catalog, you might come across a class that makes you say, “Woah, they teach that here?” It could be a class about the Beatles, Harry Potter or even Star Wars. You never know! If you’re undecided, following what piques your interest is a great way to get started.
Do you have any tips for undecided college freshman? Comment and share!
Do words like business, philosophy, chemistry, literature, communications etc. just make you bored and want to fall asleep? Then you might want to take your college aspirations to a university that offers a different kind of major.
Take a look at these 7 out of the ordinary college majors:
1. Bowling Industry Management
This is what we’d call a turkey of a major. Learn to bowl without bumpers at Vincennes University.
2. Canadian Studies
This really shouldn’t be that weird, but it is! When have you ever learned anything about Canada in a class? It’s actually kind of sad. If this brings a sweet maple tear down your cheek, enroll now at SUNY Plattsburgh.
3. Professional Nanny
Thinking about a theater major? This would be the perfect minor to pair with it from Sullivan University. If you write some diaries, you might even get a movie deal where Scarlett Johansson plays you!
4. Poultry Science
Bawk, bawk bawk. You are not a chicken if you leave with a degree from North Carolina State University in poultry science. You are our hero.
It always seems like there’s one sole bagpiper marching by his lonely self on a misty hillside after the morning rain. Join his cause and the bagpipe revolution at Carnegie Mellon University.
6. The Beatles
At the Liverpool Hope University, instead of yellow school busses they have yellow submarines and instead of normal school weeks, classes are 8 days a week. Does this sound up your alley (or Abbey Road?).
7. Sports ministry
Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi offers the dream degree for folks who love youth sports and want to be ministers. It’s a combo degree that sounds like holy home run!
Is there a college major you wish existed? Comment and let us know!
Heading off to college is very exciting. You’ll be entering a whole new world, as our magic-carpet-riding genie-conjuring friend would tell you. And, as with what happens when becoming part of any new world, it’s nearly impossible to know all the in’s and out’s from the get-go–a certain red-headed mermaid-gone-human could tell you that.
Incoming freshman, you’ll be surprised at how different college might be from your initial expectations. But, to help ease the transition from high school to college, here are 5 things you’ll want to know before you start:
1. Major change
Yes, college will be a totally, crazy, incredible, major change. But, more importantly, chances are you’ll actually majorly change your major. One semester you’ll be all about horticulture and saving the environment, and the next you’ll want to transfer to the business school to get an internship at some huge oil conglomerate. The point is, just expect the unexpected.
2. Always be on your dream job search
Whatever dream job you’re working for at the moment, always keep it on mind. You never know when an opportunity might just be passing by. It’s never too early to network, talk to professors or local businesses. They could have the perfect internship for you during the school year or job waiting for you after you graduate.
3. How to microwave popcorn in a dorm room
Pro: Your college dorm probably has very high quality, sensitive smoke detectors. Con: Burning a bag of microwave popcorn can lead to 250 students in their pajamas (and there’s always one in a towel) waiting outside in the cold at midnight. Don’t be the culprit. Watch your popcorn pop carefully–don’t leave the room while it’s going.
4. You’re paying a lot of money, get the most out of it
If you’re not sure that you’re getting the most out of your education, think about the number of nights this month you spent partying, and then look at the number of zeros on your tuition. This simple exercise will most likely lead you to the conclusion that you definitely need to use the resources more that you’re paying such a steep price for. This includes the libraries–the books, study areas and computer labs–professors and research opportunities.
5. Independence –the double-edged sword
By the time you leave for college, you’re probably dying to get away from home and live on your own. Just remember these things still need to happen: grocery shopping, laundry, household chores, and overall taking care of yourself. Without a 24/7 caretaker (aka mom and dad), you might be surprised just how tedious these little thing can be.
So, before you head to college, we just want you to be prepared–a certain murderous lion would definitely want you to know that.
Do you have any other tips? Comment and let us know!
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