How should I decide on a major?Answered
I'm a junior and getting increasingly more anxious about the college application process. I've been looking into majors in communications, psychology, or finance but I really just don't know. I have a list of colleges I want to apply to but I'd preferably be able to decide on a major before I commit to any. What helped you decide on your major?
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Hi! I'm in 9th grade, but I think I can help. I was torn, and I mean TORN, between writing, architecture, and neuroscience.
This is what I did.
I've always thought I would be a neuroscience major. But in 8th grade, I discovered how much I LOVED writing. And then I got super into architecture.
First, it took a very long time to realize, which of these do I actually want to do?
Think of it this way: Look into jobs with these majors. Be honest, which is your favorite?
Next, look at the salaries. Will this be sufficient?
Our capitalist country constantly tells us that success means wealth, but take some time, and think: what does success look like for you?
Next, look to see if these colleges have the majors you like.
After, look at your classes. Look at your ec's. Which do you like? Why? If you like math, for example, maybe finance is right for you!
Don't be anxious. Enjoy high school while you have it. Rejection from NYU isn't the worst thing ever. Just be happy.
Remember- minors are a thing too! I heard this and its very helpful: Major in something that will get you a job, minor in something that you love.
My personal example:
Neuroscience Pre-med, architecture, and writing.
1. I would love doing any of these!
2. My favorite of the jobs would be a writer.
3. Best salary- neurosurgeon
4. Success for me means doing what I love and helping others.
5. All my colleges have what I want.
6. I enjoy my English class, but I like more science extracurriculars.
7. My decision: I am going to pursue Pre-Med Neuroscience. If its too much (which it very well may be), my back up plan is to major in Architecture or film. My minor will be writing.
I hope this helps :)
So I was deciding between 3 distinct areas and what I factored in was career outcomes personal interest(will you enjoy it) previous involvement. Due to that, I decided I want to do engineering (civil). It has good career outcomes I'm really interested in, I feel like Ill will enjoy it and I have some STEM ECs.
(Previous involvement is something that is considered at selective schools for reasons if you like I can explain if you ask.)
Also, check to make sure what you want in a school includes your major.
I can't answer the last 2 questions but here are some helpful links regarding the 1st.
Also try to have your major match up with other post-college circumstances. If you want to live in the midwest don't become a marine biologist for example. Also you can always decide to apply undecided and then decide on 1 of the 3 majors but you can also switch to a different major but that varies in difficulty depending on the school but more or less all schools allow it.
Also one last thing to consider is standout features of 1 that isn't a characteristic of others. Like communications may have xyz thing that you love so thus you major in comm(whether this be a task traveling for work etc). Also consider if you get a minor in something as that can provide a back up career option.
Really hope this helps and feel free to ask for clarification as Id be happy to help. Good luck!
A great way to figure out your intended major is to try and gain experience in the fields that you're interested in as kind of like a trial run. This can mean taking a related elective in school, looking for online courses in the field through platforms like EdX or Coursera, listening to lecture series on YouTube, or looking for real experience like internships or volunteer work in the field. You can also look for sample college classes, as some colleges allow high school students to sit into some classes.
If you want an example, I figured out that I'm definitely going for a Philosophy-English double major by doing these things. First, I took a bunch of philosophy classes online (you can find lots of different free classes with a little bit of research), watched a bunch of online lectures, read a bunch of papers, and it really helped me realize how much I LOVE philosophy. As for English, I've always been inclined toward it, and I confirmed it by getting a small writing job and by going to a sample class through Passport to Rollins (It's a virtual thing by Rollins College that lets you learn a lot about the college).
I know I would have wanted to know this stuff a few months ago, so I hope this helped!
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