How to Choose a Major (the right way)

by A Guest Author

When people talk about college experiences, they say things like “it’s a time to find yourself”, “explore your surroundings” or ”have fun!”. And although these are all true and accurate sayings about your upcoming college experience, people seem to forget the pressure that comes with it. For the first time in a majority of students’ life they have to make a real lasting decision and for most of us that is a lot to handle. And it should be because it IS A BIG DEAL and making these kinds of choices the right way does take some time getting used to. So how are you supposed to choose a major? How are you supposed to decide the one thing you want to learn about and possibly have a future in? Our time is valuable too and none one wants to waste our time in classes that we don’t enjoy or aren’t going to help us get a degree. So here a few tips on choosing a major the right way.

1.       Take a wide range of  the right kind of classes:

In order to know what you want to do, you have to learn a little and go out of your comfort zone. But there are obviously a lot of random and fun sounding classes like “intro to American Musicals!” or “the sociology of drinking!”  and because of this you’ll need a little help sorting through them. One indicator of a good class for you is whether or not you’ll actually enjoy the content being taught. That means you choose classes not because they sound entertaining, easy or exciting but because you think you’ll like learning about the material. That means you won’t mind putting in work or going that extra mile in order to better understand the subject. And if you feel that way about a class even a little bit, you owe it to yourself to take it! Choosing classes this way will set you up for success because even if you don’t end up selecting it as your major you will probably end up getting a good grade. And a good GPA can go a long way in the job market!

2.       Know your school:

For most universities or colleges, when you apply you have to choose a specific school like the Business school or Arts and Sciences etc. It’s really important when you apply to know what makes your school different and what the requirements are in order to obtain a degree. The details will help you understand what general path to take because it will show you what areas the school focuses on or what options you will have when you are in the school. And if you can choose the right school then you are that much closer to choosing the right major. Plus choosing a school is usually easier because it is less specific than a major and you won’t have to know exactly what you want to do. So if you know that you are more artistic rather than business savvy or more book worm than mathematically inclined then choosing the right school should be easy.

3.       Take general requirements FIRST:

Okay so I saved the best for last because this is probably the most IMPORTANT piece of information for all incoming college students. If you are not sure about your major and maybe even if you are, take only core or general requirement classes during your first semesters at college. This is because these classes are mandatory to graduate so no matter your major you have to take them. As a result these courses are sort of “freebie” classes because as long as they fit into the requirement they will count towards your degree. And the great thing about these courses are there are a lot of them and they fall into really broad categories such as historical context classes, natural sciences or literature and arts. So by taking these kinds of classes it should be really easy and beneficial to explore your options. It will also help you get your degree within four years because if you choose a major too soon and then switch to a different field then some of your classes might not go towards getting a degree. As a result you might have to take another semester to fulfill your requirements which could cost you a lot more money.

Hopefully these tips will help you excel in your new college experience because despite the pressure it is still a time to “find yourself” and “have fun”. And when it is does get hard and you feel the pressure remember that there is a lot of help and advice available to you.

About The Author

Amanda Greene is Brand Manager at, leading online supllier of Residence Hall Linens.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt October 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm

As a Newbie, I am permanently browsing online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you


Andrew A. Sailer November 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

You have the freshest writing form. Like Kurt Vonnegut or something.


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