Happy Fourth of July! I hope you have fun and enjoy the fireworks today, but make sure you stay safe! Today I’m going to be talking about how to choose a college major. My senior year of college went by so fast and half way through my last semester I was still unsure of what I wanted to go to college for. It wasn’t until I took some action and talked to people I trusted that I discovered what I wanted to do with my life.
I was in my study hall period with my favorite teacher looking through the website of the college I was going to. My mother had just told me that while she will support whatever I want to do, she wanted me to know that she did not think that Social Work was meant for me. So it was back to the drawing board for choosing my college major. My teacher saw what I was doing, looking through the list of majors on the school website, and started talking to me about my future. She asked me what I wanted to do after college, and I felt guilty as I answered, “I don’t know.” I felt, this late in the game and so close to graduating that I should know what to do with my life. My teacher was quiet for a moment as she thought. We were pretty close so she knew who I was and what I would be good at. That was when she suggested Family and Consumer Science teacher.
It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I had always loved FACS, even the class in middle school where we learned how to sew (even though I’d been sewing since I was 5). Those classes were always my favorite and in high school I signed up for as many of them as I could. My junior year of high school I joined the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA, which is a FCS-based national organization) chapter at my school. I still say it was the best decision I made in high school. In short, FACS was my life in my later years of high school and I hadn’t even thought about it for college.
So now you’re wondering what you should major in. Maybe you’re a high school senior lost in the sea of college applications and the huge decision of what you want to do with your life. Maybe you’re a college sophomore questioning your commitment to your major and wondering if it’s the right decision. These are both very real and scary to go through. I know because I, and many others, were there. Below are my top three tips to choosing a college major and I’ve also compiled advice from other bloggers on the subject and linked those posts for you. I hope that these resources will be able to help you and can ease your worry over your future.
Talk to people you trust
This one really helped me. My mom telling me that Social Work just wasn’t for me pushed me to look further for a major. When I talked to my teacher about it, she was better able to help me think about and choose my major. She did this because she knew me. We had worked closely for two years, she knew of my family and my troubles and I of hers. My advice to you is to talk to your parents, a sibling, a close friend, a teacher. Tell them you’re unsure of what you want to do for college. Ask them for their wisdom. I would even flat out ask, “What do you think I would be good at?” This widens your choices, but it also narrows them. You may be surprised at what you hadn’t thought about before. These people know you, so they know what you’re good at and what you like to do and it will help you choose your major.
Take a personality test
Personality test are extremely insightful as to who you are. You might not realize something about yourself, so taking these tests opens your eyes to what you might not know about yourself. Along with personality types, there are also lists that correspond to jobs that generally go well with your personality type. For example, after I decided to become a FACS teacher, one of my teachers assigned two personality tests for my Interpersonal Relationships class. One of them said I would make a good teacher, and the other said I would be good in home economics (which is what FACS used to be called). I would have never thought to put the two together before. Because of this, I would take at least two personality tests (the most popular being the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Big Five) and research any of the corresponding jobs that sound interesting to you and see if you can combine any (swimming instructor with entrepreneur to open your own swimming school for example).
Think about what you enjoy
I really enjoyed FACS in high school, but I didn’t even think about turning that into a career. You may have to think outside the box with this one, but by brainstorming you can come up with several different jobs that you would really enjoy doing because you enjoy one aspect of it. For example, let’s say you enjoy hanging out with your friends. Come up with a list of jobs that you would have to be around and work with people in a group setting. This will give you several different careers that you can explore further that you would be interested in due to the correlation to what you enjoy. This is better than if you’re an introvert (which you will learn from the personality tests above) and try to go into a job that requires you to do group work all the time. Plus, you should always do what you enjoy. It makes you happier in the long run.
Major Advice from other bloggers
How to Choose The Perfect College Major – The Young Hopeful
College 101: How to Choose A Major – Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things
7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Picking a Major – Life as a Dare
5 Tips to Help You Choose a College Major – Chase the Write Dream