You’re always asked from the time you’re little what you want to be when you grow up. That question gets a lot more real as you reach the end of high school with college right around the corner.
The question for high school seniors becomes “What are you majoring in?” which is no small question to answer.
Get a jump start on your life in college and beyond with these 7 ideas to help you find the perfect major for you.
1. You Don’t Have to Choose Right Now
There’s nothing saying you have to go into college with your major declared right from the start. In fact, as many as half of all college students start off their college careers undeclared.
You have plenty of time to explore different interests before you make a decision on your major.
Try not to let this choice stress you out too much. Starting college is already a big deal without worrying that you’re falling behind. It’s better to eventually land on the right major than have to change it down the line.
2. Think About What You Enjoy
One of the biggest factors in deciding your college major is your personal interests.
Since you’ve been asked what you want to be when you grow up for your entire life, you probably have a good idea about the answer. Now’s the time to expand on those thoughts to get to the right major.
Whether you like doing math, have a thing for science, or feel at home at center stage, you probably already have a good idea of what you enjoy spending your time on.
3. Take Your Strengths Into Account
Now think about what you’re good at.
Certain careers require certain traits, that’s all there is to it.
You can’t be an elementary school teacher if you aren’t patient and like being around kids. Accountants need to be good with numbers and chefs should know a thing or two about food.
It’s a good idea to play to your strengths when choosing a major so you don’t end up knee-deep in a career path you aren’t cut out for.
4. Consider the Time Investment
What kind of life do you want to lead after college?
Some majors lead to careers that are far more time-intensive than others. You could be looking at some pretty long hours and a lot of hard work through college and into your professional life.
You know best how you’d like your life to look. Picking a career to support that is the best way to live a happy life in the long run.
5. Take an Introductory Course
Introductory courses give you the chance to explore a major before you ever commit to it.
Try out any major you’re interested in and earn a credit toward your degree without declaring right away. That way you get a taste for the classes and the workload you’d be taking on if you pursued that major.
What you do from that point on, whether you continue in similar courses or try something else, is totally up to you.
6. Talk to a Career Counselor
The career center at your college is there to be used for this exact purpose.
A career counselor can help you find the perfect major for you by listening to what you have to say and offering suggestions. They may also provide you with an assessment and go over the results with you, pointing out what majors might be best suited for you.
Sometimes talking to someone else about your thoughts and feelings can be the best way to figure out exactly what path you want to take.
7. Think About Backup Majors
It never hurts to have a Plan B!
Don’t just figure out one end all be all major for yourself. Give it some real thought and come up with two or three backup majors you are also interested in.
Life is unpredictable.
In the event something happens, you’ll already have a backup plan ready to go.
Slow down and take a deep breath.
It may feel like you’re on a train heading straight for a brick wall as you approach the end of senior year, but if you look again you’ll see there’s always a tunnel for you to pass through unscathed.
You don’t have to pick your major right away. There’s no reason to declare until you’re ready.
Use these 7 ideas to find the right college major so that when you are ready, you know you’re making the best decision for you and your future.