Four Wrong Reasons to Choose a Major
Many students take a long time to choose a major—or wind up switching majors during their college careers. College is a time to explore, and there’s nothing wrong with changing your major—as long as it doesn’t impact your graduation time or tuition. However, it’s better to pick the right one the first time. Here are a few reasons for picking a major that are more likely to lead to a switch.
Because your parents want you to
Your passion is music—but your parents want you to be an engineer. Despite what they say, that’s not a good reason to choose an engineering degree. You’ll be stuck dedicating your college life to a very challenging field of study that you have no passion for—making college more of a torture than it has to be. And if you think it’s bad in college, wait til you get to the rest of your life.
Resisting your parents’ desires for your college major and career can be very difficult, especially for students whose parents have made tuition help conditional on the student’s
choice of major. But ultimately, you’re the one who has to
live your life—they don’t. And you owe it to yourself to choose
a major that makes you happy.
The bottom line? Pursue something you love—and look into unconventional ways to make a living at it.
In high school, it’s often easy to choose classes, programs, and extracurricular activities because that’s what all your friends are doing—it’s the cool choice. But once you get to college, it’s essential to break free of the peer-pressure trap and follow your own interests. So what if your friends all want online human services degrees and think economics is boring? If it’s not boring to you, it doesn’t matter what they think.
Because it’s the easiest one
Maybe your true passion is sports or partying—and you picked Fine Art because you thought it would be the easiest major. There are several reasons why this is a bad idea. First, you’ll graduate college with an online degree that may not help you do what you really want to do. Second, it’s entirely possible that the “easy” college degree you choose could turn out to be harder than it looks. If you’re going to have to do college-level work anyway, it might as well be in a subject you enjoy.
Because it has the most job security
This one may be controversial—however, for many people, it makes sense. College students often get the typical “follow your heart” advice, coupled with intense unspoken (or spoken) pressure to pick a major that will lead to a lucrative and stable career. Before you choose a major, it’s essential to really think about what you want in life. If you really want a family or a lot of money and don’t think you care what career you choose as long as it gets you there, it might seem like you have the luxury to pick a major based on job outlook—but once you have to spend fifty hours a week doing something you hate, chances are you’ll care what your job is.
The bottom line? Pursue something you love—and look into unconventional ways to make a living at it. It’s not easy to choose the path you’ll take for the rest of your life when you just graduated high school—and the pressure can be intense. True, you may wind up working in a field that has nothing to do with your major. But majoring in the right thing to start with can help you in your career. Take time to think about what type of work you really enjoy—and then pursue what you love.
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