Posts Tagged ‘college major’
Most college students will change their major at least once, whether it be something simple, such as transferring from one branch of engineering to another, or something more drastic, such as going from a criminal justice major to an art major. While knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life comes naturally to some people, for many, it’s a struggle. Students often find themselves in majors they aren’t sure about. Here are some signs you’re in the right one.
You Geek Out Over It
When you start learning things in your lectures that completely fascinate you, and you find yourself repeating them to your friends at the dining hall, you have picked the right college major. When your professor’s door is covered with nerdy cartoons relevant to your field, and you both understand them and find them funny, you have picked the right college major. When you find yourself doing extra research on a topic just because you found it interesting, you’re in the right college major! The area you choose to study should be something you enjoy learning about.
You Think About It on Your Own Time
As a college student you are expected to take on some initiative, and to have your own motivation when it comes to pursuing your field. At some point, college will be over, and with the knowledge you are given, you will have to decide for yourself how to best apply it. Your major has to be something you actively consider even when you’re not in class. If you find yourself dwelling on a theory before you fall asleep, or thinking about what methods you could someday use in your future job, you have picked the right college major!
You Feel Successful in It
While part of choosing a college major is picking something you like, the other part is picking something you can do well enough to get a paycheck. That is, after all, the main point of going to college and finding a job. The major you choose should make you feel strong and confident. Your major should make you feel smart. Your major should make you feel as if you can accomplish anything. If dissecting a frog, building an engine, or giving a presentation makes you feel like you’re in your zone, then you have picked the right college major!
You Sometimes Don’t Like It So Much
Even if you have picked the right college major, there will be days where you sort of hate it. There will be times where you wondered if you should have picked something a little easier, or something that would make more money, or something where you didn’t have to take a particular stressful test. It’s okay to have these feelings. Just because you don’t necessarily “like” your major 100% of the time doesn’t mean you’ve picked the wrong one. Everything has peaks and valleys. The way you know you’ve picked the right major is that the next peak is right around the corner!
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Choosing a college major can be a very stressful time. While some people apply to specific programs in college and go to college knowing what they want to do, others really need to learn more about themselves before picking a major. Remember, college majors are important but they won’t necessarily push you into a box for the rest of your life. Don’t freak out! Many music majors can go to med school and pre-med students can wind up at law school.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
What do you love to do?
Think really hard about what you love to do. Picture the classes you get excited about going to. Classes you get excited about doing the reading. Is there a major that involves many of these things?
What are you skilled in?
Be honest with yourself. What are you good at? What classes have you always excelled in? More often than not, these will overlap with what you love to do. Remember, majors can lead to a field. You wouldn’t want to base your career on something that you aren’t good at.
Do you already know what job you want to do?
If you know what job you want to do after you graduate, look into what majors best prepare you for that job. Talk to people in that field. For example, if you want to be a political journalist, maybe journalists you meet will tell you not to go to journalism school but to be a history/polysci double major and write for your school paper.
Planning on Grad School?
If you’re planning on going to grad school, look into what types of majors they want. For example, if you want to go to medical school, you probably want to be a pre-med-related major. If you want to go to a certain class of law schools, find out what types of majors they like. Put yourself in the best position possible to get accepted to the grad school of your dream.
Ok remember, DON’T FREAK OUT! College majors can be important (especially if you are planning on going to a specific graduate program that requires a specific major). However, if you are getting a general liberal arts degree, your specific major might not affect at all your success in life in whatever field you want to go in to. Pick something you love, are passionate about, and will put you on the path to success in a career you want to start.
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Between 30-40% of incoming college freshmen are undecided on a major when they enter college. It’s also estimated that between 75-80% of students change their majors during their college careers.
Is it good to be open minded about your studies or does jumping around majors hurt you in the process?
Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet at @Cappex to chime in (we’ll post your answer below)!
If you’re a recent high school grad getting ready for college next fall, you probably cannot contain your excitement. College is the reason you’ve been working your butt off the last year and a half–and sometimes way longer. You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into your college applications (hopefully just metaphorically), and in just a couple of months you will finally reap the benefits of your hard work.
Often times, college freshman are so excited about just being in college that they lose sight of their academic aspirations. There’s so many other things to worry about–your living situation, new roommate, that guy down the hall who gave you some spare quarters so you could do a load of laundry, the 15 or so a capella groups you’re auditioning for, and not to mention the football game on Saturday.
So when it comes time to register for classes, you might be thinking the following thoughts:
What should I do? I gave this college classes thing no forethought. I’m never going to graduate. What do I want to do with my life?!
If that’s the case, here are 5 tips to help undecided freshman decide what they should register for their first semester:
1. Get your general education requirements out of the way
Most colleges and universities require that their students take a core curriculum. A lot of times, these classes might not have anything to do with your interest or major–English majors might have to take some quantitative reasoning and biology majors might have to take a a fine arts credit. Whether or not you know what you’re going to major in, getting your gen ed requirements out of the way is a great strategy. You don’t want to have to take a physics class you’ve been dreading your second semester senior year.
2. Follow your passions
Even if you’re not sure what you want to major in, you still have subjects you’re passionate about or at least enjoy. Chances are, your genuine interests will lead you to your field of study.
3. Choose by professor
Sometimes you don’t choose a class for the subject matter as much as you do because of the world renowned professor who teaches it. There might be a beloved or even quite famous and influential professor who teaches at your college that you have the opportunity to learn from!
4. Word of mouth
If you chat it up with upperclassman, your RA, friends of friends who go or have gone to your school, you might hear about a must-take class. It could be super interesting, it could be a great way to get a gen ed credit taken care of, just keep your ears open for what students are saying.
5. The “cool” factor
While browsing through your college’s course catalog, you might come across a class that makes you say, “Woah, they teach that here?” It could be a class about the Beatles, Harry Potter or even Star Wars. You never know! If you’re undecided, following what piques your interest is a great way to get started.
Do you have any tips for undecided college freshman? Comment and share!
Have you met Slow Joe? He’s that friendly guy on campus who says “hi” to everybody and who you see at every party but never at the library. Oh, and according to legend, he’s been in school since ’96.
College is great. But the debt you’ll accumulate paying for all those years of fun without getting your degree is not worth it–unless you’re an heir or heiress to a billion dollar oil company.
Graduating in 4 years or less is most definitely possible, and here some tips to make sure you can do it:
1. Decide on a major
A lot of schools, guidance counselors and older friends will tell you that you should take your sweet time choosing a major. The truth is, while it might take some time to realize what it is you really want to study, the earlier you figure it out, the sooner you can you complete the courses you’ll need to graduate. The later you decide on the major, the less time you have to complete those courses by graduation.
Check out our article about why you should declare a major now.
2. Wean off of the party scene
Chances are, the more you party, the less time you’ll be studying. It’s a simple law of science–I’m pretty sure Einstein discovered that relationship. The party scene at school can be fun, especially since it’s your first real taste of independence. But once you’ve had your taste, get back to the books. Partying can take a huge toll on the work you’re able to complete and classes you’ll be able to pass.
3. Sit down with an advisor
Once you decide your major, make an appointment with an advisor to help you plan out each of your semesters. A college advisor will help you make sure all of your requirements will be covered by the time you want to graduate. Stick to the plan, you’ll be sure to graduate on time or earlier.
4. Study abroad wisely
Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the world. If this is something you want to do, make sure 100% that all of the abroad program credits transfer to your school. One of the ways to makes sure of this is to go with a program that your school recommends or is partnered with. Again, meeting with an advisor can help you find the right program that will work towards your major.
Do you have any other words of wisdom for graduating in 4 years or less? Comment and share!
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