Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Choosing a Major and Not Regretting It

Deciding what to study in college feels like deciding what you want to spend the rest of your life doing. That can be daunting. Especially when everyone around you seems to have known their true calling since they were in kindergarten. But no one really knows what they will be doing five years down the road. And, while this is an important decision, it will not lock you into one path for the rest of your life.

I like to use my brother as an example: He got his degree in micro-biology, and he currently has a very respectable job selling computer software to large companies. It's honestly a bit too complicated for me to really understand, but it has nothing to do with biology. And yet, he does not regret his course of study and it is in fact that degree, among other things, which helped him to start his career in the computer software industry.
This is the book my mom gave my brother
when he graduated from junior college!
It's funny how things work out!

Lately I've been stressed out trying to deal with school while looking for jobs and internships to apply for. There have been moments when I wish my passion had been for science or business, or something practical like that. I even took the LSAT and almost applied to law school. But the mere thought of three years of nothing but law classes makes my stomach churn.

I have friends studying science and a brother in nursing school and they know exactly the type of job they want to apply for. I don't even know where to start. But just because I can't see where I'll be in six months, doesn't mean that I don't have a future. There are prospects out there, I just have to work a little bit harder to find them.

I read something the other day that said "minor in something that you love, major in something that will get your a job". I can't remember who said it, but I'm guessing it was either a bitter liberal arts major who struggled to find a decent job or some logical person who studied math but whose real passion was for film. On its face, this seems like good advice, but no matter what choose you will be studying it for four years. Don't major (or minor) in something that you don't like. You don't have to love it, but you should like it.

I will NEVER regret my choice to be an English major, no matter where I end up in twelve months or twelve years. I got to study what I loved for four years. I enjoyed every single English class I took and I loved my professors. That cannot be said for my general education courses. But I also do not regret minoring in pre-law, even if I never go to law school. And I wish I had taken a computer class and a marketing class.

My main piece of advice is to take a wide variety of classes that sound interesting to you during your first year or two of college. You will get a feel for what you love, what you never want anything to do with ever again, and what you might like to learn more about. It's OK if you end up taking a few courses that do not contribute directly to your degree, you will learn about what you want to do for the rest of your life and gain knowledge that could help you land a job in the future.

Also, remember that this choice will not dictate the rest of your life. It's far to stressful to decide on your whole future when you're 18, or even 21! Do what makes you happy and try new things, you never know what you are going to love.



    I am so bookmarking this, simply so that I can pull this up when people question why I am getting an English degree.

    1. Thank YOU Mary Jo! I know we are all going to do great things after college! And we actually get to enjoy our classes too! =)