College Q&A: Major (and Life) Indecision

Got some college questions? Unsure of a decision? Hate your roommate but still have to live with her again next year? Just wanna chat it up with some really awesome chics? We’ve got the girls for you. Hit them up in the comments or shoot them an email with the subject “College Q&A”! They’ve got all the answers you need, no matter who you are.

I’m a Junior and I still have no idea what major I want to do. I declared English just because I thought that made the most sense (and could potentially work for anything I want to do after college), but I just don’t know if that’s right for me. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up and I was hoping you guys might be able to give me some tips on how to figure that out. I’m really sick of reading literature and really don’t know if I want to continue on this path. Help?

GPA Girl:
If you’re sick of reading literature, you might want to consider changing your major. It doesn’t really sound as if you chose English for a good reason, anyway. You have a couple of options. Number one is to change your major to something that really interests you (music? art? astronomy?) and pursue that, even if it takes you a little more time than planned to get your bachelor’s. Option two is to keep going with the English major, finish it up for the sake of finishing, and do something entirely different after graduation. Why not? You wouldn’t be the first person to get a job (or do something else) that has nothing to do with your major.

It seems ridiculous to me that you are freaking out at the age of 20 or 21 because you have no idea what you want to do with your life. Relax! You have literally decades to figure it out. For right now, do what makes you happiest, whatever that may be. And if you don’t know, explore some different options by taking new classes and trying new extra-curriculars. That’s what college (and all those annoying required classes!) is for! Have fun!

Party Girl:
Giiiirl, I’m a (fifth year) senior and I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life. And all of my friends who graduated on time and are out there in the real world working and bringing home the bacon? Yeah, they don’t know what they want to do in life either. Yes, there are many people out there who know what they want to be when they grow up from the moment they enter college, but that’s not the case for the rest (or the most) of us. And that’s OK. What’s not OK is wasting all your time and money on a major that makes you miserable. You’ve got a long life ahead of you, so live it up now. Take a little time and think about what classes you’ve taken that you enjoyed the most. You’ll notice a trend and that trend should tell you what major you’d enjoy most (hell, that’s how I got into my happy place). Follow your heart and switch things up; you’ve only got 4 (or in my case/potentially your case if you change majors, 5)  years in college and you shouldn’t spend them dreading going to class. This is your time to learn and explore, so learn and explore! (And then save some time to hit the bar at night.) You don’t need to know what you want to do after college, you just need to know what you want to do right now. Focus on that and the rest will fall into place when it’s time.

Busy Bee:
I’ve learned that the best way to figure out what you want to do “when you grow up” is to explore. Take a week (maybe the week of Spring Break? Or some time this summer?) to dedicate towards answering this question. Volunteer with different organizations, take up a new hobby, read your old diary entries, read a book, take personality tests, research unique jobs (911 phone operator, anybody?), or call up your old teachers to see what they think. By trying out different things, reading up on your past, and talking to people who have seen you hard at work, you may realize that there is a common trait that you’ve involved yourself with. Maybe when you were four years old, you were obsessed with airplanes and now you discover that you want to become a pilot. Who knows?!

Remember, you want to be sure that whatever career path you choose to embark on, that you can imagine yourself waking up every morning excited to go to work. Realize that you will become an expert in your career, so what is it that makes you excited? What topics make your heart race? What field of study makes you want to study a little harder? I know these questions aren’t easy to answer, but then again, you are a junior. The clock is ticking and if you want to change your major, you have to do it ASAP in order to avoid staying in college longer than necessary. Who knows, you might go back to English, or maybe not. Either way, I don’t think you’ve wasted any time with an English major! So take what you’ve learned and improvise on it. Trust me, there is something out there for you – you just have to find it.

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