Exploring the options: The right path to your perfect major

By Declan Harty

For the last twelve grades you’ve been able to dabble in everything. You and your peers have become connoisseurs of english, math, the sciences, social studies and probably a foreign language by now.

But as you approach your move-in date to the University, the question of “what are you going to major in?” continues to haunt you at every graduation party and family event.

As an 18-year-old soon-to-be college freshman, the pressure is insurmountable. For most incoming freshman, you’ve barely been away from home, and now, most people expect you to know what you want to do with your life — I mean really? There are some people who know exactly what they want to do, maybe it was a physics class in high school that inspired them, maybe it was a life long dream to be a teacher, but odds are for the most of us, the decision for a major is one that hasn’t even crossed our minds until high school graduation night.

For me, I always thought I wanted to be a teacher. I still do. But I’m not an education major, nor a history, or English, or mathematics, or biology major. I’m a journalism major because writing is what I love. That’s what I chose to do, was pick a major that I wanted to do, one that would not only allow me to be successful because I love my line of work, but one that will also allow me to explore other fields.

For most college students, there is at least one moment (for most, there is more than just one — I have had three and most likely will have one more), when you question your choice of major.

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My biggest piece of advice: If you will be happy with that field and what you hope to do with that degree, choose it and stick to it.

I don’t mean to be too philosophical, but something that I have learned during my time in college is that to be happy with a profession means so many different things. I always thought being happy with your career meant wanting to go to work everyday. But it doesn’t just mean that, that is just one example. 

Maybe it is the paycheck at the end of every two weeks that means that you can take your family on vacation, maybe it is long hours to keep yourself occupied because you love your workplace, maybe it is the short hours because you love being with your families.

There is so much to factor in when it comes to picking your major, but what it comes down to is what you think is best. There is no rush right now. Take your time, and even if you are decided on a major, take classes in other fields that interest you, talk to professors about what makes them passionate about their fields, explore the opportunities on campus related to certain fields, whether that is a academic or professional fraternity, a registered student organization or just a panel discussion. Take in as much as possible during the next four years because it is well worth it.

Declan is a senior in Media. 
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