Tips for Choosing a Major
BY KAT COOPER
The Columns gives advice on how to handle the process of choosing and declaring a major.
One of the most influential decisions you will make as a college student, if you have not done so already, is selecting a major. Your choice will determine not only the courses you take but also your potential career paths. As the end of the year approaches, many undeclared students may find themselves stressing over the decision, which is why The Columns created a list of advice for selecting a major.
Tip #1: Choose a major you enjoy.
Going to classes, regardless of how easy, important or interesting they are, is not always fun, so it is important that you major in a subject that see yourself understanding and genuinely liking. Otherwise, you could run yourself into a situation of pure misery.
Still, it is okay if you do not yet know what you are interested in. Westminster’s liberal arts curriculum is structured in a way that allows students to experiment in a variety of fields, which in turn helps them realize their passion.
Maria Donovan, ’16, said that going into college, she knew she wanted to be a teacher but was unsure whether she wanted to teach English or history. Finally, after taking several classes in each field, she “really fell in love with English and decided to double major in English and education.”
Tip #2: Use available resources.
Westminster College has so many resources to help you find your niche in the world. The Center for Career Development, located in the lower level of Newnham Hall, offers information on job opportunities, internships and graduate schools. You can also receive guidance from professors, advisers, mentors, teammates, coaches and friends. Sometimes, people not directly involved in the advising or declaration process can offer a clearer view and a different perspective on your decision, because they are less focused on technical issues and more focused on your likes and dislikes.
Tip #3: Relax.
Choosing a major is important, but agonizing over your decision will only make the process more difficult. Therefore, it is important that you keep your composure. You have time to make a decision, and most students do not officially declare a major until their sophomore or junior year. Some students enter college thinking that they have a definite idea of what they want to do with their lives but then change directions based on their class experiences.
“I knew I wanted to do something with Spanish when I came to college, but I didn’t want to teach,” Maya Sosa, ’16, said. “Then I decided to take the class Introduction to Teaching, and I fell in love with the profession.”