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Exploring a major for college

A question that is on a lot of high school students’ minds: What am I going to do in college? What am I going to major in?

It’s a question worth taking a lot of time to investigate. The journey always varies for every student. For some, they’ve already had a clear goal and path in mind. But for most of us, we’re not sure at all.

So, how do we find a major or a field of study that we’re interested in?

I worried a lot my freshman and sophomore years about which major I’d end up going into college with. I had found no significant interest in any of my subjects. I liked them all, but I found no passion or extreme curiosity about any of them. I felt pressured to find something I would want to go into, and follow that path.

As rising seniors, this question disturbs us even more. With the pressure of college apps always looming, it’s hard not to forget about the imminent idea of college.

I’ve been lucky enough to find an interest in neurological sciences. I’d considered psychology in sophomore year because I had been taking physiology at the time and the brain fascinated me. I also found that I was interested in biochemistry and molecular biology. Now, I’m looking into neuroscience as I attend a neuroscience camp at UCLA and see where my interest leads me.

For those who are still stuck on that question, there are so many ways to answer that question, or at least come close to it.

Don’t feel pressured.

Of course, with college applications, pressure is high. Not all college students, however, keep their intended majors once they are well into college. I know a current college student whose family is in the medical field, and she had entered college intending to major in a science-related major. Three years later, she’s done a complete 360 and is now majoring in business. I’m not saying to not feel pressure at all and put down any major when applying for college, but don’t feel too obligated to stick to it 100% if you happen to find another interest.

Take a variety of classes.

Sign up for different classes. High school has many different classes, after all.

Consider your skills and talents.

Ask friends, family, teachers, and others what they think you do best. What subjects did you excel in? Other people can see things in you that you can’t see yourself. If you have passions in specific subjects, consider those as a major to study.

Look for advice and explore.

Talk to your college and/or school counselor. Open your eyes to all the different possibilities. If you vowed to never study one field because of how supposedly boring or pointless it was, take back that vow and look into it. You never know the unending possibilities a field can provide.

I also recommend using “Big Future” from the College Board website. The website has profiles on various majors. Look through the different options and see which ones catch your eye. Think about why these options caught your attention. Is there something in the word “astrophysics” that seems particularly appealing? Look through majors related to those eye-catching ones as well.

It’s alright to not be sure which major you want to go into… But don’t wait too long.

If you have simply no idea what you want to study, don’t panic. You’re definitely not the only student out there who doesn’t know. There’s an option labeled “Undeclared”. If you do go into college as an undeclared major, take advantage of college to truly find an interest in order to declare your major. College has an even wider variety of classes, and a lot of growth occurs in college as well.

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