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Advice on Choosing Your Major

14 January 2013

This post is a shout out to my undergraduate homies, as well as undecided high school juniors and seniors. It can basically act as a blanketed piece of advice to cover the "big" decision of choosing your course of study, although it'll pay homage in some parts specifically to SLP. So hopefully this will help some of you that may have some uncertainties about what you want to do with your life. (After all, once college starts, real life becomes so tangeable, you can almost taste it! Time flies so fast... but don't let that scare you!)

  1. First off, DON'T think you have to have your entire life planned, categorized, labeled and sorted out by the time you apply to college! Filling out that intimidating "Intended Major" box on college applications can be daunting if you don't know what you want to study. Perhaps you have the issue of too many interests, maybe too little interests, or possibly you don't even know what some of those subjects even entail! I for one had too many interests, but eventually I found a way to make most of them come into one program. Maybe you'll find the same happens to you. One thing you can do is list all of your interests and then rank them 1-10, then see if any of them relate. If so, perhaps you can double major or there may even be a program that already exists!   Do some research on these possibilities, and on the majors that you have no idea what they mean. I found my first major (now minor) by looking up what "Linguistics" meant, and found that it was an interesting subject!

  2. Second, DON'T think you HAVE to choose a major to boost your chances of getting into a university!  You can go in as an undecided and take the gen ed classes... even if you choose a major when applying you have to take them as well, so it's no disadvantage. Then you can take classes that fill those requirements but are enticing to you as well... perhaps you'll find something new that you love and want to pursue that. My mom hated science in high school, but had a great Microbiology teacher in college and now works as a microbiologist!

  3. To go along with this, see if your college has any "Intro to..." classes that deal with majors you are interested in. My university allows freshmen and sophmores to take "Intro to SLP" and "Intro to Audiology" to see if that is for them. Then when you're a sophmore you can transfer to that program (my school doesn't let you enter the program til you are a junior).

  4. Another thing to try is participating in clubs of majors that tickle your fancy. Maybe you'll find that certain people in one major really click or enjoy their professors, while others don't enjoy their program as much. Some majors might not be as proactive and hold sporadic meetings. Factors like these may steer you toward a major or tell you to have a ten foot pole between it. It's all up to you.

  5. DON'T be afraid of changing your major, or demoting it to a minor (or promoting a minor to a major). Sooo many people change their minds throughout their undergraduate career. Who knows how many times I've switched majors and minors, whether due to time constraints, university regulations (double-majoring between two schools meant adding like 10 classes), or changing interests.

  6. Visit your potential colleges and try to sit in on a class or talk to different directors, students and teacher in your possible programs. Students and visiting classes are a great source of information. They can help steer in to or from a program/ school too.

  7. Lastly, try taking classes at a local community college in areas of interest. Make sure they'll transfer to your potential (or YOUR college, if already enrolled) university. Don't be afraid to go to community college for two years to save money as well.  (On a similar note: don't be afraid of transferring colleges if you change interests and the current university doesn't have your program... you want to get the best education you can get!)

Hope this was informative but not intimidating! Remember, this is the time where you get to explore being on your own, finding yourself and gaining experiences.  Please comment, like, share, whatever! Questions welcome!  :)