Your last year of high school is rapidly approaching, and you’re probably narrowing your college choices at this point. But, have you thought beyond this year, and considered your future college major? It can help to begin developing your interests, so that you can choose the appropriate school.
If you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life, that’s okay! No one expects you to have it all figured out right now. But since investigating your options can begin to illuminate the path, now is the time to begin your search.
Talk to your guidance counselor. He or she can recommend aptitude tests or point you in the right direction for researching careers.
Ask yourself what is most important. Do you want to make a lot of money? Of course, everyone does! But is it more important to do something you love? What about careers that are flexible? Do you want to pursue a field in which frequent travel is a possibility? Or, are you most concerned with stability and benefits?
It’s possible to find everything you want in one career path. However, ranking your priorities can often help you identify what truly matters to you.
Investigate your hobbies, interests, and talents. What fascinates you? What hobbies are you already practicing, that might lead to a career? For example, if you’re an artist or writer, there are plenty of career options beyond simply selling your paintings or trying to score a book deal.
Visit college departments. As you narrow your school and major options, visit a few colleges. In particular, visit the specific departments whose majors you’re considering. Speak with a student advisor, and maybe even sit in on a few classes. When you find something that excites and invigorates you, you might be on the right track.
Volunteer or apply for part-time work in your prospective field. Hands-on job experience is really the best way to assess whether a job or environment is right for you.
As you’re applying to colleges, it can help to have an idea of your future major. Insight into your own talents and desires, and experience in the field, will impress admissions officers and perhaps even help you score some department-based scholarships. However, there’s no need to panic if you still feel unsure. You can arrive on campus as a freshman, pursue some basic core courses, and allow your experiences and passions to guide you into the right major.
And, of course, allow yourself to change your mind!