3 Mistakes Students Make When Choosing a Major
1. “I’ll major in whatever will get me the most money.”
The mistake happens when you’re choosing a major solely based on money. You need to also consider your passions, your dislikes, and most importantly, your happiness. Can you see yourself investing the next 40 years or so in this career without getting bored?
The truth is, choosing a major with high-paying career options will not actually guarantee you a high-paying job. It will all depend on position openings and your competitors when you graduate. If there are limited openings, the job will go to someone who is truly interested in the field.
You should choose a major that you are driven to succeed in, even if you won’t make as much money.
2. “I’ll major in my hobby so I can enjoy the work.”
There is a balance that should be maintained when you’re choosing a major. You want to pick something that interests you, but you need to be sure that you won’t get sick of it as time progresses.
Often times, people will confuse their hobbies with their passions. Merriam-Webster defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”
According to a photographer named Jenika, passions differ from hobbies in that passions are not relaxing. “Passions don’t leave you alone. Passions insert themselves into your life whether you have time for them or not. Passions soothe you and drive you crazy at the same time,” she said on her Psychology for Photographers blog.
A hobby is never meant to be your priority. When you choose to study your hobby — to build your life around it — it can lose its appeal, and then it won’t be relaxing anymore.
Choosing a major based on your passion means pursuing what you love despite all the work that goes into it. When evaluating your choices, you should think ahead to how you might feel about the field by the time you finish college.
3. “I don’t know anything about this major, but it interests me.”
Being interested in a major is a start, but don’t stop there. Researching the field will help you be sure that a major is right for you. If you know someone in the field or with that major, ask them for some input.
Consider the entire journey you’ll pursue — what kind of coursework the major demands, how many years of school you’ll need, and what job prospects will be available to you with a degree.
Many times, the idea of a specific major is better than the reality for students who enter it blindly. A little research before choosing a major will go a long way to prepare you for what’s in store.