Posted by Liz Wick on
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
You can do some shopping around, but at some point it’s time to get serious. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you’ve found a major you’re ready to settle down with:
- Are you studying something challenging? Too often I hear people say, “My major is so easy!” This is a sign that it’s time to reevaluate. If you’re studying a subject that you feel like you already have the aptitude and necessary skill set for in your late teens/early twenties with no entry-level work experience, then study something else. And if you think you’re cutting yourself a break by studying something that comes easily to you, you’re absolutely not.Any academic difficulty that you face in college will better prepare you for the professional difficulties you’ll face later in a job.
- Are you getting an education that you would pay for? Before you ask yourself this, you should know that everyone is paying for college, but not everyone realizes it. At the bare minimum you are facing the opportunity cost of four years that you could have spent working. Most people are paying more than that with savings, loans, money out of their own pockets, or some of each. Whatever you’re paying, you should believe in the worth of what you’re studying and its practical application in the real world. If you don’t believe in the value of your degree, then no employer or person you want to impress will either.
- Study something you love. First, because these four years are too short to wake up every morning and not be excited about what you’re waking up for. You’ll find it especially worth it during those late nights in the library and the almost inevitable 8 AM class that will make its way into your schedule. Second, because you’ll be a better student of your major if you enjoy it and it sparks your curiosity. Pay attention to the subjects you feel naturally inclined to ask questions about.
Although there’s more to college than just academics, they are a critically important part of your next four years. Part of your college experience should be spent feeling like you’re preparing yourself for a job so that you don’t end up in a job wishing college had prepared you for it.
-Molly Morrisey, NSM