It is officially the second semester of my first year, which means I have to seriously start considering what exactly I’m going to do with my life. Which is terrifying. Most of the people I talk to already know what they’re going to major in. A lot of my childhood friends seem to have known what they wanted to do since they came out of the womb. I, however, often find myself changing my mind over and over again about what I want to pursue. Sometimes I wonder if I would make a good kindergarten teacher since I love kids, or if I should just follow my unrealistic childhood dreams of being an author,or work really hard until I can be a sociologist.
As time crawls toward the day when I have to choose my major, I begin to feel the walls closing in. I entered University just assuming I would have an epiphany when the time came to make possibly the most significant decision of my life, and the reality of the situation is finally nigh.
Since I am still so torn and unsure, I needed to iron out some realistic things to consider that will help me discover my academic goal, in order to avoid the fiasco of randomly choosing something I’m not thoroughly interested in.
Which takes me to my first consideration. Initially my plan was to take classes in all of my areas of interest and then choose the one that I get the highest mark in, but I’ve realized that this tactic will likely not suffice. This is because I’ve come to the conclusion that even if I care a lot about a subject, I might still not get the best mark in it—school is hard, and every prof is different! Instead I’m going to choose the class I find most mentally fulfilling and determinately push through the parts I find challenging.
While test results aren’t the most important thing, they’re still up there on the list. Recently I’ve come to painful awareness of the fact that one of my areas of interest—psychology –probably isn’t going to be the thing that I choose to do forever. I say painful because psychology has always been my favourite thing to talk about and consider, but the biology side of it, which plays a major role, is a subject I have no skill in whatsoever. Because it is such a competitive program, I have to have the marks to keep up with my peers, and neuroscience has got me down. Instead of being forlorn about this new knowledge, I’m going to use it to further my investigation into what major is best for me. I know I care about why people do the things they do, but that I’m not very skilled in the area of biology and chemistry- this is more information than I had before the start of the school year! It also takes a lot of the stress off my shoulders-now I can focus on enjoying psych 100 rather than panicking about the mark I get.
The final (for now) thing to examine is what exactly I’m going to do with my degree. I need to know what kind of career paths are available to me with the subjects I’m debating, and maybe even look at some I might be passionate about that aren’t on my list right now. I’ll start by searching online for education requirements, and then I’m planning on talking to some alumni and attending some panel discussions centered around career options.
It feels as though every day I get closer to discovering what I’m best at, and hopefully I’ll be confident in my decision when the time comes. If you have any advice for me about how you chose your major, leave a comment!