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Is choosing a major keeping you up at night? Making you wake up in a cold sweat? Don’t panic! Choosing a major can be overwhelming for high school juniors, seniors, and even first-year college students. But in this comprehensive choosing a major guide, we’ll lay out the steps that will show how to decide on a college major. 

Exploring Personal Interests and Passions

What do you love doing? What topics or activities grab your attention and make time fly by? Think about your hobbies, things you’ve volunteered for, and even dreams you had as a kid. Maybe you’re into understanding how the body works, or you enjoy playing with gadgets or drawing cool creatures. Your interests can help you figure out what majors might excite you.

But how do you figure out what you’re passionate about? Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What activities do you get lost in? Maybe you spend hours coding, writing stories, or studying animals. These are clues about what you’re good at and what you enjoy.
  • What problems do you really care about solving? Are you into protecting the environment, fighting for fairness, or exploring new technology? These values can guide you toward majors that match your interests.
  • What did you dream of doing when you were younger? Even if being a professional astronaut isn’t realistic, the things you dreamed about (like exploring, science, or adventure) can still help you choose a major.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking even more:

  • Hobbies: Are you a musician, athlete, gamer, artist, or someone who loves to tinker with stuff? Think about how these hobbies could connect to college subjects, like music, sports management, game design, art, or engineering.
  • Volunteer experiences: Did you feel happy helping out at an animal shelter, teaching younger kids, or organizing events in your community? These experiences show interests in things like animal care, teaching, or planning, which could match majors like veterinary science, education, or communication.
  • Childhood dreams: Did you dream of being a doctor, architect, lawyer, or even a superhero? Even if those careers changed, the interests behind them—like helping people, designing things, or fighting for what’s right—can lead you to majors that fit, like medicine, architecture, law, or social justice.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer here! It’s about discovering what you’re passionate about and finding majors that make your college journey really exciting.

advice and insights for college students choosing a major that is right for them.

Researching Potential Career Paths

Your ideal major doesn’t have to lock you into just one job. Every major offers a bunch of different job options. Look for a field that matches what you care about and enjoy, and you’ll find lots of career paths that fit naturally.

But with so many options, how do you begin? Don’t stress, we’ve got some ideas:

  • Look online: Check out websites like the Occupational Outlook Handbook, O*NET OnLine, and College Board BigFuture. They have tons of info about different careers, including what they involve, how much they pay, and what skills you need.
  • Go to college fairs: These events are full of helpful info. Talk to people from different colleges, see what programs they offer, and ask about jobs you can get with those majors.
  • Talk to professionals: Connect with people who work in fields you’re curious about. Ask them about their jobs, what they do, and what they like about it. Websites like LinkedIn or going to professional events can help you meet the right people.
  • Think beyond job titles: Don’t get stuck on specific job titles. Look for fields that match what you’re into. For example, if you like communicating, you might enjoy jobs in journalism, marketing, public relations, or teaching.

Remember, researching is something you’ll keep doing as you explore different majors and interests. Your career goals might change along the way, and that’s okay! Stay open to new ideas and enjoy the journey of figuring out what’s right for you.

Taking Introductory Courses in Various Fields

Your first two years in college mostly include introductory classes. Sign up for a few that catch your eye, even if they’re not what you’re used to. You might find out you’re good at something you never knew, or remember how much you love a subject you forgot about. Trying out different classes isn’t about finding the “perfect” major right away. It’s about getting info to help you decide.

Comprehensive Major Choosing Tips: Think of your first-year classes as:

  • Discovery adventures: Try out classes like biology, psychology, literature, or coding. You might discover talents for things like dissecting frogs, understanding people’s behavior, writing cool stories, or making websites.
  • Passion sparkers: Remember things you loved as a kid, like dinosaurs, ancient history, or space? Classes in things like paleontology, archaeology, or astronomy could remind you of those passions and lead you to new interests.
  • Decision-making helpers: Don’t think you know what you like until you’ve tried it! Trying different beginner classes helps you learn about fields you might not think are interesting at first. You might surprise yourself by loving stats or getting into philosophy.


  • Try new things: Don’t stick to subjects you already know. Explore new stuff and see what you like. You might find talents you didn’t know about.
  • Hear different ideas: Each class gives you a new way to look at the world. Trying out different subjects makes you think in new ways and helps you learn how to think critically.
  • Enjoy the journey: Trying beginner classes isn’t about finding the perfect major right away. It’s about getting info, finding what you like, and making a smart choice about your college path.

Remember, trying stuff out is important! Enjoy the chance college gives you to explore different subjects and find what you’re really passionate about.

Consulting Academic Advisors

Your academic advisor is like your personal guide through college! Make sure to meet with them regularly. Talk to them about what you’re interested in, what’s worrying you, and what you’ve found out from your research. Your advisor can give you personalized advice, suggest majors and classes, and even introduce you to professors who can help you in specific areas. They’re experts who can help you navigate the big world of academics.

Here’s why meeting with your advisor is so important:

  • Sharing what you’re exploring: Tell them about your interests, what you love, and any worries you have about picking a major. Show them what you’ve found out and what you hope to do with your career. That way, they can give you advice that’s just right for you.
  • Getting personalized help: Your advisor knows a lot about the classes and programs at your school, as well as what the professors are good at. They can suggest things that match your strengths, goals, and how you like to learn.
  • Finding cool stuff you didn’t know about: They might suggest majors or classes you never thought of, opening up new possibilities for your academic journey.
  • Meeting the right people: Need to talk to a certain professor in a field you’re interested in? Your advisor can help you get in touch with them, so you can learn more and get advice from experts.

Remember, your advisor is there to help you, not judge you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, share your worries, or ask for help. The more you tell them, the better they can help you figure things out. And if they’re not helping – ask for another advisor! 

Shadowing and Interning

Do you want to get a sneak peek into different jobs? Shadowing and internships let you do just that! When you shadow someone, you follow them around for a day, asking questions and seeing what their job is really like. Internships let you do more hands-on stuff, like working on real projects and learning practical skills. These experiences can help you figure out what you’re into or find new interests you never knew you had.

Think of shadowing like this:

  • Get behind the scenes: Watch someone in a job you’re curious about. Follow them around, ask about what they do, and learn about their challenges and rewards. You’ll get a better idea of what the job is really like and what skills you need.
  • Reality check: Is being a coder as cool as it sounds? Does being a lawyer involve more paperwork than you thought? Shadowing helps you see if your ideas about a job match up with what it’s actually like.
  • Get inspired: Watching someone love what they do can be really motivating. Shadowing might make you even more interested in a field or show you something new you want to try.

Now, let’s talk about internships:

  • More than just watching: you’re actually doing stuff! Internships let you:
  • Use what you’ve learned: Put your school knowledge into practice in a real job.
  • Learn practical skills: Get better at things like talking to people, working in teams, solving problems, and managing time.
  • Make connections: Meet people who work in the field you’re interested in. They could help you out later on or give you advice.


  • Start early: Don’t wait until your last year of college to try shadowing or internships. Start looking early on, even in your first or second year, so you have more time to learn.
  • Take charge: Do your research, reach out to people or companies in fields you like, and show you’re excited to learn. Being proactive can help you find cool opportunities.
  • Think about what you’ve learned: After each shadowing or internship, think about what you liked, what you didn’t, and what surprised you. This can help you figure out what you want to do next.

Getting out there and trying new things can change your life. Take the chance to shadow and intern, and you might find the perfect major and career path that really excites you.


How do I decide what to major in in college?

Choosing your major is a big step. Even if you’re not sure what to do with your life, there are a lot of things you can do in high school to get ideas. 
Think about your personal interests and passions – Are you not sure what you like? Take a personality quiz like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or Strong Interest Inventory. While not definitive, these tests can offer insights into your strengths, preferences, and potential career paths.
Research future career paths – Attend workshops or information sessions offered by your school. These events can provide valuable insights into specific majors, career paths, and resources available to you.
Consult academic advisors – Besides going to your school counselor, there are many professional academic advisors who know the current job market and potential. 
Shadow or intern with a job you’re interested in – you can use online platforms and resources like LinkedIn, Idealist, and your school career center or counselor to find shadowing and internship opportunities relevant to your interests.
Students who choose a major aligned with their interests report higher GPA’s, greater academic satisfaction, and are more likely to graduate on time. So, it’s crucial to prioritize your passions!

How do I choose a major if I am undecided?

It’s not a bad thing to be undecided – 20-50% of freshmen enter college as undecided, depending on the school, and as much as 75% of students change their major! Many people don’t realize what they want to do until they get into college and explore. 

One of the best things you can do for undecided students major selection is take your freshman courses seriously. They’re not just hurdles to jump through – they can tell you a lot about yourself. 

Talk to your professors and classmates in introductory courses. Ask questions, discuss course content, and gain insights into specific fields. Their perspectives can be invaluable in shaping your understanding of different academic disciplines.

Keep an open mind! Your interests and goals may evolve throughout your college journey. Embrace the flexibility to explore new paths and remember, your major is not a life sentence. It’s a stepping stone on your exciting academic and professional adventure!

What is the best major to go to college for?

There’s no such thing as a “best major,” but there is a best major for you! Start by doing some research. Check out websites, go to college fairs, and talk to people who work in fields you’re interested in. Learn about what they do every day, what skills they need, and where they work. 
Use your skills: Think about what you’re good at, no matter what major you choose. Skills like problem-solving, talking to people, working in teams, and using technology are useful in lots of jobs.
Think about your life outside of work: Consider things like how much you want to work, if you’re okay with traveling for your job, and what kind of lifestyle you want.
Stay open-minded: You might discover new fields you didn’t know about before. Research can lead you to exciting jobs you never thought of.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that over 60% of jobs created between 2020 and 2030 will require a college degree. So, researching careers before choosing a major is an investment in your future!

Does it look bad to colleges if you apply with an undecided major?

No, colleges won’t think badly of you if you apply without knowing what major you want. They understand that some students are still figuring things out. It’s more important to show that you’re curious and willing to explore different options. Colleges have resources to help the undecided students career path.

Choosing a major is a journey, not a destination. Don’t be afraid to explore, experiment, and even change course if needed. Embrace the process, utilize the resources available, and trust your inner compass. With dedication and open-mindedness, you’ll find the major that unlocks your unique potential and sets you on a path to a fulfilling future!

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