A note from Hunter Cambon: Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions you make in college. It's a decision that more often than not changes during your college career as well. So I wanted to get a student's perspective on why/how he chose his major.
Guest blogger, Matt Kessler explains how he chose his major as an incoming freshman at UF:
When I first got to orientation, my main source of stress was choosing my major. I was afraid that this one choice was going to define my career path forever. Now a year in, I know that a major is nothing more than a path to follow, something that can be changed, refocused, or thought up again entirely. When choosing a major, it’s helpful to understand that, and further think about your interests and specialties.
I knew from the beginning of college that I wanted to be a part of the field of business. Narrowing your thoughts about a career down to a specific subset helps to navigate a treacherous looking list of major possibilities. Doing this allows you to understand your options in terms of career, and even further gives you more time to hone in on which major in the specific subset speaks to you the most. Changing your major is a very simple process, which can be made even easier by knowing which general field you wish to study.
In preparation for choosing a major, it's very helpful to make a list of potential professions and fields you could see yourself in. This is by no means the time to choose the career you want for the rest of your life, but getting thoughts on paper will help you truly understand how you feel about each potential option. To take it one step further, you can group each potential major you write down into a specific subset (for example, if you have 6 majors that all have to do with engineering, group those together). This gets you thinking about the general field you want to be a part of, and as I mentioned earlier, gives you a leg up on the major choice process.
Finally, it's important to remember that a major is by no means set in stone. You will have an opportunity to change it, and the majority of college students take that opportunity at least once. It isn’t imperative to get it right the first time, so relax. Focus on what you love, and what you’re good at, make a solid list of potential options, and your choice will not be a stressful one.