Choosing a College Major: A Student's Perspective

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 they chose their major.

Guest blogger, Marc Sznapstajler from UCF explains how to choose a major as an incoming freshmen:

Picking a major before attending your University can be very difficult at first. For some students, it is a very easy choice. The student simply selects the major that he or she is most passionate about and would like to pursue for a future career. For other students, there is no easy path or major that sticks out; I was this kind of student.

It was a little difficult for me to understand what a major was at first. To me, a major is not something that defines who you are. Yes, it may give someone that does not know you a general idea of what fancies you, but it DOES NOT define you. A major DOES NOT mean that that major will be what you are doing for the rest of your life. Life simply does not work like that. 

Simply put, a major translates into an “area of study.” The word “major” sometimes causes students to freak out because of the reputation it has. A major is just a way that the University can clump together the classes that most resemble a future career path, but more importantly, a holistic education. Education is key here. All the classes in your major may not give you the exact skills down to a “t” that you will need for a job. What the major will give you is education in a certain area of study that you can then apply into the real world. This is how I view a major, but what does that mean for you or your child who is confused and nervous about picking one?

It is okay to come into college undecided for your major. I did, and now I am on track to graduate a year early if I want to. If you absolutely know what major you want to pick and there is no question about considering another major, then absolutely go for it, but it may be helpful to explore other options just as back ups.

Sometimes students come into a University so keen on one major, just to find out later that the major is not what he or she expected. If you do not know what you want to select as your major area of study, it is okay. I promise you, you will figure it out. I did not know at first, and I am doing ay-okay.

Just calmly try and reflect on what interests you. You can either select a major that translates into a direct job after college, or select one that will give you keys to many different doors. The selection is truly yours and there is no wrong answer, but do not feel alone. UCF offers counseling and guidance for selecting a major. There are also MANY students who do not know either, but I can promise you one thing, it will work out. Just try your best to find the major the best suits you as a person, not a major that someone else wants you to select or that you feel pressured to select - you may end up regretting that decision.