1. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to major in when you start freshman year:
Coming to Auburn, I was not sure what I wanted to choose as a major. I had several ideas of what career path I might take, but I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. When applying to Auburn, I decided to list out all of my interests and slowly narrow them down one by one. I used certain criteria, such as job placement rate, location and pay to help me decide the best fit for me. Although I still was not sure which path I wanted to take, I chose a major and decided to give it a try.
Freshmen, if you don’t know what you want to major in, it’s okay. You are not alone, and us upperclassmen have all been there.
“Don’t choose a major just because you’re good at it and it’s easy,” said Peyton Satterfield, senior at Auburn. “College is a place where, believe it or not, you want to be challenged. You’ll fall out of love with your favorite subject if you’re stuck doing something that doesn’t challenge you or make you think in a new way.”
Take my advice and begin to think of careers that interest you. Narrow them down by the criteria that you find most important and give one of those majors a try.
2. Auburn Career Center can help you find the major that best fits you through its services:
The Auburn Career center offers many services to Auburn students, and I highly suggest using them. The two services that will be helpful to freshmen are career counseling and interests and personality assessments.
“The career center services helped me solidify my career path and reassured me that I was heading in the right direction,” said Lenze Morris, Auburn senior. “I was debating between two different majors, and the career center was able to help me make the right decision through their personality assessment.”
Career counseling offers free one-on-one sessions to help you decide what’s the best major for you. The interests and personality assessment will help identity your strengths and weaknesses, what you like and dislike, what you want to do with your future and the things you value in life. Access to these services can be found at http://auburn.edu/career/aboutus/.
3. If you end up not liking your major, it’s okay to switch:
If you have chosen your major for freshman year but then start school and realize it’s not the one for you, it’s okay to switch. I did the exact same thing. After taking introductory classes for my major freshman year, I realized it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Many of my friends in my current major switched into it after freshman year, and we are all on track to graduate on time.
“I came to Auburn with 12 credit hours from dual enrollment classes in high school,” said Kate Stewart, senior at Auburn. “My mom always wanted me to be a dentist, but I always hated science. For some reason, I thought college science with labs would make it exciting and interesting to me. No, no I was very wrong. I did not enjoy science at all, and all my first semester freshman year classes were science-based except for the Auburn experience class I had on my schedule. After week two of the second semester, I sat down with my mom and told her this isn’t what I wanted, and that I couldn’t continue. Many people in the past had told us both that people were my specialty, which was a key point of what drove me to public relations. I transferred and that summer started my first PR classes. I was absolutely in love. I am now a senior that is on schedule to graduate in May 2018 with a B.A. in public relations and communication and a minor in general business and philanthropic and nonprofit studies.”
Do not let it scare you that you must finish in four years, but let me tell you that it is possible to do so even after switching majors. I switched the beginning of my sophomore year, and I am graduating a semester early. So remember, if your major doesn’t work out, you can still switch and graduate on time.
4. If you have more than one interests, consider a minor or double major:
As I already mentioned, I had a hard time choosing what to major in, as I’m sure many of you have struggled with too. Another great option if you can’t narrow your interests down to one is to pick up a minor or double major. It may sound scary at first, as it was to me too, but it is doable.
“I want to do PR non-profit work, so I feel that I need a better understanding of that sector,” said Katie Stotts, Auburn senior. “I chose to minor in non-profit in order to learn more about how it works. I also am earning a minor in marketing because I think understanding the numbers behind a company is important for the career path I am taking. A lot of people fall into the non-profit work sector and having this background sets me above them.”
Many majors are constructed in a way that adding a minor fits well into your schedule. For example, part of your major requires you to take electives, which are any classes that are not required for you to graduate. Most minors require you take 15 hours in that subject; therefore, if you needed 15 hours of electives, then you can knock out two-in-one.
5. Your major will not predict or guarantee your future:
If there’s one thing that I have learned during my time at Auburn, it is that your major will not define your future. I know many people who graduated in a certain field and took a job in another. This is not uncommon either. I have completed two internships during my time at Auburn, and many of my colleagues during that time were not working jobs that had to do with their college degree.
So, if you end up your senior year realizing that your major is not what you want to do forever, don’t worry. Your major is not going to predict your future. Having a college degree is the most important aspect, but you can gain experience for other careers through part-time jobs or internships during and even after college.
(all photo courtesy of google image)