Abby OpsalBy: Abby Opsal

Choosing your major as you enter college is an intimidating thing. After all, choosing a major, and in reality your future career, is essentially the reason we all attend college. “What are you majoring in?” is the question you consistently hear from your senior year in high school right through the end of your senior year in college. However, most freshman do not know their major as they enter college, and many who do know, end up switching that major.

When I came to Edgewood my freshman year, I thought I knew what I wanted to major in. I have always thought about becoming a teacher, and began telling people that education was going to be my major before I even began college.

However, as my freshman year began I began to doubt that decision. I learned about so many more majors that Edgewood offered and suddenly the world seemed to have so many options and opportunities available to me! I was only 18, how in the world was I supposed to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life?

Fortunately, Edgewood has amazing Career Services! I made an appointment with our career counselors, and expressed all my anxieties about having so many different things that I wanted to do, yet having no idea what to do with all of those ideas at the same time. They helped me take career assessments and offered ideas of new majors that I had never heard of or thought of before. I was still interested in education, but also became interested in psychology and child life (child life is a pediatric health care field that focuses on the well-being of children and families in hospital and other medical settings).

The main advice they gave me was to explore classes within these different majors I was interested in, so I could get a feel for what the major was like. So, the fall of my sophomore year I took an education class, a psychology class, and a child life class. They were all intro classes, so I learned a lot about each field.

By the end of my sophomore year, I had made my decision. I decided to major in education! After exploring the other options, I realized education was where I truly wanted to be. Although this was my original intended major, I am so glad I took those other classes because I think I may still be wondering about other majors if I hadn’t.

So, when it comes to choosing a major, DON’T STRESS! And follow these steps:

  • Don’t feel pressured to have a major chosen before you come to college!
    • You do not need to know what you want to do for the rest of your life the second you arrive on campus your freshman year. Feel free to use the first couple years of college to explore and decide when you are ready! Everyone decides at different times!
  • Use your resources!
    • Visit career services to learn about majors and take career assessments. They will help you figure out what is best for you!
  • Explore different classes!
    • Try to take classes in a couple different majors early on in your schooling. This will help you get a feel for what that major will be like, and if you will find it enjoyable.
  • Volunteer!
    • If possible, try to get field experience in the job you are looking to major in. For example, if you are considering nursing, see if you can shadow a nurse or simply volunteer in a hospital setting to get a feel for what the actual job entails.
    • Choose a major based on what you love to do! You have to work for the rest of your life, make it something enjoyable!