Tips to Help You Choose What to Study in College

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Some folks go into college knowing exactly what they want to do. Most folks do not. Even many of those who enter college with a set goal change their minds after a few classes or semesters. 80% of college students change their major at least once. The average student changes his or her major three times during college. Long story short: you’ll figure it out. You will have more than enough to balance during your time in college with all the term papers, finals, roommates, laundry, sporting events, frat parties and more. Just make sure to have a long term career goal in mind, as general or specific as you need it to be, to guide you through it all. Think before you enroll in a certain class or join a certain club, and always look back to evaluate what you’ve gained from your decisions. Don’t take the experience for granted, because it’ll be over before you know it.

So whether you’ve just moved into your first dorm or you’re starting your junior year, do the following to help guide you towards the studies from which you will most benefit:

Look to your family for insight.
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize your own strengths and skills; your family and close friends are a great sounding board when it comes to outlining your talents and tapping into your passions. 

Consult your academic advisor.
Academic advisors and college counselors are trained to help students figure out what they want to do with their lives and how to go about achieving their goals. Every campus has a Student Services department, so utilize this campus resource. 

Consider different career paths within an industry that you love.
Instead of focusing on a particular job, delve into different facets of an industry that interests you. 

Focus on what makes you happy.
Not only does your major determine what you’ll be studying during your time as an undergrad, but it also influences your future career. Instead of focusing on immediate pay-off, look for something you’ll enjoy in the long run. 

Follow your dreams, no matter how big they may be.
You can aim high—just put a plan in place. Study what you love, apply for internships at companies you’re interested in, and create actionable goals. 

Don’t know what you want to do yet? Don’t worry—big decisions take time.
Weigh the pros and cons. Make lists. Talk to friends, family, and campus advisors. And if you still don’t know what you want to study in school, look into creating your own major, or doubling up in a few things that interest you.

(via Teen Vogue | image via Youth Kia Awaaz)