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What do you do if you aren't too sure exactly what majors you want to do besides one?

I want to do culinary arts and dance, but I'm not entirely sure that I want to be so close-minded with the majors. How do I decide from here on what can interest me? #college-major #majors

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Paula’s Answer

Start with what you're interested in then find variations of that. Also, look for ideas online. Google for career listings. Look at job websites like Glassdoor and see what jobs are even available in certain areas. You can read job descriptions in the ads, learn requirements for the position, and sometimes even view salaries. When selecting a career, it's all about you and what you do well and what you like to do. You will likely be doing it for a long time so put the time in now and figure out what you like then dive in!

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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Destiny! The art of finding your major is only ONE of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. So don’t be afraid, other big decisions may include finding a life partner, buying your home, finding the best city to live in, etc. But choosing a major is not impossible or a one time deal; it’s 50% practical and methodical and 50% serendipitous and guts. This decision is about growth and courage to fight for your dreams.

The art of choosing a major is a very personal one, because you are now creating a life path or journey for yourself. Yes, it’s scary, but it’s also an adventure and it’s yours to build.

It is also true that a career in the arts doesn’t always have quick economic returns on the investment, but everything depends on how you’ve prepared yourself before and while in college. It also depends on what’s driving your decisions.

I think that the difference for you, Destiny, is it sounds like you may already have a passion for dance or culinary science. A passion is something that most people may not possess or apply to choosing a major; this is a gift that fuels your motivation as you use your time and energy to build your dreams.

I believe that passion is different than motivation and motivation looks different for everyone. Some people may choose a major because they are motivated by the returns or money/ income it will provide (having a secure and stable job path). Others may choose a major because their families expect them to follow a certain path, while others may sometimes discover a major as they explore the world around them. To be clear, there’s nothing innately wrong with any of these reasons or motivational factors, but it’s your choice to make and your responsibility to know what’s driving you. However, If you have a passion, you are ahead of the game, and such a passion can be a formidable driver in your life and bring you success as well as some pains as you fight daily to achieve your goals.

You may find that your passion is not static, it increases, diminishes or shifts, and that’s true for everyone. Do not be deterred or caught off guard; surprise, you’re human. That’s why everyone should have a college strategy. For example, college students can obtain one or more degrees, or prepare for multiple careers while in college. So going to college for the first time and choosing a major nowadays isn’t a one time “fixer-upper” experience; college is now a space where you get the chance to return and renovate and modernize as often as wanted, rebuild or upgrade your skills and abilities as often as needed. Also, having a strong support system, in and out of college, is critical to your success.

So, how do you choose a major:
1) Research your interests in the arts and culinary sciences. Start by being true to yourself and your goals, and take an inventory of your goals. As Polonus said, “To thine own self be true,” so stay open-minded. Now you’re ready to research all types of schools (i.e., conservatory vs other schools), majors/programs that aligns with your goals, and whether or not they offer internships, job placement and travel, for example. With my clients, we call this a self inventory and we use it to build a college list.

Also, good schools should require or recommend that you minor or major in a practical program that compliments your major—it’s a strategy to get you job ready or be a safety net (not to be confused with a backup plan). For example, my Music Program offered Business or Computer Info Systems, I did the latter, and it paid off. You might be interested in architecture or chemistry, teaching, studio production, accounting or something else to be used an economic bridge or safety net as you pursue your dreams and keeps you connected to your field.. It’s like being the Anthony Bourdain of food. while dabbling in journalism. Or, being the Debbie Allen of dance and choreography while building a career in film or theater..

2) Research some more. Start by making a list of potential schools, don’t narrow it down at this point. Consider visiting these schools via in-person or virtual tours. Ask to sit in on a class or two, ask about auditions or portfolios, speak to faculty and current students (especially seniors), look at graduation and job placement rates, their involvement in research and communities, and read up alumni reviews. Once you have a wide and varied list of school along with some insights, consider costs of attending school to obtain that major, scholarship and internship opportunities, the types of corporate & global partnerships the school offers, and how these schools will connect you with people in the industry. This college list could include elite schools or conservatories or a regular college, the goal is finding the right fit for your dreams and not necessarily chasing a brand-named institution (nothing is wrong with this path as well but this is place where you should maintain an open mind).

3) If you decide to pursue your passion(s) and build your skills in the arts, you’ll have to learn how to fight for your dreams. No one gets it all perfect the first time out of the gate. People may doubt you and disregard your talents or they might love you. However, the decision is always yours and you’ll need to fight to sustain it whether there are applauses or not. The fighting starts with managing yourself, staying open and flexible and doing a lot of research.

If you take this advice to heart, I believe that you will discover a front row seat to the world and you’ll be able to develop a point of view ( whether in the form of food or dance you want to create). In other words, you get to build it, all of it into your career.

In a nutshell, the major(s) you choose may be in the performing or culinary arts/ sciences (there are lists of programs available in a Google search). You’ll find that your major will always depend on your needs (self-inventory) and the schools of choice.

All the best with your search...!
Lisa T.
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Simeon’s Answer

I would say talk to the professors and upperclassmen about what the good and bad parts of the program and career are as well as take some advanced courses early to give you a better idea of whether the program is a good fit for you or not. Plus, I'd recommend talking to the school counselor and see what they can help you with in terms of discerning your preferences as well as giving you and idea how much time you have to make a decision.
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Nicholas’s Answer

Here is a great personality test that will give you great insight on what your strengths and weaknesses are and what types of jobs you would like and excel in. It's free, very accurate, and easy. http://www.typefinder.com/


I don't want to sound like a dream crusher, but this is my honest recommendation. Finding a career as a performer is extremely difficult. A degree in dance might be fun and where your passion lies, however it is extremely difficult to have a lasting career in this field. I myself love acting, singing, and comedy. I considered majoring in musical theater in college. I ultimately decided to pursue a more technical degree as an engineer. I performed in a choir and comedy group throughout college and currently perform as a professional comedian/singer on the evenings and weekends after I leave my engineering day job. I love my job as an engineer and I still get to perform all the time. I am not telling you not to pursue dance. I have confidence in you that you can be successful at it. I'm just trying to give you the "real world" perspective that it is very difficult to do so, and college degrees are a very expensive investment. Best of luck!

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