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How do I know that I will pick the right major

I am worry that i may not like my major once i go to college.
#pre-law #maybe

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David’s Answer

Hi Tranautica,


That is always a fear among many first-year students. There will be those who know (or at least think they know) exactly what they want to study and stick with their gut. There will also be those who don't know but eventually find their "way." I've seen both sides of the spectrum and have even witnessed many people change their minds even though they thought they know what they initially wanted to study.


I think the question of whether the major is right for you comes down to answering to key questions.


The first question is whether you know what you want to do after you graduate college.

The second question, related to the first, is whether the career path you decide to take requires a lot of pre-exposure.


On the first question -- you've indicated, as I can tell, a 'mild' interest in doing law. I found from my experience that many students who have been interested in law and eventually pursued a post-graduate degree in law have always studied subjects that would prepare them for the types of classes and materials that would be covered in graduate school. Majors such as political science, government, international relations. If you are genuinely interested in law, you should strongly consider taking a course or even sitting in on a lecture or two on some of these subjects, as they should be a good indication of whether you would be academically interested in these subjects. If the answer turns out that you are not seriously interested in this field, you have to consider what other post-graduate plans you are interested in pursuing. This leads to the second question.


The second question is whether the career path you're interested in requires a lot of "pre-exposure" to the content. What do I mean by this? Let's take law as an example since that is what we discussed above. Law would be something I would consider to require slightly less pre-exposure during college than, for example, medicine. Many med students begin studying to enter med school during their undergraduate years, with many courses on different subjects that would help them prepare for the MCAT (the standardized exam to enter med school). This also requires lots of different experiences in labs and research that they must pursue early in their undergraduate years to make sure they are preparing themselves for a successful journey after undergraduate school. This is a bit different from law, as the LSATs are something many of my peers have studied for regardless of whether they've even taken an intro course on some of the classes I've mentioned above. In other words, compared to a career in medicine, a career in law may require relatively less "pre-exposure" during your college career, due to the accessibility in studying for the LSATs and preparing for law school. I would say this gives you an opportunity to pursue other majors if they do not require as much "pre-exposure" for a post-college career. Many of my peers, for example, have only declared their major for computer science during their 3rd year of college after finding out medicine and law wasn't for them. This obviously may require some "catching up" to do, but that is a trade-off you have to make when you've ultimately wanted to pursue.


All that being said, college is a place for you to find what genuinely fuels you to continue learning. You won't like every class you take, but that's the point of college - to narrow down what truly interests you and pursuing that passion after you graduate.

David recommends the following next steps:

Identify the subjects that you have had an interest in during your high school years
Identify what career path you may be most interested in - and take some time to talk about this with your peers, counselors, role models, professionals, etc. and ask why they have decided that career path
Decide on a plan to align your subject interests with your post-college career path
Don't be afraid to explore and change your mind, that's what college is about
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sharmela’s Answer

Many students change majors while in college. Once you start taking courses, you will have an idea which areas you find more interesting. Some students may know even before they start their course of study. It really depends on what you would enjoy learning more about based on your interest in the subject matter.
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