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how do I know if studying major( x )suits me or not

Hi I'm in my last school year and I want to find a major that fits my standards and requirements. I'm a good problem solver, Gets bored easily, Love helping others, Not really a hard worker to be honest except if it was in a field I love, Free time is one of my priorities. #career #major #college #college-major #university

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


7 answers

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John’s Answer

Many high school students feel that they need to have their whole lives planned out before graduation Mohammad. That’s a lot of pressure to take on, and it really isn’t practical because your goals and desires change over time. At this point, the best way to prepare for the process of career planning is to take some steps to get to know more about yourself. Start by considering your options. You can take many paths, and you may discover new talents and passions in the process of exploring.


What classes have you found especially inspiring? What activities keep you so absorbed that you don't even notice how much time has passed? Listing 10 things you love can help reveal possible paths. Can you make connections between elements on your list? Are a group of items related to the arts or social activities or technology? What can you build by combining your passions? Think about three experiences that taught you something about yourself. Choose the one that gave you the greatest sense of satisfaction and write a sentence that explains why that was so. If you can pinpoint what makes you happy, you can aim toward a career that will provide those types of experiences.

Are you friendly, creative, impatient, funny, organized? Try writing down a list of 10 qualities you feel describe your personality. Ask your friends and family to name some of your qualities — sometimes other people see us more clearly than we see ourselves. Add their suggestions to your list. Now think about what sort of career fits the person your list describes. Make a list of your five top strengths and weaknesses. What sorts of employers would be interested in your strengths? If you’re a good public speaker, for example, explore what types of careers call for that skill. Your weaknesses can also tell you a lot about where you might go. You can either steer away from careers that require skills you’re not confident about or work to improve weaknesses that may keep you from your goals.

Four years in college does not mean that you figured out your entire life. Picking a major is only the beginning of your professional career. While you are in college, you should be living in the present while thinking about your future. Mentors can help guide you to a passion-filled future. Sometimes, when others analyze a situation, they can give you a better outlook on the situation. Mentors can help you decide what to do after college, as they will be looking out for your best interest. College can be a series of highs and lows. As a college student, sometimes you just need someone to talk to about anything. You can talk to your mentor about anything from academic difficulties, to your strengths, your personal life, and your goals for the future. Your mentor is someone you can trust and confide in. Sometimes, that’s all you need — the ability to talk to someone confidentially. The reality is, your mentor may also be able to give you advice that will help you figure out a solution.

This is, in many ways, a balancing act. Having a path in mind is important, but keeping your options open is equally vital. Very few people stay with one career for their entire life, and having an overspecialized degree can lead to future employers overlooking your resume. Earning a degree in a general field – like biology, English, or psychology – can also be a useful strategy if you are not sure about your future career. Many industry-specific skills are learned in the workplace, but a degree that teaches critical thinking and communication paves the way for adapting to a variety of environments. Certain career paths may seem to require a specific major at first glance, but research reveals some flexibility. If your plans include law school, for instance, a pre-law undergraduate concentration may seem like an obvious choice. However, law schools accept students from a wide range of backgrounds, and law has many specialized topics. An undergraduate degree in biology or engineering, for example, can prepare you for a career in patent law. An international studies major can position you for international law, and so on.

Remember Mohammad, even if you know someone who has been planning to be a doctor since the age of seven, most young people don’t know what they want to do or be. Many adults actually work in a few different jobs before selecting a career path. You have time to get to know yourself and find a career that suits you.

John recommends the following next steps:

Pick a major based on values – Choosing a major based on your core beliefs will normally lead to work that is more rewarding and encouraging.
Pick a major based on interests – Your interests are a fine way of determining which major to choose in college. I mean, if you like doing something, why not get paid for it, right?
Pick a major based on passions – At first glance, your passions seem just like interest areas, only stronger. But this is quite an understatement. Passions are areas of deep interest, sure, but they also incorporate your values and abilities into something that becomes a burning, lifelong desire.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your help John, looks like you've got a great job Mohammad A.
Thank you comment icon You are welcome Mohammad, my Pleasure. The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job. John Frick
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Eliza’s Answer

Go with your gut, it seems like you want a major that involves problem solving and challenge, so it is worth starting with looking at majors that hit those aspects of your personality.

Don't forget, many people change their majors once they start their education, once they take a few classes and get a better sense of what their interests are. Don't feel locked in by your original major choice!
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Margaret’s Answer

Try to take classes in anything and everything you can. Then narrow down what makes you the most happy to study and what you feel the most passion for. Once you've found the subject that really interests and excites you, pursue that major.
Thank you comment icon although I've heard that advice before but you just like opened my eyes on it, Thank you so much for your time, I appreciate your efforts on answering and helping others Mohammad A.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Margaret Mohammad A.
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Mo,

It sounds like you have a good start: you have your priorities (free time) and you have what you're looking for (problem solving, helping others, and diverse activities). Try looking beyond the major and see if you can find jobs that suit those interests; does the day to day allow for varied topics? Does the work impact people in some way, can you give back to the community with it?

Free time in the long run depends on the culture of the company you'd work at; do they encourage a flexible work-life balance? Do they encourage not taking your work home or do they overwork their employees? That may be worth looking at more later on when you're job searching. Even within the same company I've seen it drastically vary depending on the manager.

When I chose my major, it was after deciding I wanted to create prosthetics. I wanted to help people feel like themselves after a loss and I wanted to have creative freedom in design. I had no real interest in mechanical engineering at the time, but I saw it as a means to the end: it would give me access to designing products to help others. In my second year I actually fell in love with engineering, seeing that it was creatively looking at and understanding problems of the physical world and trying to solve them as best we can.

Hard work may be inevitable, but if you're looking towards where that work will take you it may make it more palatable.

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your time, I appreciate your efforts on answering and helping others Mohammad A.
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David Min Seo’s Answer


I was in the same boat as you. What you gotta do is be truly honest with yourself and do a bit of introspection. Senior year is a perfect time for that. Do some strolls around town. Ask and listen. This is a critical time for you. But do be wary that just because you went to college for one major, doesn't mean you can't switch to a different one. My advice is to really go for the technical majors like STEM and gain marketable skills and knowledge. Applied knowledge can be learned over time. But there's also nothing wrong with getting a major in a business discipline if that's something you're truly wanting to do.
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Carolina’s Answer

I definitely struggled with this issue during my first two years of college. I originally came in wanting to be a Finance major - I'm a good problem solver with a passion for numbers and leadership. However, I quickly realized that Finance wasn't the best fit for me; I got bored in class so easily and I it was incredibly hard for me to visualize myself in a Finance role.

After this realization, I began asking myself, much like you have, what are my values, my actual interests (i.e. what is something I could do all day and not get tired of?), and what kind of role do I want to occupy? For me, I decided that I wanted to my role to be meaningful within the organization - I wanted to see the result of my effort immediately. Through this self-discovery process, I also found out that I really wanted a career where I had the opportunity to collaborate with others to solve problems.

I also enrolled in a Public Health minor which allowed me learn about a number of fields outside of the school of business. This also helped open my eyes to what kind of career/major would be best for me.

Another good suggestion is to start volunteering with local clubs and organizations. For example, while working as a Marketing chair for an organization, you might realize you have an affinity with that kind of work or you might finally discover that Marketing is not for you.

Finally, don't be scared to reach out to alumni or older college students in a field that interests you, as most of them will be happy to share their insights as well. While talking to a friend of a friend one day, I was able to learn more about Information Technology. The next semester, I enrolled in the IT introductory course just to see what it was like. I ended up liking it so much that I decided to switch majors. Now, I love my classes and I'm excited about the possibility of pursuing a career in this field.

Hope that helps!
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Zainee’s Answer

Congrats to you for entering a new stage of your education!

Deciding on a major is an important next step. It sounds like you've already put some thought into it and have identified some criteria's on how and where you would like to invest your time.

2 elements jump out based on your description - problem solving, and being challenged. The cool thing about that is many fields require both - the good news is that opens an array of options for you to explore.

It will be helpful for you to think about - currently, what types of activities or subjects makes you feel that way? To further explore, think about professions that correlate with those activities / or areas of study. This will help you better identify your major as you continue your educational journey.

In terms of free time, I can share from my perspective of what's helped me. I start with evaluating the time it should take to complete any set task. I then manage my calendar closely and commit to designated time to complete. I make sure I have "white space" time so I can better plan and assess my priorities on projects.

I've also found it important to always assess how to better work "smarter" and not just work longer. This has help create a better balance on my work.

I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice and time Zainee Mohammad A.