Anna K.

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How do I narrow down my interests in college?

Hi everyone! The one thing that excites me the most about college is getting to study what I'm interested in and taking all sorts of amazing classes. The only problem is, my interests are super diverse! I love math and science, but I'm also interested in French, economics, and music.The colleges I applied to all give me the opportunity to explore different classes through electives, but I doubt I could explore so many interests on top of extracurricular activities and undergraduate research (which I'm also interested in). I'm having a hard time narrowing things down because I couldn't imagine myself not studying any one of those subjects. Music is what I'm most concerned about. No matter if I'm taking a class or pursuing it as an extracurricular/hobby, the performing arts are definitely notorious for being time-consuming.

Sorry if I sound unfocused! I'm genuinely interested in lots of different fields. Obviously, not all of my interests will go towards my career goal, but I'm not sure how to pick and choose among them.

My general question is, how do I prioritize my activities and focus my interests? #college #science #college-major #music #research #math #economics #foreign-languages

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Anna:

I would recommend taking multiple career aptitude tests and seeing what the results are. I had always taken for granted that I would study business because that's what literally EVERYONE in my family has done. Always. But by the time I was a Sophmore in college, I felt pulled in a million different directions and found subjects like art, teaching, and politics all more interesting.

I ended up taking nearly a dozen* assessments in order to see what different algorithms would create for me. Almost everyone listed medicine as a strong suit which was a HUGE surprise. But honestly, I love it and have been able to combine medicine and teaching successfully.

Odds are your school will have tests that you can take for free if you reach out to a guidance counselor, the US Dept of Labor also has one for free (https://www.mynextmove.org/) and I've also heard good things about this test (https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test)

*You don't need to take 12 btw, I just tended to freak out a lot when I was unsure of my future career path. Still do.

Last updated Jan 19 '17 at 00:55

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French and music can be learnt without going to school, or as leisure activities. Maths is a component of economics and you love science too...then you should go study Agricultural economics, where maths, economics and science is combined

Last updated Jan 17 '17 at 02:27

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That's actually a great question and I'm sure a lot of people struggle with this issue in college. I eventually earned a master's degree in math and then became an actuary, which combines math, economics, finance, and computer skills. However, I started out in college as a music major, thinking I wanted a career in a symphony orchestra.

In my case, I eventually realized that becoming a professional musician took a lot of real hard work and it was super competitive, so I decided to make a change after my second year. I guess what I am saying is that at some point you probably need to decide on which subjects where you will focus most of your efforts. If you are already musically talented, there are many opportunities in most cities to participate in various community bands, orchestras, or singing groups, as I did for several years after college. It was a lot of fun and interestingly, there were a lot of people I met in those groups whose "day jobs'" were scientists, engineers, teachers, lawyers, etc.

Sorry for the long and rambling answer, but I hope it helped. Good luck!

Last updated Jan 18 '17 at 22:48

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Taking interest and aptitude tests is a great start Follow that by talking to your school counselor to take advantage of coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs to meet people who do what looks interesting Looking for a career area is like shopping for a pair of shoes as they may look great but you need to try try them on and walk in them for a while to determine proper fit and comfort Also talk to head of alumni relations at your school to arrange and to talk to graduates of your school who are doing what you think looks interesting to you so you can learn more. Best of luck. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

Last updated Jan 19 '17 at 13:47

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