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What are some things that I can do to figure out what I want to major in?

I really do not know what I want to do and will take any pointers that you are willing to give me.

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Eric’s Answer

Ethan,
Deciding on a career choice can be daunting. I suggest you talk about career choices with those closest to you, such as parents, teachers, church leaders, and friends. Hopefully, you can discuss with them what strengths they observe in you and such discussions may shed light on where you should focus your education. I also suggest getting a job. As you begin working with other people you will experience many of the same interactions that you will encounter in your career. You will also be assigned tasks that may be new to you and learning something new in a job will require a certain work ethic to be successful in the implementation of those tasks. Hopefully, you will learn more about yourself in the process. As you begin to learn about yourself, pay attention to your passions. Within each of us are passions and talents unique to each of us. Discovering those talents and passions can be rewarding in and of itself; but, it will unlock an awakening of your career as well. I also suggest learning new hobbies and taking time to enjoy nature, the arts, recreation, and many other uplifting and wholesome activities and experiences. If you have an interest in something new, you might consider a club associated with that activity, whether it be a hiking club, a rock climbing club or a book club. Ultimately, all of these things will, in part, assist in the discovery of, not only, your career but your passions and talents.
All the best,
Eric
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Darcel’s Answer

Start with your interests, hobbies and activities what are some of the things you do in your free time for fun. Nothing is too small or big. Second think about the subjects and courses you enjoyed the most and received the best grades. College has a variety of courses and activities. The best part about going to college are the pre-requisites (the courses you need to take before you take your major course). Taking the pre-requisites will help you in choosing a major. I am getting ahead of myself. If you are currently in high school or get a copy of your grade reports. Get a piece of paper and write down all the classes you got As and Bs in, why did you get those good grades. Did you enjoy the subject, was it interesting for you to learn was it easy for you to get those grades?
This hopefully will be a fun activity. After you made the list take a moment to look at each course, is this a subject you would like to learn more about yes or no. After you separated the No's from the Yes's. This is how it might look (Sample/Example) below.

Yes, courses I like got good grades and can learn more about: Do you see a similarity the area of study is called STEM majors.
Geometry *: Grade A
English Grade: B
History Grade: B
Social Studies
Physical Education
Math* Grade A
Biology * Grade A
Physiology* Grade A
Chemistry* Grade A
Know as Science, Technology, Engineer and Math = Four different majors

Darcel recommends the following next steps:

STEM as an example has given you four areas to explore.
Let's look at your interests, reading, writing, problem solving, trying to figure out how things work, taking thing apart and putting together.
Unfortunately, always on social media, always on your phone as a passive view may not be a way to choose a major.
Talk to your parents or guardians what jobs do they have and why.
The beautiful thing about going to college is general education courses all students have to take graduate. To save you time and money go to a junior or cummnity
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Ethan! The best thing you can do figure out what you want to major in is to take as many classes as possible in different areas in your first year of college. I had a friend who was set on becoming a chemical engineer take a political science class, absolutely love the courses, and now they are going to law school. I had another friend who absolutely hated computer science in high school, but now takes those classes for fun. You should also know that your major isn't everything, I'm a geography major who is now a data engineering intern.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I think there are 2 major areas that you could consider :
1. What is your interest? i.e. what would like to do in the future and then determine the relevant subjects?
If you would like to be teacher, you may consider to have education as your major. Then, what subjects you would like to teach on? You may the decide that as you minor.
You may have to put down your a few choices with priority.
2. You have to find the entry criteria of these subjects in the college.
Find out the colleges which are strong in these subjects and their entry criteria. Do you think your result can meet these criteria of the relevant subjects? You may have to apply for a few colleges.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Andrew’s Answer

Take a look through the catalogue and see what stands out to you. Honestly, the major you choose may end up may not mattering as much as you think - if you know where you want to end up, chase that specific thing, rather than by choosing a major.
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Fábio’s Answer

I do suggest to talk with your closers, exchange ideas.
But i would start with what you do not want to do. This would be a starting point, and would eliminate some alternatives.
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Pamela’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

This is a great time to start thinking about what career path to take. Kudos to getting started!
My advice is to begin with taking a career assessment test. This will help you narrow down what interests you career wise. I've included 2 links below to get you started. Truity has fun one with just pictures of various careers. There are many other assessments, so try them out and see if you get the same answers. There are no right or wrong answers. These tests are meant to be fun so do not stress. Use your instinct and go with your first choice.
Also consider what you like to do for fun or as a hobby. Then research to see if there are any career fields in that area or similar to it.

Remember once you find an area of interest, do some research. Contact companies to see you can take a tour, conduct an informational interview with someone in the position or job shadow.

This is a fun and exciting time. Good luck!

Pamela recommends the following next steps:

https://www.mynextmove.org/
https://www.truity.com/
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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Ethan,
Good question and a hard one too. You should follow the previous advice to explore through career assessment tools and personality surveys. These are great first steps to give you tips to guide you,; they are not life choices. Meaning, they can’t choose for you; you will need to do that by becoming informed.

Consider this: Part of becoming a college educated person is finding the 1 to 3 things that you would want to do every day even if no one paid you to do it. An academic major is about learning what you love and like, but the rest of your college degree (I.e., your General Education classes are giving you the chance to explore all your options). So be purposeful when you choose these classes; don’t just take classes to get an easy A or because friends tell to take it. Be intentional, explore and stretch yourself a bit.

For example: You may find that you fell out of love with Physics in high school but when you take a class with a renowned faculty member you found an area of Physics that reignited that love . You may decide to pair Physics with a business major. Or, you may want to create something brand new while minoring or double majoring in something else that will get you income or job readiness, like financial engineering or aeronautical simulators, or computational linguistics and working with robotics. You could also work with innovative faculty to co-create something new. I don’t know, Ethan; that’s why you have to take all these steps we are sharing with you to be intentionally so you can find out.

Finally, the best answer I have is to explore, research, test drive and be intentional. Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking everything is an option for you, but always go back to what You would you enjoy doing even if you weren’t being paid for it. Now, I want you to make lots of money to have a quality life while still doing what’s right for you, but too many students start by looking at income or a job title or status in society and then work backwards. Be encouraged to start your exploration by reconnecting with what you love and then researching what you can do it to make a living.

You may end up with 1, 2 or 3 great loves or majors, so explore how you can put them together (double major or major and minor) to achieve your goals. Also, don’t forget to factor in the things you loved doing when you traveled, visited a museum of science, ate a good meal, watch a good movie, read, or did something that fed your heart and spirit —-engage all your senses and bring it together with your research.

By the way, please don’t feel pressured to pick one thing now for a college application, let your potential colleges know you are still exploring and tell them what you love to study and could see yourself doing one day. You’ll get to your infamous Aha! moments soon enough.
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