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When did you know what you wanted to major in?

I will be a sophomore in high school and I need to start figuring out what I want to do and the steps that I need to take.

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Paul’s Answer

I think that I figured it out during my first year of college.

My first year I took a variety of classes and courses, and had an opportunity to check out the college career center and determine what my passion was and what I needed in order to pursue it.

The first year of college is one of those transition periods in a persons life. It is when you leave high school, the confines of the home and start making decisions, which will influence the rest of your life, ans determine your educational pursuits and career.

So, for me it was the first year of college.
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L’s Answer

Annie,

Your question is very similar to one I just answered - from Anne (a college student)...lol. Coincidence? The fact that you are already thinking about this several years before graduation is great - this can help you decide if college is the right path for you. Congratulations!

I hope this helps:

"Do what you love to do" is great advice - but that begs the question of how to discover your passion(s) (aside from eating ice cream and being in the arms of "The love of your life" - which, sadly, doesn't pay very well).

I picked a college major based on family and what I THOUGHT I'd love to do - Physics/Astronomy. I never used it; not that it was "wasted" - an education never is. Still - it was a very expensive four years of "expanding my horizons"...

Some people KNOW what they want to do - "I wanted to be a singer since I was a little child"; "I always wanted to fly airplanes" (I just saw a news story about a woman who now is her mom's Co-pilot!). Most people's careers are journeys, though - hopefully adventures.

The best advice I think you're going to get is to expose yourself to as many experiences as you can - internships, volunteering, etc. Doing that internationally can be especially rewarding. Your school likely has options for you!

Exposure to other cultures can really "open your mind" - as well as provide "networking" opportunities you would not get domestically. Not only will you meet interesting locals - but expats working for companies, governments, and NGOs...

As Mark Twain said: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness...Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." (Sadly, this has become much more fraught in the last few years. Don't let that stop you - but do your best to be SAFE in your travels.)

Good luck!

:-)

LT recommends the following next steps:

Talk to a school counselor.
Explore options for internships, volunteering - and travel.
Connect w/professionals in areas that interest you.
Get feedback from family & friends.
Trust your own instincts - and don't put too much pressure on yourself to find "The Right" career track. You'll "find yourself" eventually...
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