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How do I know if I've picked the right major?

I have decided to become an elementary education major. I love children, and I've always wanted to do something that would benefit others. However, I'm a bit worried I'll get bored studying to be a teacher all the time. I also love science, and at one point I considered becoming a medicinal chemist, which is completely different than the major I've chosen. All of the college/career tests I've taken advise me to become a pharmacist, or a chemist, or an engineer. They show that I am not a good match for elementary education simply because I've taken a lot of challenging classes in other areas, like AP Calculus and Honors Physics. How can I know if the major I've chosen is right?
#elementary-education #college #college-major


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Melissa Hall’s Answer

I suggest you spend some time before you graduate college experiencing the field you plan to go into. My first degree is in Engineering because that was what everybody told me I would be good at - and I excelled at engineering coursework- but as I approached graduation I got more active in student engineering work and couldn't find the right fit for me. I did finally meet some friends slightly older than me that graduated from pharmacy school and suggested maybe I would be interested in it. Nobody had ever suggested that option before, and after picking up some missing courses (I had already graduated engineering school) I went back to school for pharmacy. I loved it! If you give yourself more options from the get go, you are better off than I was. See if you can shadow someone in the field. It is one thing to like the book stuff, but it may be different when on the job, know what you are getting yourself into. Every career has its pluses and minuses, and the world needs all kinds of people to function, so be proud of your choice, no matter which option you choose.

Melissa Hall recommends the following next steps:

Decide on you top 3 choices.
Find a trusted adult to shadow or volunteer to help in each of your top three choices. Try to spend the same amount of time at each of the various career interests.
After completing each of the experiences, create lists of what you did and did not enjoy about each one. These lists should help you decide which field to pursue.
At university you can continue this process by entering into work study, internships, or actively participating in professional societies.
As a last resort, students can, and do change majors, but this is expensive in both time and money, but it is better than sacrificing happiness.

Melissa - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week! Jordan Rivera COACH

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Rachel’s Answer

Try signing up for basic science classes as well as the basics for education and see what you like best. Also, it would help to shadow people in both education and science fields to get a better idea of where you would like to end up.

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