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i'm all over the place

Dancer14Dancer14 Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
Hi so I'm a junior in high school right now and I am truly struggling with the idea of college majors and what I should be looking for. It's become the time where my friends and I are talking about it a lot more, my family is too, and so are teachers. And I just feel lost.
I've been obsessed with the idea of college and my major and career since I was in about 8th grade. And I just don't know what I want anymore now that the time has arrived for me to seriously consider it.
I'm worried that I just don't have the motivation to pick one and I'm scared I'll pick the wrong one and not be able to change it later, I guess.
Recently, I've considered education, criminology and business administration. However, there's not a clear path or even a clear umbrella of subjects I am interested in. It seems to me that I'm all over the place with no clear idea for myself, and although my friends are struggling too, they seem to have at least some kind of direction.

What can I do to help myself through this process? How do I figure out what I want to major in? And how did you choose your major?

Replies to: i'm all over the place

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,618 Super Moderator
    First of all - relax! Picking your major shouldn't be a stressful process that you have to struggle through or be obsessed with. It should be a fun process of thinking about and identifying your interests and strengths. It also doesn't need to be decided tomorrow; if you're a junior, you have at least a year and a half to decide. It may become easier once you get to college and can actually take some classes in some areas you're considering to see how much you actually like it.

    I went through so many majors in my head between junior year of high school and my freshman year of college. They also seemed all over the place - biology, math, English, actuarial science, political science, and sociology are some of the ones I can actually remember. The one I actually picked was psychology, which I hadn't necessarily been interested in before I got to college and got to take some classes.

    I picked my major by narrowing it down; I realized that one commonality in a lot of the majors I was most interested in was understanding people, so I narrowed it down to social sciences. I thought of political science because I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, and that's what I put on my application to college in the fall of my senior year of high school. But when I flipped through the course catalog over the summer, the political science classes didn't seem appealing to me. So I changed my major to sociology and started by taking the first class for sociology majors. I liked it, but something felt 'missing,' so I took the intro to psychology for majors class the following semester. The 'something' that was missing was in that psych class, so I changed my major to psychology and ended up sticking with that throughout college - and I liked it so much I got a PhD in it, hee.

    There's no such thing as picking the "wrong" major. Careers are so flexible these days that you can bounce around in a lot of different areas with different majors, and there's always the option of retraining or learning more skills if you want something else. I went all the way through a PhD in public health psychology and I ended up working in technology.

    Criminology tends not to be a degree offered at the undergraduate level; it's a subfield of sociology. So if you were interested in that, sociology would be the major to look for. Most sociology majors offer several classes in criminality and deviance. (Criminal justice is often offered at the undergraduate level; the two are related but pretty different.)

    Education can go down two paths. Most colleges that offer this major offer it in the context of preparing to be a K-12 teacher, preparing you for certification in your state. However, there are some colleges that offer education majors that are geared at studying education from a more academic standpoint, without teacher prep.
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