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Having a hard time finding a major

SkyNova20SkyNova20 14 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited January 7 in College Majors
As an undecided major, I've been researching some majors lately and I can't find a major that suits me the most. I feel like the classes I am taking are just a total waste of time. I'm thinking about dropping out, but I can't, because my family doesn't want me to do that. I have a MWF class and thinking about dropping it, because it's on Friday and I'm on the waitlist for that class (there are no open sections for the class). I'm on the waitlist for another class as well, which is a gen ed. Without those courses, I'm not full-time at all.

I don't know what to do anymore. I talked to my advisor, a career advisor, my family, and took plenty of career tests, nothing worked. What should I even do?
edited January 7
15 replies
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Replies to: Having a hard time finding a major

  • juilletjuillet 12661 replies161 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Well, if there's nothing that really suits you best, at a certain point you just have to pick something.

    Your major doesn't really matter as much as a lot of college guides and articles would have you think. Sure, there are certain jobs for which having a background is essential - like engineering, or software development, or nursing. But there are also tons and tons of jobs out there for which your major doesn't really matter and the fact that you have a bachelor's degree is the most important part.

    For this semester, you need to find alternatives for the general-education classes you've been waitlisted for so that you can be full-time. Most of the time there are several classes you can take to satisfy requirements, so figure out what else you can take, and sign up for the classes that aren't waitlisted as a backup.

    For the major itself...seriously, just pick something. Pick it based on what you think has good career prospects or that's sort of mildly interesting and doesn't have a lot of sequenced requirements.
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  • SkyNova20SkyNova20 14 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited February 17
    I know this post has been for a long ago, but I didn't want to create a new topic.

    "Well, if there's nothing that really suits you best, at a certain point you just have to pick something."

    So, should I just pick a major for the sake of picking one? What if I don't like the major at all? I can't just change majors multiple times, and end up wasting a lot more semesters than ever.

    "Your major doesn't really matter as much as a lot of college guides and articles would have you think. Sure, there are certain jobs for which having a background is essential - like engineering, or software development, or nursing. But there are also tons and tons of jobs out there for which your major doesn't really matter and the fact that you have a bachelor's degree is the most important part."

    I don't believe in the "your major doesn't matter much as long as you have a bachelor's degree." I think that's nonsense, because I doubt anyone will get the job if their major is irrelevant to what careers they want to pursue in. While you mentioned some specifics, and that's true, but I still think that this argument sounds a little counter-intuitive. I don't know what job suits me best, because I never had a job.

    "For this semester, you need to find alternatives for the general-education classes you've been waitlisted for so that you can be full-time. Most of the time there are several classes you can take to satisfy requirements, so figure out what else you can take, and sign up for the classes that aren't waitlisted as a backup."

    I got into all of the classes I was waitlisted in, although I'm not enjoying any of them. Even if I signed up for different classes, I either not going to like them at all, or I will find them extremely difficult. I don't think the general education classes will help me figure out a major I actually want. People think that those classes help you find some new interests, but I doubt they do at all.

    "For the major itself...seriously, just pick something. Pick it based on what you think has good career prospects or that's sort of mildly interesting and doesn't have a lot of sequenced requirements."

    As I've said once, what to pick? I keep dong "research", but still, nothing works. I can't even say hello to anyone, let alone finding a major. I can't even fill in a cup of water or clean my room, let alone finding an interest.

    I just believe that I'm wasting my time in college and life. There's no point in anything.
    edited February 17
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  • GrayStrongGrayStrong 53 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My former Director got her Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education. She ran 5 Call Centers. She never taught a gym class in her life.
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  • albertsaxalbertsax 298 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    70% of college graduates work in fields unrelated to their college major. This is true for both humanities and STEM fields. So unless you believe that 70% of jobs requiring a bachelors simply don't exist, then clearly it's not "nonsense."
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78278 replies691 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    SkyNova20 wrote:
    I just believe that I'm wasting my time in college and life. There's no point in anything.

    Perhaps a gap semester or year while you work at a job may be helpful in giving you time to think about what you want to do?

    If you do so, it is best to withdraw officially (perhaps at the end of this semester after doing as well as you can in your current courses), so that you will have a clean academic record that will not prevent you from returning to college later. Leaving without notice could give you a transcript of F grades and/or unpaid bills to the college that will be a major roadblock to returning to the same or different college later.
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  • SkyNova20SkyNova20 14 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    "My former Director got her Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education. She ran 5 Call Centers. She never taught a gym class in her life."
    "70% of college graduates work in fields unrelated to their college major. This is true for both humanities and STEM fields. So unless you believe that 70% of jobs requiring a bachelors simply don't exist, then clearly it's not 'nonsense.'"

    So, they just got a job, because they only got a bachelor's degree? Why did they even study those fields in the first place, even though they ended up in different fields later on? Why didn't they decide to go to the exact same field they planned back then? What's the whole point of a college degree then?

    "Perhaps a gap semester or year while you work at a job may be helpful in giving you time to think about what you want to do?"

    "If you do so, it is best to withdraw officially (perhaps at the end of this semester after doing as well as you can in your current courses), so that you will have a clean academic record that will not prevent you from returning to college later. Leaving without notice could give you a transcript of F grades and/or unpaid bills to the college that will be a major roadblock to returning to the same or different college later."


    I wish I could drop out, but my family doesn't want me to do that. They still have the mentality of college giving you plenty of job opportunities and is the only way to succeed in life. None of my family members have college degrees, therefore they want me to be the first person to get one. If they believe like this, then why didn't they get a college degree in the first place? What's the point? Many of you may say that I'm an adult now, but there's nothing I can do, other than living with them. I can't move out or go anywhere else. I've applied to a couple of jobs already, but some of them rejected the offers, while others didn't call me back, and I have to wait instead. I don't think there is a way for me to think about what I want to do in life. Even if I end up dropping out, I don't know how to continue with the idea of career planning. I don't think I am ready for a career nor believe I am good at anything.
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  • albertsaxalbertsax 298 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 25
    People choose to study a field because they have a genuine interest in it, and it's something that they would enjoy studying for four years.

    The whole point of a college degree is to become a well-rounded individual capable of thinking deeply about the world around you. College is not, and never was, a trade school, and it seems like you may be confusing the two. The point of college is not to buy you into a better job; it's to develop the skills that will make you a better human being.

    (Edited because I can't spell, haha)
    edited February 25
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  • SkyNova20SkyNova20 14 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited February 26
    Well, I personally don't know what I'm interested in. What if I said that I am interested in nothing, because I don't like anything? I'm serious. I don't like anything. Every major I've looked into, nothing appealed to me. Every job/career I've looked into, nothing appealed to me. I don't even know who to talk to anymore, because I've talked to my family, they're telling me to major in whatever I want. How am I supposed to know what I want to major in if I clearly don't know what I want to major in? Explain this. I learned nothing interested/important in my previous school years at all. I thought everything I learned was useless, pointless, and worthless. I don't have any hobbies either, except for going on the Internet.
    edited February 26
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78278 replies691 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    albertsax wrote:
    College is not, and never was, a trade school, and it seems like you may be confusing the two.

    Perhaps true for the colleges that served the scions of wealth who had the luxury of not worrying about their studies' applicability to jobs and career, but the existence of college majors in engineering, agriculture, health professions, and business, among other things, shows the incorporation of pre-professional studies into college education. There are also colleges dedicated to educating their students for specific professions (e.g. military service academies, religious seminaries, music conservatories, and Webb Institute).

    However, even if one's major is not specifically related to job and career, earning a bachelor's degree in anything is supposed to indicate that the graduate is capable of higher level general skills in thinking, studying, and communication than a high school graduate, which is desired for some jobs and careers. Also, the knowledge and skills learned in not job related course work may be useful later.
    SkyNova20 wrote:
    I don't have any hobbies either, except for going on the Internet.

    What do you on the internet?
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  • SkyNova20SkyNova20 14 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited February 27
    I go to online forums, but that's mainly because I've been to them for quite a long time. Despite accessing them, I don't care about what's the forum about, instead I tend to argue with almost all the members over there, for whatever reason. I get annoyed easily by others. Just because I take an interest to something, it doesn't mean I'm always going to be interested in it. At the same time, I don't think it's relevant to this discussion at all.
    edited February 27
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  • AmkngkAmkngk 189 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Obviously I don’t know you, @SkyNova20, but it sounds like maybe something else is going on besides not being sure of what you want to do in the future. It might be helpful to speak with a psychologist or counselor to try and get some insight, because you sound sad and frustrated. Please know that this is a well-intentioned suggestion, and I recognize that online posts can be easily misread.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5527 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My understanding from another thread is that you are still a freshman in university. Certainly many students change their major at the end of their freshman year of university. In my case way back when I was in school the school I attended wouldn't even let me choose a major until the end of my freshman year. Both of my daughters did change their major after starting at university, and this was not a problem for either of them.

    I think of majors as falling mostly into two broad categories. One includes majors such as software engineering or nursing that prepare you for a specific career. The other category includes most majors (including mathematics, which I majored in) that provide you with a lot of background that might be useful in many different future careers. Personally I ended up in a specialty that did make use of my background in math, but which did not even exist at the time that I was in university. As such these "useful background" majors might not provide you with an immediate obvious job right after university, but can still be quite valuable.

    I majored in math because I loved math and was good at it. At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with it, and it did take me some time to figure this out after I graduated. It worked out just fine.

    The best path for you to take might depend upon your finances. If you can afford to attend more than four years of university, then you have more freedom to change your major later. If you are going to run out of money after four years, then it is valuable to figure out by the beginning of your sophomore year what you want to major in.

    I have seen a few students take a year or two off. In most cases the student has gotten a broader sense of the world and of what majors might be interesting to them based on their year or two off, and have been better students when they returned. I do know of at least one case (I could probably think of more if I tried hard enough) where a student took a year off from school, and then never went back to school at all.

    I do agree with @Amkngk that you might want to talk to a counselor at the school where you are attending. What you are going through is quite common. Your school should have people whose job is to talk to and help students such as you. They have seen this before. They also have a very good idea of what your school offers -- which is usually a lot more than is obvious at first glance.
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  • SkyNova20SkyNova20 14 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Amkngk I doubt this. Some people have told me this, but I doubt this is true. I can't even afford for a bag of chips and a bottle of water, let alone affording for a professional. In fact, I don't trust professionals at all. I don't consider professionals, because they're not always correct/reasonable. I consider them money-makers, just like every single company and any other profession/occupation (doctor, lawyer, celebrity, whatever). College is a huge example of a big money-maker. Probably the biggest one and I don't know why. I don't even know why the world exists. What's the purpose/point of the world? Society expects everyone to do certain stuff that's not even worth doing. People can't explain anything why they're acting this way, because society consider their actions as excuses, instead of reasons. In most cases, a reason is an excuse, and an excuse is a reason, but society doesn't think this way.

    @DadTwoGirls I don't have to declare a major until I get to 60 credits, but then again, if I finish the general education stuff, I can't get up to 60 credits. They are much less than that. I don't really care about other students that change their majors every time. I don't think I will get a better sense of the world if I drop out, even though I'm thinking about dropping out. I don't think college is for me at all. I'm not doing well academic-wise, despite not partaking in any activities whatsoever. All I do is go to school and come back home. I don't know why I can't do well in any of my classes, despite studying very often. The exams are extremely irrelevant to the lectures. I'm not learning anything, because what I'm learning right now in all of my classes is completely useless. I don't know what's the issue here. I can't even get any jobs out there, despite putting amounts of effort into finding them. I still don't know what to major in, and because I don't want to spend extra years in college, I'm trying to get answers here. I don't really know what to do now.
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  • GrayStrongGrayStrong 53 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SkyNova20 what my former director had said was a degree is a receipt proving to employers that you know how to learn and to think.
    Don't paralyze yourself. Follow your true interests and learn what sparks your curiousity... you may surprise yourself at how much better you do when you enjoy what you are learning. Skills are transferable to many industries. You are looking for a magic bullet when there is none. Honestly, you sound very unhappy and possibly depressed, clouding you from seeing any pathway forward and that is a difficult place to be.
    The internet can be great for support or some small guidance/clarity, but I think you may want to take a step back and seek a counselor to help gain some perspective.
    Wishing you all the best.
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  • BackToBasics17BackToBasics17 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I wish I had advice, but I'm in a similar position. I've dropped out of college 6 times because I can't find a major I like, or even classes I like, especially since I don't do well with gen eds (that is, I understand them and test incredibly well but I think they're incredibly pointless for what I want to do in life; no boss I've had has given a rat's ass about being able to quote Voltaire or whether I can write a paper on what principles from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle could be applied in everyday life). The only reason I'm going back to school is because everyone is pressuring me into it because I have a disabled kid and "tHe oNlY wAy tO mAkE a gOoD fUtUrE fOr hIm iS tO gO tO cOlLeGe". The only real benefit that'll come is financial aid overage. So much of what they teach is theory that ends up being semi-outdated by the time you graduate. My point in writing all this is - Is it possible that you're unable to choose a major because college is pointless to you? That you're bored with people with no practical experience in the field droning on and on? That you need more hands-on/practical experience than a regular college will ever teach you?

    The gap year is a great idea. If you're in the US, I'd recommend an AmeriCorps program. College will always be there to drain your wallet. If you're not careful, you'll end up like me - stuck going to a boring ass college studying a boring ass degree, unable to even relocate to another city. Go live your life. Go experience the world.
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