5 Tips for Choosing a Major in College

One of the most common questions college students get asked: What are you majoring in? Choosing a college major can feel like a daunting task, as though you’re making a choice that will define your life and career from there on out. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 80 percent of students change their major at least once before they graduate. In other words, it’s OK if you’re not sure what your major is yet! Here are some tips for using your first year at college as an opportunity to explore and define your interests.

Consider Your Dream Career

Is there a job you’ve dreamed of doing? Now is your chance to take relevant classes and see if reality measures up to that dream. Find faculty members who have experience in that area and ask questions. Be sure to keep an open mind, because you never know what you’ll discover along the way! That dream career may lose its luster, paving the way for new interests; or you may find those early passions solidified by what you learn.

Incorporate Your Strengths

What are your strengths and gifts? Seek opportunities to apply those strengths in your academic studies and as you consider your future career. At Azusa Pacific University, all incoming students take the StrengthsFinder test, which helps you identify your individual top five strengths and offers suggestions for how these can be applied in academics and in future careers.

Don’t Ignore Your Inspirations and Passions

What inspires you? What interests you? What are your hobbies? Look for classes and majors that allow you to further explore these areas and apply them to your learning. If you have a passion for something, you are more likely to enjoy working in that area.

Explore a Variety of Classes

Use your first year of college to explore. Take classes from different areas that interest you; you never know what might pique your interest. Talk with other students about their majors and classes. By expanding your learning beyond your major, you open your mind to making connections between various fields. You may find yourself applying this knowledge in your future career.

Select a Minor

Minor in something that complements your interests and career aspirations. This is a great way to take additional courses in a related topic, or even something completely different that intrigues or motivates you. You may be surprised and find ways to integrate the diversity of knowledge into your major, and in your future career.

It’s important to keep in mind that college is an education journey—a time to expand your knowledge and experience. Beyond your major, all your classes, extracurricular activities, service opportunities, sports, leadership roles, or any other areas you get involved in will shape your experience and help inform your future choices as you develop your strengths and passions. Take advantage of the time, and use it well as you prepare for graduation and the career opportunities that lie beyond!

Related: *View Azusa Pacific’s Majors