One of the toughest decisions you’ll come across as a college student is selecting a major. This is a major decision because it sets the foundation for your future career. Although some people switch majors partway through school, it’s not something you want to do. This will just set you back and make it more expensive to get through college. So it’s best to deeply consider your major well in advance. Don’t wait until you’ve gotten into college to start thinking about your major. And as you’re considering a major, don’t make any of the following common mistakes.
Basing Your Decision Off of Salary Potential
Sure, everyone wants a career that earns them a comfortable living, but this shouldn’t be the sole reason why you choose a specific major. Going to college itself increases your earning potential and can possibly land you in a meaningful career. But that’s only if you choose a subject that you’re actually passionate about. So it wouldn’t be a good idea to chase after a lawyer dream if you hate reading, writing and studying case files. Nor should you pursue a medical career if you hate the sight of blood and broken bones.
Allowing Authority Figures to Influence You
It’s alright to get advice from your parents, teachers, coaches and other authority figures you know and respect. But they shouldn’t become a dominating force that persuades you to do something you don’t really want to. This is your life decision, so ultimately it should be up to you. You are the one that has to live with the major you chose or face the reality that you wasted four years of your life studying for a degree you will never use.
Choosing Passion Over Hard Work
Too often we hear students talking about finding a career they’re truly passionate about. The issue with this is that these type of jobs don’t exist or won’t be financially fulfilling. The reality is that you have to work hard at something and then eventually you’ll become great at doing it. Naturally, we enjoy things we’re good at, which ultimately leads to growing passion for it. So the idea of choosing passion over hard work doesn’t make sense. Just choose something you don’t mind learning about and the rest should fall into place.
Not Doing Your Due Diligence
The major you choose should be well-thought-out and planned. The only way to ensure this is to do your due diligence. You need to really research the career path by looking up potential job opportunities and finding out exactly which courses you have to take. It’s a good idea to talk to folks who have taken that career path because they can offer invaluable insight you can’t get anywhere else. This is a long-term investment, so make sure it’s worth it.
Following Your Friends
This will only spell trouble for your future career. Chasing after the same courses your friends at the University of Cincinnati are taking will more than likely leave you in a field you absolutely hate. Your friends may love it, but you lack the same drive and motivation they have, so it will never work. Put your own interests first to ensure you get into something you will potentially like.