How I Chose My College Major

“I don’t know what to major in!” I couldn’t tell you how many times i’ve heard people say this and I get it because i’ve been there, too. It can be a really tough thing to determine, like it was for me. I’ve been lucky enough to come across great advice that helped me choose the right major, and I haven’t looked back since.

Choosing a college major is a struggle I think many people have experienced. I probably experienced every emotion when I was still deciding on a college major. Fear, excitement, confusion, uncertainty, happiness, motivation, are you catching my drift yet? 

I remember thinking “How will I know that this is something that I want to study?” or, “Where is this major going to take me?” Choosing a major came with enormous pressure in my experience, because I was young and inexperienced. It seemed strange to suddenly be in a position where I needed to make a choice that could potentially impact how the rest of my life might be like, at least that’s what it felt like at the time. So, how did I choose my major, and how did it turn out you ask? I can’t wait to tell you!

Here are some pieces of advice that have helped me choose the right major, and why.

“What is your purpose?”

It seems like a really basic question, but this question saved my life. Something I learned about setting goals is that there needs to be a really good reason behind pursuing a goal because when things get difficult, these good reasons will be the motivation to stay on track. In other words, have a purpose. If you don’t have a purpose, you will find it very hard to make decisions that will guide you throughout life because you won’t find a purpose in doing so. This question led to another, which also helped me in choosing a college major.

“What makes you come alive?”

When I was struggling with choosing a major, I was also struggling with determining what I wanted to do for a living. The options seemed endless, but there had to be something out there for me. The answer turned out to be right under my nose, the whole time. Before I go into detail on that, let me tell you how I got there.

I don’t remember where I came across this next bit of advice, but i’m really glad I did because it was the primer for realizing my passions. What makes you excited? This. Question. Is. Everything! This was easy to answer, just like it is easy for couples who are madly in love with each other to reveal what they love most about their partner.   I have always loved reading my moms fashion magazines as I was growing up, and reading every detail from top to bottom gave me life. I was fascinated with the images, the stories, the layout, the people behind the magazine. As time went on I never stopped tuning into the world of beauty, fashion, and the magical world of celebrities. Another one of my passions is writing. I have always loved writing, and I could not think of a time when I did not love it. To extend my thoughts to someone else in the form of writing. It just makes me happy and it feels right. I think you know where I am going here- I combined my passions and realized that my dream career was to be a fashion and beauty publicist. I want to be the go-to person that will write a damn good press release for different fashion brands and beauty brands. I want to see my future clients being featured notable magazines and other forms of print, damn it!

Yes. Definitely my passion.

So, how does this relate to being able to choose a major successfully? Well now that I know what I want to do, I need to know how to get their. Choosing a major that can best help me prepare for a role as a fashion and beauty publicist is easy when you look at all of the options. No surprise here, but I majored in Communication with a focus on public, professional, and organizational communication. Luckily at the University I attended, public relations is a focus within the major.

Get experience.

There are so many ways to learn your true passions, and one of those ways is to get diverse experience. You never know what, until you try it right? Experience can be gained almost anywhere, so as much as your general ed can be a great help in being exposed to different fields of study, don’t forget that you can also gain experience from work and interacting with people. Whatever you do, always try to find the experience in a situation. I’ve learned to always ask myself this: What am I taking away with me in this situation? What can I use this experience for and does it lead to something more exciting? Be mindful of your experiences! You never know what details will reveal something important or exciting. The more experience and information you have, the more you know what you don’t like and what you do like. This is crucial in narrowing down what you want to do for a living and what major will best suit you.

Ask people how they chose their major!

I remember asking almost everyone and their mom how they chose their major. Are you happy with your choice? Did you base your choice on money or passion? Do you have any regrets? What would you do differently if you can? You get the idea. People are students of life, and you must take advantage of the wisdom that some people have earned. I have learned so much about how other people made their major choice, and what they wish they would have known before making a huge commitment. Making mistakes can lead to wisdom of your own, but if someone else has already made the mistake why pay for it again? Please do learn from others. You’ll save yourself a lot of time!

Every situation is different, and all people are different. There is definitely more than one way to choose the right major, and at the end of the day it really needs to be in line with what you think is best for yourself. This was just my experience. My experience may or may not apply to you, but luckily for me I can say things turned out better than fine.



Ana Cecilia

Ana Cecilia is a beauty and lifestyle writer and editor. A Bay Area native, recent college grad, and a serial wanderluster! When she isn't writing, you can find her curled up with a good book, sipping on a cup of tea, crafting, running like crazy, or planning her next trip.

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