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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GPS: Help me choose my college major

One of the most important and daunting pressures bestowed upon college students is choosing a major. Not to scare anyone, but declaring a college major is a decisive step that could change the trajectory of your academic and professional journey.

The great thing about a GPS is that they can help users by determining their current position and offering a guide to arrive at their destination in a timely manner. No matter who you are, a GPS can make your life easier. I hope this GPS finds you well.

It is easy to fall into the trap of, “I have no idea what I want to do after I graduate,” or to compare yourself to the people around you who know exactly what they want to do, but there are a lot of students who are in the same boat as you. 

While everyone is on their own journey to discovering the perfect major, there are a few important steps that can guide you and make the journey less stressful. 

The first — and most important — step to deciding on a major is choosing one that you are passionate about, not the one you feel pressured to choose. If you’re lucky enough to be going into college knowing what you want to do or even just have a general idea, still be sure to do some research and make a plan of the required classes you need while leaving room to take classes that are relevant to what you are interested in. 

The world is wide, and there are endless career paths that you can take. It is normal to be indecisive or to change your mind, so don’t limit yourself to one major before exploring other interests you may have. You will be more prepared to switch majors in the long run, should you make that decision.

Every student hopes to arrive at the right destination — which, in this case, is choosing the perfect major. But it is crucial to remember everyone has their own unique starting point. It is common to feel lost, even if others around you seem to have an easier path to choosing a major. 

If you have absolutely no idea what you are interested in studying or have scattered interests, it’s alright to feel confused about what you should pick. Consider choosing a broad major. Exploring a major with variety allows you to discover new passions, and being eager to learn a wide variety of subjects will benefit you in the long run. 

If you are stuck asking yourself, “What do I major in?” because nothing interests you, take some time and explore an assortment of classes your first semester. The interests you uncover when you put yourself out there may surprise you. 

The nice thing about being in college is that you are surrounded by so many people who are also trying to learn and figure out their own lives, so talk to the people around you. Whether it is your advisors, friends or your peers in class, spending time learning about other people's journeys may open your eyes to new perspectives. 

Additionally, attending major exploration events may help you choose a major because you could discover things you never would have otherwise thought about. Having an open mind about things may bring you closer to realizing what you really want to pursue. 

Although there is no GPS that will seamlessly navigate you to finding the perfect major, learning new things about yourself, your interests and your skills can be extremely gratifying. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to attend a university like the University of Wisconsin-Madison where there are endless opportunities and a unique path waiting for every student.

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