Where to Start When Choosing a Major

This month we’re focusing on college planning. We will be posting some helpful information and links that you can share with high school seniors. They have a busy school year ahead, and we want to help as much as possible. Check out today’s tips on how to choose a college major and then check back each week in September for more college planning posts!

image of a girl with the left side of her dressed like a business person and the right side of her dressed like an artist.

Choosing a major. For some students, it’s one of the hardest decisions they’ll ever make. So many options are available, and they all sound interesting. (How do you pick just one?) It was hard for me—I switched majors twice before my sophomore year of college.

Some college students aren’t like that. They know what they want and stick with it. But there are others who, like me, aren’t sure what to do with the gifts the Lord has given them. If you are struggling with making this big decision, here are a few questions to help you think through and narrow down the options.

What do you like?

It seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how what you like to do could be a career. For now, focus on your interests; you can consider related careers later. Also, it might help you to write down your different hobbies so that you can refer to them later. And don’t worry if something sounds silly or weird. This is strictly a brainstorming exercise, so don’t edit your list before you create it.

A few brainstorming prompts

  • Favorite activities/hobbies (including jobs/volunteering)
  • Favorite thing to study/do in school
  • A desire that God has placed on your heart
  • Times when you feel like you’ve accomplished something that you’re proud of

What do you see?

Is there something that you could see yourself doing? It might be something that you daydream about. Or when asked what you’d like to do, this certain image pops into your head. What is it?

What do others see?

It’s helpful to ask others for their advice. They see us in a different light . . . from a different angle, so to speak. Ask people that you respect or look up to. Find out what they see as your strengths and weaknesses. Some of the responses may confirm an ability or interest that you already knew about; others may be surprising revelations.

Don’t be discouraged. It can be hard for some of us to speak our dreams aloud. We may feel that something sounds silly or impossible to accomplish, so we don’t voice that dream. But we should. God made each of us for a purpose, and that dream of yours may be exactly what He wants you to do. Talk with people you trust because you know they will listen and give you good advice. Tell them your impossible dream. Even if you’re not ready for that, then at least write it down and share it with God—He’ll give you the best advice.

What advice would you give to a young person who is deciding on a major?

Carolynn About Carolynn

Carolynn is part of the BJU Press web team. When she isn’t at work, you can find her curled up with a good story, hanging out with her family, or trying to keep up with her (cute) mischievous dog. Read more posts by Carolynn.

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