Undecided About Your Major? You’re Not Alone

June 29, 2021

Before going to college you might have an idea of what you want to major in or you might be completely clueless. There can be many things that you find interesting, or there can be none at all (yet). Deciding what you want to study in college can be very overwhelming. The truth is that not everyone knows what they want to major in before going to college and even once classes start, they still might not have it figured out yet.

I’m Melany, a Luther College senior, and I finished high school without having an idea of what I wanted to study in college. My first piece of advice is: don’t stress, you will figure it out. In the meantime, here are some of the things I did to tackle the stress that comes with thinking about choosing a major.

Start by checking when your college/university requires you to declare a major.
Most colleges expect you to declare your major officially during sophomore year, so if this is your case you have some time to figure this out. Overall, this means that you have plenty of time to decide what you are passionate about even if you are completely clueless, or if you have multiple interests but don’t know which one to pursue, you can use this time to explore them in-depth.

During this exploration time, you can start assessing your interests and attending an advising program. Many colleges offer assessment tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory to help you explore your interests and preferences. These assessments are a good place to start when choosing a major. After assessing your interests, you can meet with your advisor and discuss what courses you should take.

Figuring out what you want to study does not only have to be in the classroom. Getting to know about other student experiences and engaging with faculty can be a good way of figuring out your major outside the classroom. Most colleges usually have different student organizations or clubs that have different focuses. Attending meetings and participating in a variety of events can give you a sense of what you’re passionate about. Colleges also offer diversified work-study opportunities, so you can take advantage of this and explore different fields.

My other piece of advice is don’t fixate on a major, it’s completely fine if you realize that you are not as interested in something as you thought. Changing majors is more common than you probably think. College is a new stage in your life, exposing you to different things than what you’re used to, so it makes sense if your interest changes. You might find out that you are passionate about something you never thought about before. Learning happens everywhere so remember that there are opportunities outside the classroom in which you can figure out what you want to major in. You are in college, take the time to explore your options.