This message comes to you with the hope that this holiday break gives you a chance to explore, spend time with family and friends (safely, of course) and get your batteries re-charged. After the charging, it can also be a great time for students to ponder their future without the distraction of studying for the next test or assignment and where they can think freely.
The last two years has given pretty much everyone a wake-up call. The pandemic has made us question, evaluate and re-prioritize what is really important in life. This time can be especially challenging for those who are on the brink of deciding what they want to do with their lives: future college students.
While universities often advertise the diversity of fields available for first-years to explore, having that wide of a choice can be even more intimidating when certain fields may seem no longer relevant in the present context. Being a Classics major or English major might be a lot less justified in our technological, health-focused new world. So how can we help students find a balance between passion and practicality?
First of all, it’s important to remember that even though the emphasis may be more focused on science, technology and healthcare, that’s not to say that other fields are not worth going into. If everyone decided to focus on these three paths, then what would happen to the arts and humanities? Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right major for today’s context.
Do not close the door on your passions
While being a theatre major might seem less viable in a world where shows are opening and closing in the blink of an eye, it doesn’t mean that theatre is a no-go. Instead of majoring in theatre, you could find a way to incorporate it into your life without making it your major focus. Joining a club or completing a minor instead could be a great way to fulfill that passion and provide a welcome break.
When in doubt, go general
Being in college is not so much about learning how to do one specific job at the end of the day, but about acquiring skills that can relate to a variety of positions. This period of time can cause a lot of doubt, but that doubt is not something to be totally afraid of. Being undecided is not necessarily bad, but means you can be open to a variety of fields. And being open and flexible is key to navigating our confusing times.
Think about what you could really see yourself doing
Picking a major requires you to think about the lifestyle that you want to live. Do you want to work in an office? With a team or by yourself? Do you want regular hours? These kinds of questions can be useful because instead of focusing just on the content of the major, you’re actually envisioning yourself at the end of your program with something tangible. Don’t hesitate to research certain positions linked to the majors that you’re thinking about and try to get an understanding of what the daily work culture and workload will be like.
Choosing the right major is less focused on content and more on skills and lifestyle. So don’t think that you have to be pigeonholed into a certain field because of the vastly changing job market. Now is also the time to be creative, and if you don’t find the job you want, to invent your own! To complement your major, you can always teach yourself web design or coding through numerous online resources like Coursera.
In these trying times, being flexible and resourceful will be your greatest keys to success.
For more help with finding the best path, give us a call to schedule a free consultation today!
Neal Schwartz, Owner
College Planning of Westchester
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