Even before we go away to college, we're constantly bombarded with the gut-wrenching question, "What are you majoring in?" This question continues to pop up throughout your college career, and if you're one of the students who has no idea what to major in, the question more or less becomes, "So ... What are you about to spend thousands of dollars on and dedicate your entire life's work to?"
The good news is, the chances of your major having as much of an impact on your future career may not be as high as you think it will.
So, with that being said, it's time to close out all of your browsers containing "What Should You Major In?" quizzes and delete that super-manic email draft to your adviser and keep on reading!
Here are three things to do if you don't like your major ...
1. Reflect on how you're feeling
Go somewhere where you are completely alone and do some soul-searching. Do you dislike your major, or do you just not like any of your current classes? Are you uninterested in what you're studying, or are you bored with the assignments and exams?
Understand that is it completely normal to feel anxiety around the idea of choosing a major, but that there may be other things contributing to your feelings of doubt. Once you narrow down why you’re feeling the way you are, it will be easier to address the problem and take the next steps toward resolution.
If you happen to be a junior or a senior who is graduating soon who is questioning whether you chose the right major, it’s important to weigh all of your options before you make the hard decision of changing it. Many majors are very versatile, meaning they will provide you with a wide range of opportunities after graduation.
If you are a communications major, for example, and you absolutely despised all of your public speaking classes, don’t automatically assume that you are in the wrong major. Communications is one of those majors that is super versatile, and there are so many different career pathways you can choose to pursue after graduation.
If you have taken the time to consider all of your options and are still unhappy with your major, consider changing your track or adding a minor that you are interested in. This is a good way to learn more insight into what other career fields are out there without completely starting over and disregarding the progress that has already been made.
2. Networking over everything
When it comes down to it, your major makes up just a small part in securing your dream job (unless, of course, you are a pre-med student). According to research, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. When it comes to entry-level jobs, knowing someone who works where you're applying can greatly increase your chances of getting the job. You should begin networking as soon as possible, even before you graduate and enter the job market. LinkedIn is a great tool for networking, and it makes it simple and fun. A good idea is to reach out to Salisbury Alumni and find job opportunities that fit your interests.
Many college students who make a point out of networking find themselves having jobs lined up right after graduation. This is a great way for those graduating students to feel a wave of relief knowing that because of their connections they made while at school, they now have a secure plan set in place after graduation.
Sometimes, who you know is more useful than what you know. If you make an effort to build connections and relationships with potential employers while in school, the chances of you securing a job afterward is much higher than if you don’t have any connections in the real world.
3. Experience will get you far
Not only is it who you know or what you're studying, but it's also what you do. Internships are a great way to test the waters when it comes to deciding what you want to do after college. They're also a great way to begin networking with people and find mentors that can help you get ahead. In addition to internships, getting involved in on-campus clubs and organizations should be at the top of your priority list.
Joining student-run organizations is a great way to make the most of your college experience. Not only do you get to meet students who have similar interests to you, but you also get to build your resume.
Many employers are also looking to see if you were employed while in school. This shows that you are a hard worker and are able to handle a lot on your plate.
Below is a graph that shows what employers are looking for when it comes to hiring candidates. As you can see, your experience trumps your academics. It's not so much about the grades your receive while in college, but more so about the experiences that make you stand out to employers.
So, the next time you find yourself panicking when you think about how much you don't like your major, know that there are other things your employers are looking at when considering you as a potential hire.
College is a time to grow as a person and figure out who you are. You're probably not going to figure that out in a classroom setting as much as you would at an internship or networking event.
And remember that your major doesn't define who you are.
By MELANIE RAIBLE
Featured photos from Clipart and the Chronicle of Higher Education.