Freshman Survival Guide: Choosing a College Major

Posted by Columbia International University on Sep 14, 2015 9:21:00 AM


Have A Plan

Enter college with a plan. Even if that plan does not involve deciding on a major.

Wait, what? In our culture, going to college is an assumed next step for your average 18 year old graduate. So you just go. Not much of plan. Choosing your major deserves a lot of thought and will probably require some real world experience.  Just heading off into the future with no direction is unacceptable. Weigh your options before you hit campus. Or, choose to start off undecided with a plan to explore your options on campus.

Keep reading for more ways to think this through and create a plan!

Be Ready to Challenge Yourself

When choosing a major, it’s easy to feel limited by too little life experience or giftedness in an area. How will you become an engineer without a math background and a few summers working in an auto shop? Or is business really the world for you if you can’t yet tie a tie? The reason you came to college was to learn these trades, so step up and challenge yourself.

Job Prospects after College

It’s easy to get lost in dreams of the college experience rather than the future waiting for you after graduation. But four years go by surprisingly fast and Future You will thank Present Day You for looking out for their career.

Best Jobs:

  • List
  • Em
  • Here

Shadow People in the Workplace

The classroom and your imagination only takes you so far. Confirm that you chose correctly by shadowing. See for yourself what your major is preparing you for, ask questions, and gain some on the job experience before you’re hired.

4 Years Track Majors

Do research on your schools programs because you may not be able to wait to choose from specific majors. In most cases, introductory and core credits transfer so the hours spent on them aren’t wasted. On the other hand, some majors’ curriculum are carved in stone and barely fit into 4 years. Switching into these majors may set you back a semester or two.

Don’t Fear Changing Majors

Committing years of your life towards studying and stressing over a subject you’ve come to despise! A scary thought. It’s better to switch from an undesired major into a program you see value in completing. Be open to the idea of switching majors early in your college career to get the most out of your degree. Too many students have graduated from college with no intention of pursuing a job related to their major. Luckily, jobs are out there and a college degree looks good on a resume; but this situations prevalence does not make it ideal.

Isn’t it better to attend classes on subjects that interest and inspire you rather than a major that you would never choose again?



Welcome to Blue & Gold: a mixture of advice for incoming freshmen, student life highlights, and professors' insights into living with a biblical worldview. In short, everything a CIU student needs to know or a place to inform yourself before you apply!



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