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I'm undecided and undeclared. How do I choose what to major in?

QUESTION: I’m going to be a college freshman, and I have to choose a major. It’s really stressing me out. As a 17-year-old, I feel like I have no idea what I want to be when I graduate so I have no clue as to what I should choose. How do I choose a major?
–Undecided and Undeclared

Dear Undecided and Undeclared: There are some students who have known practically since they began speaking that they wanted to be doctors and would have pre-medical majors. For the rest of us, choosing a major is not a foregone conclusion. It can be stressful because you feel like you are setting the course for the rest of your working life. Understand that just because you are a sociology or history major like we were, you will not be shackled to a lifelong sentence as a sociologist or historian (not that there’s anything wrong with those two career aspirations). Still, spend some time deciding on a major to prevent major-hopping and to avoid adding years to your education. First, evaluate your strengths and career possibilities. Job sites like offer free career evaluation tools. If you can, speak with professors or students in the departments that you are interested in. Explain your strengths and goals and ask how they fit with the department. If you have an idea of what career field you might want to enter, try to speak with someone who’s working in the field. Ask for suggestions of what kind of studies would be helpful in the industry. Remember that even if you choose a major that turns out to not fit, you can always change. (Just don’t tell your parents we said so.)

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.