Did you know that students in college change their major on average 3-4 times throughout their college career? Did you also know that 80% of students change their major at least once?
The most popular major for first time freshman at UCLA is UNDECLARED. I know it’s funny, but it’s true.
Keep in mind that choosing a major is not going to determine your lifelong career, especially since most adults change careers multiple times in their lifetime. Find a major or course of study that best interests you and that you enjoy studying.
Need help with finding what makes you happy?
Read some really cool stuff from Johns Hopkins University’s Career Center.
Are you seeing a trend in my themes?
Oh…and read about Major Myths about college majors power point created by UCLA Extension College Counseling instructor Anita Crawley.
One thought on “I don’t know what to major in!”
When I was a Bruin, my first major was psychobiology, to appease my parents who wanted me to be a doctor – but I really just wanted to study psychology after taking an Intro Psych course in high school with a very unique social studies instructor – that course and field really captured my interest and made me seriously consider the field of human behavior. It took a greuling O-Chem course and two terms of Calculus to make me realize I was not at all a Life-Science person and that this major was not a good fit, because my parents couldn't take and pass those classes for me.
I felt relieved when I transferred to Psychology – I was finally able to take classes I had a genuine interest in, and was actually looking forward to take (e.g. Abnormal and Social Psych, Human Sexuality). I even declared a Developmental Psych minor that allowed me to intern at an Early Childhood Care center where I learned, after two quarters and 8 hours per week, that working with very young children was actually not for me. Yes, college and all its wonderful experiences can help you decide what you DON'T want to do, and as a result, encourage you to seek out what it is you are truly passionate about.
As Garza shared, your major does not necessarily determine your life-long career. In my case, an undergraduate degree in Psychology/Developmental Psych was very general. Hmmm, what can I do within this field that I really enjoy? I ended up choosing to work in undergraduate outreach after taking a unique service-learning elective course in education that happened to be posted on the walls of one of my lecture halls, across from the Psych building – I was in the right place at the right time, looking to do something fun, meaningful, and different with my remaining time in school. The service-learning elective prepared me to work as an outreach staff member, gaining valuable experience from senior level UCLA outreach staff, to go and prepare high school students to apply to UCs. I really enjoyed being at the high school level and interacting with teenage students in a postive way. Hmmm, light-bulb moment – what can I do with my degree that I like and is meaningful…fastforward to today – professional school counselor and I love my job, because it fits my strengths, interests, and I find the work enjoyable, meaningful, and personally fulfilling. My coworkers are amazing, and working with adolescents is just a better fit for my skills and interests.
So, take your time now to think about what you love to do, what you're truly passionate about, and seek out education, work, life experiences that reinforce that passion and help it to grow. Trust that by putting such positive energy out there, you will no doubt be able to select a best-fit major, internships, travel, life experiences that will help you be happy on a daily basis because you're doing what you're good at and actually enjoy.