Starting College as an Undeclared Major? 6 Things You Should Do First - Geneva College
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Starting College as an Undeclared Major? 6 Things You Should Do First

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When you’re starting college, you might not know what you want to focus on yet. That is completely normal and much more common than you might think. So, yes, you can start college as an undeclared major and many schools encourage this time of exploration. Geneva College even has a dedicated program for students with undeclared majors to help them identify God’s calling in their lives and careers.

Going as an undeclared major can give you a chance to explore different subjects to see what you have a strong interest in and which field you might want to build a career in. Since you’ll need to choose your classes, it’s helpful to have some idea of what you’re interested in. The following tips can help you discover your interests and learn more about the different kinds of careers that are available.

Choose Classes in Subjects or Fields That Interest You

When choosing your classes as an undeclared major, think about what kinds of subjects or fields interest you. For example, you might choose history classes if you’re interested in this field, or you might focus on picking social services courses if you’re interested in a career that involves helping people. If you have more than one interest, you can choose a class or two in each. You might find that you strongly prefer one interest over others when you start learning more about them in college. You can then focus more on that interest when choosing classes, and you might even consider declaring it as your major.

Make a List of Fun Careers You Could See Yourself Doing

Before going to college as an undeclared major, take time to write down a list of potential careers. Think about what kinds of careers you could see yourself doing. If you enjoy sharing knowledge with others, you might consider teaching. If you love putting your creative skills to use, you might enjoy a career in music or marketing. Think about the skills you have, your interests, and other factors that might lead you to choose a certain career. When you’ve made a list of careers, you can start exploring the kinds of degree programs that are available and the types of classes you would need to take.

Speak to Your Peers and Ask Why They Chose Their Major

Turning to your friends and fellow students can help you figure out what you might want to major in at college. Talk to your peers about their majors, so you can learn more about why they chose that particular field or subject. While your interests might be different from theirs, you can still pick up tips on how to narrow down your options and choose a major that fits you best. For example, your peers might talk about what drove them to choose their major, such as finding their calling or focusing on their gifts and talents. These tips can help you as you look into your options for a college major.

Look for Job Shadowing Opportunities to Learn More About Careers That Interest You

Reading about different careers and jobs can help you learn more about what they’re like, but firsthand experience is even better. Job shadowing opportunities provide you with a way to follow someone around on the job, so you can see what their workday is like. You’ll get to see what kinds of tasks they do and how busy they usually are. Shadowing someone on the job can help you decide if that’s the kind of career you want. You can also talk to the person you shadow about their job to see what they think of it, such as how challenging it is. This can help you learn what to expect if you end up choosing that kind of career.

Join Intramurals or Clubs That Interest You

Most colleges have clubs and intramurals that students can join. Take a look at these organizations at your college, and choose one or more that interest you. Joining a club or intramural could lead to you discovering what you want to major in. For example, you might decide to join a business club, computer club, or English club if you’re interested in one of these academic areas. You can also find clubs that focus more on hobbies and entertainment, but keep in mind that these can help you determine what kind of career you want.

Don’t Stress Out

While not having a major might be frustrating or make you nervous, don’t get stressed about it. You’re not alone when it comes to starting college as an undeclared major. You might even meet fellow undeclared majors during your first semester. Remember that not having a major yet is better than choosing one you don’t really want. With time and some exploration, you’ll be able to decide what you want to major in. Keep in mind that many schools offer resources for students who are undeclared.

When you’re starting college as an undeclared major, think of it as an ideal opportunity to explore different careers and interests. At Geneva College, we welcome undeclared majors and provide numerous ways to learn about career options, such as professional organizations, volunteering, career assessments, a career development center, and internships. If you would like to know more about these opportunities and our school in general, please contact Geneva College. We can provide you with the information needed to start the admissions process.

Opinions expressed in the Geneva Blog are those of its contributors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official position of the College. The Geneva Blog is a place for faculty and contributing writers to express points of view, academic insights, and contribute to national conversations to spark thought, conversation, and the pursuit of truth, in line with our philosophy as a Christian, liberal arts institution.

Mar 16, 2022

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