What To Do If You Don’t Know What to Major In - Adelante Abroad

What To Do If You Don’t Know What to Major In

What To Do If You Don’t Know What to Major In - Adelante Abroad

Trying to figure out what to study in college is such a struggle.  You may constantly be asking yourself, “What do I major in?” General Education requirements don’t really help with deciding either, at least for me. GEs were just a waste of time, in my opinion, as none of the courses I took for the requirements sparked any interest I had or led me to choose a major.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I went through five majors before I decided on my current (and final) major. The reason I hopped from major to major is because I’m indecisive and struggle with life decisions, but also because I have so many interests that deciding on a major at age 17 was causing me great anxiety.

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You clicked this blog post because you may be currently struggling to pick a major or you’re trying to avoid the struggle of picking a major and paying thousands of dollars. Well, let’s get to it!

First things first, let me just say that picking a major is NOT the same as picking a career. When I entered college I thought that picking a major meant picking a career for the rest of your life and that is a lie. People will pick a major and find a career that was the complete opposite of what they studied. It’s not unusual to work in a field you didn’t study and that’s expected. You’re interests and career goals will change and shift throughout your life and you need to understand that is just part of life. As you mature, your college life interests may fade while some may grow, it’s really up to you and your own personal growth.

A wonderful option if you’re hesitant about paying thousands of dollars when you really have no idea what to do after high school graduation is community college. I use to think that going to community college wasn’t an option and that it was almost like a shameful thing to enroll into. However, after I’ve matured and now almost graduating college, I realized that community college is a perfect segway for students who may or may not have struggled in high school and/or don’t know what to do once they are in college. PLUS, you get to save so much money if you choose a community college in your hometown. I’m telling you, community college is a viable option and it’s something I wish I took advantage of.

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If you’ve been accepted into a four-year university and are struggling with trying to figure out a major, one thing you can do is join some clubs, organizations, a fraternity/sorority or get a job! All these options will help you network, connect and learn about yourself and potentially some interests you may have. That’s the reason college campuses let students have organizations and clubs, so people who share the same interests or want to learn more can have a safe space to do some as a community. I’ve joined clubs, organizations, a fraternity and had a handful of jobs in college, so I’m a firm believer that by joining these student friendly spaces it gave me the opportunity to learn, grow and really commit to something I enjoy.

Having a job gave me the opportunity to talk to students not just from my own university but from surrounding ones as well. It allowed me to talk and discuss ideas, thoughts, struggles, successes and interests that sparked further discussion, which led to realization that I wanted to pursue my current major. Plus, you get to earn some money which helps feed your stomach with real food and not Cup-o-Noodle or Shin-Ramen. Don’t be a struggling college student like me, although I am proud to never have eaten Top Ramen once in my entire college career.

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If you’re in a club, organization, fraternity/sorority or you have a job and you’re still struggling then you should really consider taking some time off. I took a two year break between my third and four year and in that time I learned so much about myself that it led me to the accomplishments I have today. I took on an internship program in my two year break, so it wasn’t just stay at home and watch Netflix all day. I was using that time to really discover my strengths and weaknesses, so if you’re going to take time off from school then you should use it wisely. Get an internship or take a gap year! Use that time to focus on you and not be lazy…

Don’t feel pressured to follow your parents dreams either! This is your life. You make the decisions, not your parents, and if they disapprove of your choices then you should never feel ashamed for that. That should fuel your inner fire to really prove to them that this decision was for the better and if they continue to disapprove then surround yourself with people who will support you. You have the courage to do so, you already stood up to your parents and that takes a lot of courage.

Trying to decide what you want to major in is no easy task. Some people may know what they want to do as soon as they enroll in college and that’s great! Don’t compare yourself to them and beat yourself up for not being able to figure out what you want to do. That will only hurt you and can cause some unwanted stress, which could be completely avoided. College is a time to learn about yourself, so do that. You’ll find your passions as you grow and go through life, don’t think your major will determine your future. A lot can happen between now and when you turn 30 or 40. Don’t fret my friends, just be patient and positive. Eventually, it will all fall into place.

 

About Our Contributor:

Drew - Digital Marketing Intern - Adelante Abroad

Drew is Adelante HQ’s Fall 2017 Social Media & Marketing intern and is currently a Public Relations major at Cal State Long Beach. He has participated in a youth exchange program in Dakar, Senegal and an international basketball tournament in Japan. One of his many traveling goals is to step foot on every continent on this big blue planet, and yes, even Antarctica.

Should I Go Abroad for 1 Month or 6 Months - Adelante Abroad

Should I Go Abroad for 1 Month or 6 Months?

Should I Go Abroad for 1 Month or 6 Months - Adelante Abroad

The obvious answer is you should go abroad for as long as possible! Everyone wants to travel abroad, that’s a no brainer, but obviously you clicked this blog post because you are trying decide between one or six months.

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A one month internship or study abroad program is usually a faculty-led program by your school, volunteering or teaching English. All of those choices are very good options and one should consider those if you have the time and money. However, you are really limiting yourself to learning about the culture and living like a local by only going for one month. You might have a week or two of language courses, depending on where you go and your program, and that leaves you two weeks to really be immersed in the culture. To me, a one month program is like a sample at Costco. You get a taste of it and you leave wanting more.

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If you were to consider taking a one month program, you should do it as a way to earn college credit. A faculty-led program is expensive but you do get to earn that credit abroad, which is always a nice thing to experience. Plus your course will be taught in English! So you don’t have to worry too much about being completely lost in the textbooks.

A six month internship or study abroad program is something I would highly recommend and encourage people to take. Six months is a long time in a country you’ve never lived in and – to me – that is so exciting! You have that adjustment period of about a month (it’s different for everyone) and after that you have five months to really just live like a local and be completely immersed in the food, culture, traditions and festivals! In six months, you will be knowledgeable about the city and country you are living in. It’s a no brainer you’ll adapt to your surroundings but it’s the most rewarding when you get to say you’ve experienced life abroad for six months.

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People will be in awe and will ask you tons of questions about your time abroad. If you’re there for a month you’ll leave saying, “I wish I stayed longer,” or “I wish I picked a six month internship instead.” Do you want to sound like that? I know I wouldn’t.

I was featured in a video with Alexandria, Adelante’s digital marketing specialist, discussing why you should take an internship for more than three months. There is some useful information in that video and reiterates some of the points made in this post. Take a look and see why it’s important to take an internship or a study abroad program for more than three months.

Regardless, the decision to go abroad is a huge one! You should congratulate yourself for just wanting to study or intern abroad. Do what makes you comfortable. If going for a month is your thing, then by all means sign up for a month! But if you’re looking to really experience life abroad, a six month program would be best.

About Our Contributor:

Drew - Digital Marketing Intern - Adelante Abroad

Drew is Adelante HQ’s Social Media & Marketing intern for Fall 2017 and is currently a Public Relations major at Cal State Long Beach. He has participated in a youth exchange program in Dakar, Senegal and an international basketball tournament in Japan. One of his many traveling goals is to step foot on every continent on this big blue planet, and yes, even Antarctica.