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Planning for the Future: Career & Major Exploration

Now that October is over, midterm season is finally coming to an end. While the end of midterms brings relief for students, it also signifies the start of preparations for the spring semester. Course catalogs for the upcoming semester will roll out in the next few weeks, and planning your schedule can be time-consuming. If you haven't declared a major, it may be time to start deciding which concentration you want to take on. Though making concrete plans about your career doesn’t need to happen right away, this is the ideal time to begin thinking about the future you want to build for yourself. Check out our top 3 tips to get you started!

1. Align your class schedule to your future goals.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you want to work post-graduation? What steps do you need to take to get there? What major would most help you achieve that vision for yourself? Base your class selection around that vision. Sign up for classes that you think will help you achieve that future, including semi-related supplemental classes (Ex. Folk Religions of Latin American for a Spanish major). Don’t know where you see yourself yet or not ready to settle down on one major? No problem! Continue to study a variety of topics that interest you while in college. These four years are a time of self-exploration both as an academic and as a young adult.

2. Take a chance.

Don’t be afraid to take a class that doesn’t perfectly fit into your current academic plans. Most degree plans allow for multiple elective courses – freshman and sophomore years are the perfect time to explore different opportunities. You do not know what you are interested in until you give it a chance.

3. Use both passion and practicality when choosing your major.

With only a few exceptions, most careers do not have a major requirement. You can choose a major you are passionate about and still end up with your ideal career. Balance what you love with what you will be required to know in a future job when thinking about your major.

Class selection and major declaration can feel like a lot of added pressure on top of the academic pressures you may already be facing. However, these choices can also be very empowering. Know that there is no incorrect choice when it comes to choosing a major. This choice is yours, and making that choice is the first major step toward defining your future. Good luck!

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