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With so many interests and options, it can be tough to settle on just one choice. Today we tackle the issue of how you can explore your options to choose the major that fits you best. 

Some of us come into college with a complete four year plan that has color coded, step-by-step instructions. Others come in having no clue what they’re doing other than going to college because “that’s what comes next.” If you’re struggling to choose a major, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that about 30% of all college students in undergrad change their major within three years. The process of choosing a major can either feel very freeing, or very restricting. If you’re in this position of trying to choose, then we have three tips to help you narrow down your selections:

  1. Explore your resources - Take advantage of different clubs, student organizations, volunteer opportunities, internships or externships to learn more about different major paths. At UAH, we have over 200 student organizations you can get plugged into that cover any sort of interest you may have. What’s great about this is that you can not just learn more, but talk to other students who are incredibly passionate about their line of work. Another great opportunity would be to register for Mentor-A-Charger (MAC) or Month of Externships (MOE). Both of these opportunities give you real-world experience networking with a professional. We have tons of great companies that love engaging our students, so be sure to sign up for both of these. 

  2. Inventory your interests - It’s important that you learn who you are as a person and also who you are not. On our website we have a software called Focus2 that allows you to narrow down your passions and ideal work environment. It takes inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, passions, etc., and then helps you discern which career path may be the best for you. Another survey that many students are fans of is the Strong Interest Inventory (SII). The Strong Interest Inventory is a career self assessment tool. Career development specialists administer it to students as a way to measure their interests and ultimately help them choose a career or college major.

  3. Ask those who know you well - Your close friends and family can be some of your greatest assets. They will see strengths in you that you may not be able to see. Not only that, but they will be able to offer sound wisdom and insight after knowing you for so long. People are one of the greatest assets and resources that we have, so ask others to help you narrow down your choices, but remember you have a voice in the decision process as well.

As you begin wading through the world of major choices, don’t forget that you are never completely tied down to what you choose. Remember that this choice should be yours to make and will be an important one in your life’s journey.