Choosing Your Major: Looking Back before Looking Forward
Many would agree that deciding a major in college is a major cause of stress. We hear stories of students constantly switching their majors throughout their college years, thus costing them more time and even more money. I, myself, have been in this nerve-wracking position of flat out not knowing what I want to do for a living. Often times when we, the students, hit this point our minds begin to go everywhere and clarity is something far off and seems unattainable.
Thankfully, in the early part of my college career I came across a book that addressed this conundrum as well as provided possible solutions for this specific uncertainty. In the book “Finding Your Way”, co-authored by Dan Webster and Randy Gravitt, the authors portray a scenario in which a student is struggling to figure out what he truly wants to do as a career after college, and it depicts his journey through different simple techniques that reveal his true passions in life.
The one technique that stands out the most for me (due in part to its major helpfulness for me personally) was that of “looking back before looking forward.” This whole concept is grafted around identifying what your true interests are by looking back at what activities and subjects you enjoyed during your elementary school years; let’s say between the ages of 6 – 11 to be more specific. Why look back at this specific age range? Well, many find that these years are where our true identity is least tampered with. For example, in many cases when kids enter into middle and high school major insecurities arise and the onset of social acceptance shapes our appearance, thoughts, and actions.
There are a couple of ways students or anybody for that matter can go about pointing these early interests out. One way is to ask your parents, elementary school teachers, or any person who knew you well during the specified age range about what you were like and what you enjoyed. It’s literally that simple, and you’ll be surprised at what you find sometimes. Another route that can be used, if you remember specifics from those years, is to just call this knowledge to mind yourself, which is the method I used.
When I entered college, I planned on majoring in communications mainly because I honestly didn’t think about what I really wanted to do. Yet when I looked back on my early years, I remembered I was fascinated with travel and international culture in my youth. It doesn’t sound overly profound because a lot of people share that desire even as they get older; however these memories led me to explore the International Affairs major at my university. I decided to pursue this area of study and have thoroughly enjoyed the courses I’ve been taking, and am also set to graduate from this program a year from now.
I acknowledge that this concept may not be as effective for others as it was for me, yet I still encourage not just students, but all people who are seeking to find there passion and purpose in life to give this technique a try. It’s never too late to pursue your passion, so I wish you well in your journey to find it.
How did you choose your major? Did you look back?
Blake Miranda is an International Affairs major at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. A successful career for him is anything that allows him to interact with people around the world. His favorite class is currently International Cuisines and Cultures.