9 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing Your Major

By: Neda Ahmed

We know far too well the struggles of making critical decisions, decisions of the likes of major-choosing. We’ve been there, we cried our eyes out, tugged at our hair, conemplemated our options for ours until we came to a final decision. As always, we’re here for your rescue. We compiled a list of everything you should know before making such a decision. However, before we start, you have to know that though your major is a deciding factor in what your future will look like, career-shifting is not far-fetched at all. It’s an important decision and all, but it’s only as big and as effective as you wish it is. Meaning, you can study engineering and still end up an English teacher. It’s simply a step.

What you should think about:

  • The majors offered at your dream university.

After shortlisting universities and having a (preferably) not-so long list of choice universities, research the programmes/majors offered by each. This research should include requirements, courses, fees and activities.

  • Details about your major

You should know all about your major. As mentioned above, research, research and research even more. Read articles about it by ex-students, see what this major prepares you for, what you learn and what you do.

  • Ease and suitability

You have to be honest and clear. If you aren’t studious and don’t like dense material, then maybe medicine isn’t for you. What your parents wish for you to be is not important, discard this thought before you make a decision. Ask yourself if you’re studious enough for the major and if you like it enough. Maybe you’d need to look into the nature of the major-you can like the subject but don’t like the way it’s applied. You may like practical work more than theoretical work. You also have to know whether you’re up to doing readings because some majors require that.

  • Interests

If you love human sciences and then decide to study biology, chances are you won’t be at your happiest. Out of everything, this is the one thing that you need to look into thoroughly.

  • What you did well in in school

This gives you a great hint about the suitability. It’ll help clarify what you’re good at and not only what you are interested in. Just so you know, this isn’t the brightest indicator as the subjects at school level don’t compare to uni-level (unless you did AP/A Levels)

Advice from uni students/graduates

  • Employability isn’t everything.

If you want to study pharmacy, by all means, go ahead. Don’t listen to those who would force their opinion that pharmacists can’t find a good job! If you want to be a teacher, go ahead. Your salary shouldn’t matter this early in life. There’s one thing certain-if you’re really passionate about something, you’ll really stand out like a pearl in a bowl of coal.

  • Your happiness and purpose are of utmost importance.

Your parents’ satisfaction with your major isn’t relevant-at all!

  • Experiences and personal opinions of others don’t have to define you as well.

We all know this cousin who graduated from whatever and couldn’t find a good job and had hit rock bottom. Newsflash, you can graduate from wherever they graduated and get a good job and be at your happiest. We are different people and others’ experiences will never fit you like a glove.

  • Look into similar majors.

Maybe you’d enjoy other similar majors more. For instance, if you want to study writing, look into linguistics, comparative literature and English. If you want to study politics, look into economics and philosophy.

All in all, this decision shouldn’t be taken in a hurry, and you should be quite selfish when you take it. What tante and teta wish you to be shouldn’t affect this decision, not even in the slightest. Breakdown the factors mentioned above slowly; we wish you all the best.

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