Find Your Direction

How to choose your major

Monday, September 14, 2020


Grace Morelli '21

student studying on t-hall lawn

As a person who loves to be prepared, it was pretty easy for me to choose a major coming into college. In my last years of high school, I knew I wanted to teach children, but I never had a strong suit for English or history. While I was college searching, I found out that the University of New Hampshire had a mathematics education major. At that moment, I knew that was what I wanted to pursue.

However, this may not be the case for everyone. Not all people know what they want to do or maybe they decide what they picked wasn’t what they wanted to do after all. If you fall under those categories, I am here to help guide you to pick the major that is best for you.

The first thing to do is to write a bulleted list of things that you are passionate about, whether it’s dancing, building robots, fishing, or traveling. Writing a list can help you discover different career paths that involve something you’re passionate about. For example, if you love to travel you can consider majoring in international affairs. If you love to solve problems, you can major in a specific type of engineering.

Not only that, but you should also create a list of strengths and weakness. This will help you find more options, while eliminating others. For example, if you do not like writing then maybe journalism isn’t the best option. If you like and give good advice, then maybe consider psychology.

After you have comprised a list of potential careers, reflect on each one and ask yourself, is it realistic for me? Will I want to do this ten years from now? 20? Will it pay enough for me? Some people might say just do what you love and and don’t think about the money. In a sense that is true, but let’s be honest: money is important. Some people rely on each paycheck to support themselves and their families, so factoring in money is important when you think of a career path.

I want to emphasize that is it okay to not know what major you want to pursue when you enter college. More than half of UNH students either come in undeclared or switch majors. Something amazing that UNH offers to its students is the University Advising Center. Here, students can come in and talk with an advisor who has helped students similar to you. That is their job. Students get to meet with their chosen advisor every semester and if not, more. If you come into college with a declared major, you will have an advisor from your college division.

Another great option to find a major that interests you is UNH’s Discovery Program. The Discovery Program is the core curriculum composed of general education courses in the sciences, arts, history and much more. This program helps students become knowledgeable not only in their field, but across disciplines. For my physical science requirement, I took Intro to Modern Astronomy. For my fine and performing arts requirement, I took ballet. Without taking those classes, I never would have known that I was going to be interested in space and the art of dance. Getting to my point, having the opportunity to take classes in different disciplines can help you “discover” what other interests you might have that you may want to pursue.

Overall, you are the only person that truly knows your own interests and abilities. When making your choice of major, keep in mind your priorities and your passions.