When one is going to start a new study program at a higher education institution, one must consider important decisions that will have a big influence in the future.
One question that we all must face before jumping in to college is “What should I study?” This is (and will always be) one tricky, fearful and uncertain decision to make for every young future college student. In this regard, it doesn’t matter what your mentality is; you might be in love with one specific area of science, or maybe you think you will do great in law or business, but after your first couple of months in college, you might find out that that major was actually not for you. That’s a situation where a lot of freshmen find themselves, and I actually was one of them last semester.
I am 19-years-old and have changed my major several times in my life (five times to be precise). However, I know that I am not alone. According to data point, nearly one third of all students have changed their undergraduate degree program at least once. Also, I have met people that changed their major more than 10 times. And they can tell that it was a complicated process with a lot of unexpected results; however, after all, they eventually found what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.
Throughout this last year I faced several situations that influenced my various decisions of changing my major. The most recent one was this past winter-break. I started studying Graphic Communications in fall 2018; however, in the middle of the semester I started feeling that even though I liked what I was doing, that kind of career was not for me. I realized that I neither have the passion nor the capabilities in order to pursue that major. I was always passionate about mathematics and logical thinking, so after conversing with a lot of advisors and relatives, I changed my major for the fifth and (hopefully) last time. Now I will go for computer science.
I consider these decisions necessary because they will ensure one’s future happiness and success. Just try to imagine yourself waking up every day and getting ready to go to work. A normal Monday through Friday schedule will take five days from all your weeks during a few decades. You’d better like the thing that you do, right?
The best advice anyone can give you is to study what you really like. Don’t go for the money or the fame. If you like what you do, you will be good at it, and if you are good at what you do, those things will eventually come.
When you are young, you need to explore, to make mistakes, and to get to know the world. You’re not wasting time when you go through this process, you are actually getting to know yourself; your strengths and weaknesses, and your physical and mental capabilities. As Mark Zuckerberg said once, “The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.”
So, if you are doubting your choices and you are insecure about whether your major was a good decision, just go ahead and dive fearlessly into that new world of knowledge and learning. If you like it, you’d better continue studying it and become the best version of yourself. On the other hand, if you find out that you don’t like it, go ahead and talk to people, ask questions, and try new things; in the process, you will find out what kind of person you really want to be.
Jefferson Phillips from Costa Rica is studying computer science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.