Major Decisions

by The Cowl Editor on January 26, 2017


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by Hannah Paxton ’19

Opinion Staff

College is the time where you make what is arguably the most important choice in your life: what you are going to major and / or minor in. It makes sense; the major you choose now determines the path you take from the moment you graduate school. That’s why it’s so important to choose something you actually love, not what you think you should love.

There is constant pressure placed on college students to pick a major that suits your career aspirations, a major that will provide you with a sense of security. But it would seem as though this idea of career aspirations is lost on us. We forget about working towards a job that we want and focus instead on the concept of “job” alone.

We are afraid, and rightfully so. The world of adulthood can be a scary place, even just to think about. We don’t want to transition from the realm of late night studying and early morning classes, as difficult as it is, to some place completely different, where we don’t have the luxury of excusing ourselves as children. That alone is reason enough for anyone to be worried about the decisions they make concerning their future.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. True, money is important, but your happiness is even more so. It’s easy to declare a finance major or a business studies minor with the justification that it will guarantee you a good job with a high salary after college, but when doing so ask yourself, money and security aside, do you really want this?

If the answer is yes then I think it’s safe to say that you found yourself the perfect major. If the answer is no then it’s time to reevaluate. Maybe courses like economics and biology don’t come easy to you, while history or Spanish do, and that’s okay. Maybe it’s true that some majors will guarantee you higher earnings than others, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good enough reason to pursue it.

Say that you are someone more inclined to the humanities, but you opt for majoring in computer science and after graduating you get a job where you make a lot of money. If coding for hours upon hours a day doesn’t make you happy then it won’t be worth it. You might have more money, but you wouldn’t be as content as you would be if you were a teacher or a psychologist.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a job that you know you’ll be happy with for years and years to come as opposed to a job that you’re barely interested in and will want to end up quitting after a few months, even if that?

As cliché as it may sound, money most definitely will not buy you happiness. It might satisfy you temporarily, but in the long run it just isn’t possible, unless that money is coming from putting effort into something you enjoy. Finding a major that’s best for you is just the first step.