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  • Allison Piwowarski

Major Tips

A simple, yet complicated question each individual faces when transitioning from high school to college.

For some, answering this question comes with great ease, but for others, including myself, the thought of making this life decision causes the body to leak profusely of perspiration as the blood begins to boil on HIGH stress. Luckily for us indecisive individuals, the college system has helped diminish this level of stress by providing the small checkbox on college applications, titled “undeclared,” allowing us to surpass this question. #bless Although this may buy you a little bit of extra time to kick start college, soon enough you will need to take the initiative to transition from undeclared to declared. To help ease this process, check out the tips below that will help in choosing the

perfect major for you.

Speaking from personal experience, I enrolled into Las Positas Junior College, located in Livermore, CA, undecided between becoming a veterinarian and business marketer. As a little girl, rather than going on play dates with friends, I would spend my time on Microsoft Publisher creating business cards for the fashion company I intended to have. As I grew older, I realized that I was trying to market myself. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I would spend my whole childhood saving animals, whether it be pigeons, kittens, or dogs. I did both of these things because I was passionate about them. Although business marketing and veterinarian are two complete polar opposites, at least I was able to narrow down what I enjoyed doing.

Applying this to yourself, take the time to sit down and really think about what gets your endorphins going in your body. If you are having a conversation with someone about a specific topic, such as sports, cars, music, or community service, make note of the change in your demeanor. If something excites you, it most likely is a passion of yours.

Once you narrow down these passions of yours, preferably three max, take the time to research what careers encompass them. Research what each career field entails, such as the amount of schooling required, possible job positions, and the amount of income, which may or may not be a factor of consideration to some. Remember, Google is your best friend.

If you are currently enrolled at San Jose State University (SJSU), you have the best career resource at your fingertips. Just a quick phone call or email away, you can speak to an advisor that will help guide you through the process of choosing a major. (For more information, click HERE) Even if you are not an enrolled student at SJSU, there are numerous resources around you. Whether it be talking to a friend, a teacher, coach, or parent, all can help provide an objective perspective to help narrow down your decision.

If still stuck at a crossroads, take the opportunity to expose yourself to the potential job you may have within the major you choose. For example, considering that I was interested in becoming a veterinarian, I started to volunteer at the Tracy Animal Shelter, in addition to a vet hospital, allowing me to gain insight as to some of the tasks that I would complete. I challenge you to do the same because as they always say, you never know until you try.​

If you successfully complete this process (lucky you) and declare a major, but start to feel hesitant again, DO NOT be afraid to reevaluate your decision. A crucial part of life is change so with that being said, do not be scared to change your major, even if you are already 60 units in. Trust me, you are not the only one. It is important to realize that the major you choose now will drastically affect your career after college. You want to be able to wake up every day and be proud of your major, and most importantly proud of what you do for a living.

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