Major Decisions: Crafting your College Pathway

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From uncertainty to clarity, choosing your college major can be tough.

Mya Alexander, Staff Writer

November 20, 2023

Grossmont College students may have a hard time deciding their majors. Many have a fear of the unknown and worry about what their future will bring if they go down a specific educational path. 

The major selection is truly personal to each individual student and is driven by various factors that often interplay in complex ways. While some students enter college with a clear vision of  their intended majors, others are grasping uncertainty and asking, “What should I major in?”

Many community college students want to transfer to a four-year institution, commonly San Diego State University, the University of California system, or private colleges in or out of state. They are passionate and envision what they want to pursue, but may need more guidance and clarity in choosing a major.

Elijah Abarca, a student at Grossmont College, said:  I had decided to go with marine biology, but I was majoring in nursing …then made the switch to culinary and I had finally decided it’s something that I have a passion for and I finally go into it.”                                              

When it came down to Abarca choosing his major, he said based it on the direct interests of exploration and seeking his own path even though this student wanted to major in marine biology can still have a passion for culinary arts. 

Finding a major may not be as simple for others. As time flies by and students continue to build their path toward their future, their passions and interests may change. In turn, the major they graduate with might not be their original choice. Depending on the individual, it could take multiple attempts to settle on a major.

A significant number of students are also motivated by their future job prospects. They see the degree or certification as a way to secure a job in their desired field. Additionally, students may be motivated by their own career goals and ambitions. They may choose a major that offers flexibility, allowing them to sample various subjects before making a final decision. The exploration phase can be instrumental in helping students truly discover their passions and interests. 

Student Jack Tehan said: “I am a Japanese major and I decided to do this because I was able to learn the language but, not for cultural reasons as to why I chose this major. I was also able to get help since my sister is also a Japanese major as well.”

It is very important for students to also note that the journey of major selection is not set in stone. A student has a certain amount of time to explore their options based on their timeline and if the classes they’re required to take are aligned with their current lifestyle or not. 

Many students will change their majors during their college years as they gain a deeper understanding of their academic performance and career goals. A majority of students will find out that their initial choice wasn’t a good fit. In the process of this, they will adapt to a new path that aligns with their evolving aspirations. 

When asked about her journey in picking her major, Grossmont Student Kili Marshall said: “I initially started my major in political science because I was bored with psychology due to the fact of grading issues with this particular major. I had decided to start all over with that major. I honestly had a lot of major changes before I officially chose a political science major. I was a psychology major, but I changed it to linguistics then back to psychology and I even tried administration of justice, then right back to political science.”

Choosing a major for four-year universities is important for those transferring. Consider your true passion and where you want to be within the next few years, if you are passionate about the arts, culinary, child development, nursing, or teaching.

The fear of not knowing is not contagious, but it can get in the way of making decisions based on other factors like finances, location and other factors that can make students hold back on deciding their majors now. 

Each program includes a wide range of courses that students can take to gear them toward earning a degree or certification. A combination of factors influences a student’s process of deciding a major. That varies from one student to another, whether they are driven by passion, career goals, family influence or financial causes. Students make the major choices they believe will lead them toward fulfilling and successful futures.

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