Making major decisions!

Hey, Furman fam!

It’s Mia again today’s article is centered around professional development. I hope you all enjoy it!

Gaining new skills, education, research, discoveries, and internships are all-inclusive topics in the professional development department. I’ll be covering the discovery part of professional development, specifically how I chose my majors. I’ll also be listing some tips that may help as you go through your major selection process. During my professional development journey at Furman, there were many different career paths that I was contemplating. Healthcare, journalism, law, scientific research, psychology, and linguistics were all on my interest radar.  Today I’ll be sharing 5 tips that helped me in my major discovery process. 

  1. Take classes that interest you as a freshman! While I was a freshman I took a lot of entry-level courses on topics that I found interest in. This helped me realize that psychology, philosophy, and anthropology were not fields that I wanted to go into career-wise. I did however find my love for sociology. The topics discussed and the content covered were all things that I actually found interesting. Most sociology majors plan on pursuing law. I still was very indecisive on what I wanted my career path to be. I still had so many interests and I didn’t want to make a mistake.
  2. This leads me to my second tip: Inquire and go to meetings! As a freshman, I never reached out and I feel like I missed out on a lot of future opportunities. This year as a sophomore, I’ve been meeting a lot of people and as soon as they tell me that they specialize in a major that may compliment one of my interests I inquire right away. By doing this, I’ve gone to a lot of meetings that have helped me realize my best plan of action. For example, I was interested in public health law and a professor for a policy class also specialized in public health. Through a few meetings, I realized that my interests may easily change because there were some aspects of public health in general that I was not fond of. I was much more interested in the individual patient and how to best help them. This helped me realize that I was much more interested in health sciences as a major. 
  3. My third tip would be: Ask to sit in on classes! How are you supposed to know that you like something if you never actually experience what the content is like? I’ve always been interested in linguistics. I asked a professor if I could sit in on a class and to my surprise, they said yes! After that class, I realized that linguistics was interesting, but not necessarily something that I want to immerse myself in major-wise. After the class ended my professor also met with me and we discussed that speech and language pathology is actually a professional degree, therefore after I get my bachelor’s degree, I can still get into a speech pathology Master’s program and learn all of the skills that I need for that career at that time. This helped a lot because I realized that I don’t need to totally switch my major just to accommodate a future career path. 
  4. My second to last piece of advice would be: Talk to your major advisor and ask for advice! Your major advisor is there to help you succeed! The best thing that you could do if you are uncertain even after you declare is to talk with them. They can help give you names and set up meetings with professors and department heads so that you can best gauge your next steps. 
  5. My final piece of advice would be: You don’t have to settle on one specific career path! I change my mind about what I want to actually pursue almost every day. By double majoring in health sciences and sociology I’ve kept law, scientific research, journalism, jobs in health care and so many other career paths open. It’s great to keep your options open because you never know what you’ll end up loving after you graduate.  

Thanks for the read,

-Mia Freeman

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