These 3 Tips Can Help You Choose the Right College Major
Dr. Clifford Mack
There are many factors that should go into choosing the right college and major for you. Dr. Mack of the Calvary Christian Academy School Counseling Team shares that the best place to start is with examining yourself and your unique design.
Psalm 139:13-16 outlines how uniquely we are crafted by God:
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
It's awesome to know that we are each creatively crafted in our mother's womb. Being mindful of this, we can trust that we have been designed with special callings and purposes to do great works for God’s glory. You were not put on the earth by accident, but intentionally. As a school counselor for more than 10 years, I have seen students (and parents) approach the college and career process void of connecting their uniqueness, far too often. Switching college majors and career paths isn’t wrong by any means, but it can cost you time and money. While testing the waters may be a part of your journey, there are things you can do to set you in the right direction.
Here are some tips that can help you pick a college major that sticks:
Take A Career Assessment
Career Assessments can help you narrow your interests and discover career paths that suit your vision for your future. Two that the School Counseling Team at CCA recommends are YouScience and Career Direct. Career Direct aids in evaluating four key areas: Personality, Interest, Skills, and Values. YouScience is self discovery tool that aids in translating talents into real world careers, and it's offered for free to CCA high school students.
Gain Real Experience
Engage intentionally in experiential learning opportunities that will allow you to explore your unique interests, strengths, weaknesses, and possible career paths. As you find different careers that interest you, research or discuss with your School Counselor college majors that will prepare you for those fields. Be bold to experiment by:
Interning Work as a trainee in a specific occupation to gain practical experience. Many companies often have internship opportunities in variety of fields.
Shadowing Accompany an experienced worker as they perform the targeted job.
Volunteering Freely offer to give your time and undertake tasks to gain experience and make connections.
Conduct an Intentional College Investigation
To get a thorough perspective on the merits and benefits of your prospective colleges, you need to ask the right questions. You can use this list of questions as a guide to start conversations with college representatives and professors. Be intentional and not accidental. Additionally, colleges often make accommodations for visitors to tour their specific schools of interest and meet with students in those majors. Schedule a campus tour at the colleges you’re considering and call ahead to request to shadow a student in your potential major. This will give you one-on-one insight into college community, culture and program curriculum.
You don’t have be afraid to change your mind, but I challenge and encourage you to graduate High School with a plan. Be intentional about your path to college, career, and calling and not accidental.
Dr. Clifford H. Mack, Jr. is a School Counselor at Calvary Christian Academy. He has a passion to serve, shepherd, and support student and parent success. His wife, Shawnteria is a High School English teacher at Calvary Christian Academy. They have three children who attend Calvary Christian Academy.