How to Choose Your Major

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     Throughout my years at SCU, I’ve considered 18 different Major and Minor options. That meant the most stressful time of the quarter wasn’t finals week; it was the week leading up to my registration slot. I’ve finally found what I’m looking for in a Communication major with an emphasis in Journalism. I’ve learned a few tips along the way that will help you choose a major:

Step 1: Talk to People

Your friends will know your favorite interests and hidden talents. Your teachers and peers will know what topics motivate and excite you. Find your strengths and weaknesses. When people say, “I can see you in…” take the cue.

Tip: Take your parent’s advice with a grain of salt. It’s difficult for most parents to be objective when it’s their own kid.

Step 2: Google it.

Research fields and careers that interest you. What real jobs exist out there that match your interests and strengths? The point is to narrow down your focus to a few different fields and/or positions. Talk to professionals currently (or previously) in the field. How did they get there?

Tip: Connect with alumni, family, and friends. Take advantage of your social networks. This is one of the few times using Facebook in the library is completely acceptable.

Step 3: Confide in Mentors

This is the time to voicemail and spam department chairs and professors in the field. How will this degree aid you in your career path? What does this degree offer you? Will this major give you the flexibility to jump from one interest to the next?

Tip: Arrange a meeting or come by during office hours. Be courteous, polite, and always say thank you.

     If at this point, you’ve narrowed down your options to one major, kudos to you. I would’ve killed for that. Instead, I found 3 majors – Communication, Anthropology, and Sociology – that would led me to my dream job, fashion communication. Although I was reluctant to give up Anthropology as a major, I found that Communication encompassed parts of all three majors. How? I used this methodology:

Step 1: Write down every single class you have to take in order to graduate with that degree.

Look at the CORE curriculum. Look at each Major curriculum. Look for double-dips. Make Microsoft Word your new best friend.

Step 2: Rank each class on a scale of 0-5.

0 = I’d rather jump off a bridge then take this class.

5 = I have to take this class before I graduate.

Step 3: Tally up the numbers, rank them, and then we have a winner!

     Congratulations! Now, declare your major, watch your degree audit shrink, and don’t look back. I hope this helped as much as it helped me.

— Christina


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