Being a college student is difficult. What is more difficult is finding a lifelong career that you are passionate about. I am currently a sophomore in college and have NO IDEA what I want to major in. I found that I wasn’t alone, and many people like me also have these worries. It’s a tall task to ask an 18 to 22-year-old what they want to do for the rest of their lives. When you find yourself surrounded by different possibilities in careers, feeling a loss of motivation is a normal response. When the endless Buzzfeed “what should I major in?” quizzes aren’t cutting it and you start to give up the search, here are ways to kick out that lack of motivation and find what you are truly passionate about in college!
When I say try everything, I mean, TRY EVERYTHING! Take a psychology course or a math course. Take a forensic science class or a music class. The only way to really find out what you love is to broaden your horizon. An easy way to decide what classes you may enjoy is to first think about topics that interest you. What is something you’ve always wanted to explore? What’s a career that has caught your eye? Even if you have no experience in that major, everyone starts somewhere.
Reach out to your academic advisor
Your academic advisor is trained to coach and guide students into their lifelong careers; they are there to help you! Talking out all your ideas with someone who is trained to have these conversations is a great starting point to find your major or career. This is also a very valuable way to organize your thoughts, not just with yourself, but someone who is educated in these matters.
Talk to professors and TA’s
I know that talking to a TA or a Professor may be intimidating, but they are people too. This means that they, most likely, have been in your shoes before and know what it’s like to feel academically lost. They want to see you succeed. While they are there to teach us what’s in the textbook, they are also great resources for career and major advice. They all have their own stories of how they ended up in their career, so ask them about it.
Get involved in clubs on campus
Did the add/drop deadline pass for a class you wanted to enroll in? No worries! One of the best ways to test out an interest and get real experience is to join clubs on campus. These student organizations are so valuable because you are surrounded by other students who also enjoy these activities. These organizations are run by people who love doing what they do and who also strive to learn more about their interests. The best thing about these clubs is that you rarely have to be in a specific major to be involved. Take it from me: I’m involved in an organization where I learn to use TV studio equipment during real television production, and I’m currently enrolled as an undecided Arts and Sciences student.
Break it down
Believe me, I know how easy it is to get down about choosing a major and finding a career. When one thing doesn’t work out, it feels like the easiest option is giving up or choosing a random major. A healthy way I learned how to combat these feelings is to take a big problem and break it into bite-size pieces. This means organizing my thoughts!
Being organized is a great way to use your time constructively. Rather than worry about finding a major and career, combat that negative energy with positive action.
Making lists was my saving grace this past semester. Make a list of classes you like or any possible careers that have sparked interest. If you don’t know what you’re interested in, then break it down even more. For example, write down the classes you have already taken and whether you could see yourself majoring in those areas. If yes, write about it! If not, don’t move on just yet: write why you wouldn’t want that specific career. These lists are a great way to look back and recall information. This seems tedious, but they will really help you understand the thought process through each possible career and major.
Create a Mantra!
I’ve written about this before, but I will say it again. Having a mantra is such a great way to keep your thoughts locked in a positive mindset. If you feel yourself losing your motivation and getting down about yourself, find a mantra for the week, or even the day, and repeat it to yourself. A simple, “I’ve got this” or “positive brings positive” is enough to get your mind back on track.