Before beginning online school this is the number one question to ask yourself: what’s my major going to be? What do I want a degree in? How do I want to live my life once I have my degree?
Students straight out of high school are often overwhelmed by this; I know I was. How is it we decide what we want to do the rest of our lives when chances are, all we’ve seen is the routine of the public education system? I believe it’s why so many people end up in office jobs; that’s familiar to what they grew up with. Understandably, many adults also realize they are not living their passions.
This must be corrected.
Be Aware the Truth
First, there is one important fact you need to realize when trying to find your major: everything is out there. If you can imagine it, it exists, and then there’s a lot more than that too you don’t yet know about. You need to toss away all your “shoulds” for this decision.
You also need to realize all your friends, parents, and family don’t know everything, either. It’s not their fault. The world is huge. But it’s your responsibility to research possible majors right now, and you may have to struggle with ignoring people who think they know everything. Trust your own research over their word of mouth. It doesn’t mean their input is not valuable, but it does mean you should be double checking all of their advice. This is your life, not theirs. You will have to live with the consequences of your decision.
Start a Journal
Talk to yourself about your major. I used to simply write my essay to myself in Notepad on the computer (or any other word processor), or in a traditional journal. Whatever makes you most comfortable. Now, in whatever order fancies you, and without thinking or editing your thoughts, write about the following subjects. Just let the words flow. Rather than deleting something that seems off, argue with yourself! Let yourself concretely put your ideas down so you can properly acknowledge them.
- Write about the times in your life you were happiest. Your best memories. The write about why they made you happy– what fulfilled you about these times?
- Write down your perfect, idealistic fantasy life. All the things you want, have near you, where you live, and how you spend the day.
- Talk to yourself about your favorite things to do in your spare time. Why? What about these pleases you?
- Write about what majors you have been considering so far. Write why you had been thinking of these majors and degrees. Write what you plan to do with them.
Envision Lifestyle First, Interests Second
You must picture the lifestyle you want to have. Go crazy with it. Chances are, you’ve been told what life is “supposed” to be like, and have been striving toward that. Erase that. Go to a fantasy land in your mind where you have the perfect life. Perhaps you still have that secure office job; you love the routine and possibly have a feeling of family in your building. Or perhaps you travel often, or you work from home so you can spend precious time with your small children. All of these are perfectly acceptable as long as they are what you want. Find the one that rings awesomely to you; you’re now going to craft your new major and career around this concept.
Whatever it is you may be interested in– animals, video games, computers, writing, medication, science, arts– I guarantee you that you can find a lifestyle that suits you and includes it. Decide how you want to live and what you want to do with your time, then slide your interests into it.
I guarantee you that after you are done doing one or all of these things, you’ll have learned about yourself significantly and gotten closer to discovering what it is you need to live a happy, fulfilling life for yourself.
Once you have a few ideas, you may need to research further. Volunteer. Take part time jobs. Perhaps even join internships if you have the time and ability. These kinds of things bring you closer to experiencing what you want. And once you know, you can look for the right schools that will get you what you need.