Deciding Your Major

Hi, my name is Jamie Besnoff and I recently graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. this past spring with a degree in Criminal Justice. I attended JWU for three years, graduating one year early with high honors. I decided to major in the Criminal Justice field because I have always wanted a career in which I have the opportunity to help others and get to face new challenges each day. Throughout my college career I contemplated changing my major several times, but decided Criminal Justice was the field I was most interested in and best excelled at.
Choosing your major in college can be very stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing to remember when deciding which major you want to declare is deciding which career path you are most interested in. I had many classmates that chose their majors because they thought being a business major would make them the most money. It took them only a short while to realize that business classes did not interest them at all and therefore they lacked the motivation to do well in their classes.
It is perfectly okay to go into your first or second year of college as Undeclared. Don’t be scared just because everyone else already has their major declared and you’re still not sure what you want to do. The real truth is many students in college have no idea what career they want. What you want to do in life will continue to change as you evolve and grow in life. I know many people that started with one major in college and graduated with a major completely different because they found out that Psychology interested them far more than Accounting. College is the time of your life that is all about opening up and trying out different classes to see which ones interest you the most.
It may sound cliché, but doing what you love really is the most important thing. I recommend you do not pick a major that you have no interest in just because your parents are pressuring you into it. I had a few classmates that said their parents will not pay for their classes if they do not major in what they want them to major in. If this is your case then I would say do not worry. There are plenty of ways to pay for college; such as scholarships, student loans, and through the military.
Do not be afraid to challenge yourself and declare a double major. Adding a double major shows prospective employers that you have a strong work ethic and go above and beyond the rest of your peers. Adding a minor or concentrations can also give you an edge over others. Finding a minor that goes well with your major can be a little challenging. For example, I was a Criminal Justice major so I wanted to find minors in social science. I chose Psychology and Sociology because the Criminal Justice field is very closely related to the Human Service Field.
My final suggestion would be that if you do decide to add another major that you add something in the same relative field as your major. For example, if you’re a pre- med major, it would be wise not to choose your second major as Musical Theater. These two majors have nothing in common and therefore will give you no edge over others competing for the same job as you. I hope my advice has helped ease your pressure of deciding which major to declare. Just remember that your major is not set in stone once you declare it, you can change it at any time during your time in college. Many people do not find the major that fits them the best until they have changed their major three times or more.

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