Help choosing college major

Greetings! My name is Erin, I am a Graduate student working for my Masters in English, focusing on Creative Writing. I find that the program I am in is difficult because there is a lot of pressure from the professors on the graduate students to choose the teaching track as a career. Though I would like to teach it is not my life long desire to be a forever-teacher. Sometimes it is difficult to keep in sight my own goals, which are overshadowed by the goals of others. But I am enjoying life as a hardworking grad student and look forward to the adventures ahead.

“I want to be a Nurse!”
“I want to be a Teacher!”
Before I started college I had no intention of going to college. I wanted to raise and train horses. But my horse riding instructor and dear friend informed me that a business degree would help. After all I was planning on being an entrepreneur (though I had never heard of the word at that point). I took a business class in my senior year of high-school. I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t like it either.
I applied to college anyways. I have a friend. We both played the piano— her better than I. She wanted to be a music teacher major; I thought teaching music would be pretty cool, so I was going to major in piano pedagogue too. That didn’t work out, I started in a community college in my first two years and they didn’t have enough music classes for me to take; it would have taken me another three if not more years to finish. Finally, I decided I liked writing. I transferred to a four year college, and graduated with a BA in English on time.
Should you major for the particular job you want? Some jobs require very specific majors such as nursing. But beyond this there a lot of wiggle room. So how do you choose a major? Remember this is something you are going to be studying for at least FOUR YEARS of your life. What you should NOT do is a pick a major that is a friend’s major or for a high paying job, an “easy” job, or parents’ job. You need to find something you are passionate about. Were you the kid who was always picking apart computers or toasters? If so you might want to think about a computer or engineering major. Do you struggle with higher math? You might want to consider a major which does not require a large number of math courses. Research different degrees offered by the colleges you are applying to. Already accepted by a college? Research the degrees they offer. Pick a couple of majors which look interesting, take classes in those areas as soon as possible. Or better yet, in your first year get involved in clubs and organizations based in those subjects. If you’re interested in theatre and biology, join the biology club, audition for a school play. There is no better determiner than real experience. Seek out that experience. You might find that you are in love with both of your choices. That’s O.K. It is O.K. to be diverse. And then, and only then, do you weigh the beneficial pros and cons each major would offer after you graduate.
My music friend teaches music classes at a school. I still want to raise and train horses. I haven’t given up my dream. But for now I am a writer.
By Erin Tessa

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