Stephanie Liggeri is a recent graduate from Syracuse University where she studied Television, Radio and Film. She is currently living in the New York City area and working as a Production Assistant at a television production company. She hopes to write and direct for television in the future.
When you first get to college, declaring a major may seem like a daunting task. The advice to “take classes that interest you” may seem easier said than done, and your core curriculum classes might even mirror the classes you took in high school. If this is the case, don’t get discouraged! Here are some tips for finding your college niche.
1) Don’t feel pressure to choose right away. Some students enter their freshman year knowing exactly what they want to do, while others take a little bit longer. The truth is most colleges don’t require you to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. Don’t let other students make you feel bad for not having it figured out on day one.
2) It’s okay to change your mind. You don’t have to be 100 percent certain about what you want to do before you declare a major. It may be beneficial to pick something that you think might interest you and try it out. Even if you hate the major you picked, you will be able to identify what you liked and disliked about it. This will bring you one step closer to finding out what major best suits you.
3) Set up a meeting with the faculty. If you think you might be interested in a particular subject, set up a meeting with the department chair or a professor in that discipline. They are the experts in the field you are considering and in most cases they will have real-world experience in that field. They will be able to open your eyes to the real-world opportunities you can explore after college, in addition to what the classes entail.
4) Talk to other students. Some of the best resources you have on a college campus are the other students. Talk to your friends who have majors that interest you. Ask them what type of skills are necessary, what the classes are like, and what they like and dislike about the particular field they are studying.
5) Pick up a minor. One of the hardest things about declaring a major is that most people are interested in more than one thing! If you have strengths in more than one area, it would be worthwhile to consider pursuing a minor. This will broaden your skill set and make you more desirable to potential employers. You also won’t feel bad for neglecting one of your passions.
6) Join clubs and organizations. Most schools have clubs and organizations that are directly related to certain fields and majors and they are usually open for any student to join. This is a great way to get some hands-on experience and to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. So don’t be afraid to join the school paper if you are considering declaring your major in Journalism. This will also give you some experience that may help you land your first internship!