You might be feeling some of this pressure because some of your friends already know exactly what they want to do. Guess what – your friend Ben who has known since he popped out of the womb that he wants to do musical theatre? It’s great for him that he knows what he wants, and we’re sure he’ll go and get himself that degree, but in 10 years’ time he’ll be as broke as if he had never selected a major at all.
There is a reason that there are so many different classes to choose from in college. This is the time and place to figure it out. College is like a giant smorgasbord of interesting, delectable cuisine, and you are welcome to take a nibble here and there to see what you like best before filling up your plate. If you try something you don’t like, however, please don’t spit it up into a napkin and leave it on the table. That’s disgusting.
The truth is that you absolutely do not need to choose a major immediately, and if you do choose one, there is no law saying you can’t switch to something completely different when you realize it isn’t going to be a good fit for you. We know it may be a foreign idea to you so we’ll say it again to drive it home: you are an adult now! Being an adult means making your own decisions, changing your mind, and learning from your mistakes. This is your world – your teachers are just living in it.
You may also get pressure from your parents to decide on a specific major, but that’s only because they’re worried about you and want the best for you and are really looking forward to you taking care of them someday. In all honesty, unless you’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer, your major doesn’t matter that much anyway. There are people with art history degrees running businesses. People with business degrees starring in movies. People with acting degrees… well, you get the picture.
To be fair, certain majors do require you to get an early head start, so if you decide too late that you want to do something in a science or computer or engineering field, there’s a chance you may be sticking around an extra year or two to catch up and finish taking all of the required credits. But by that time, you’ll love your school so much you won’t ever want to leave anyway. You really should though. It’s pretty hard to pay back 35 years of student loan debt.