If you are getting ready to apply to college or have at least started thinking about applying, you are probably wondering how in the world are you going to choose a major. You might already have your parents or other family members pressuring you into pursuing a major that they think is best for you. It might make you less stressed out to know that many college graduates change their major several times while they are in college. Don’t worry, most college graduates agree that your major doesn’t necessarily define the career you will have for the rest of your life.
Getting a college degree in any major only broadens your chances of achieving success. However, it is important to make sure you choose a major that you are passionate about. Your major may not define your career choices but it will influence the types of classes you will take in college. By choosing the right major you can ensure that you will take classes that interest you, instead of some that might put you to sleep. Pursuing a major that motivates you can help make your college experience meaningful and prepares you for a career you will love.
Take it from these five undergraduate Latinas as they explain why finding a major they love has made their college experience more beneficial and has brightened their future.
Major: Youth and Community Studies
What influenced you to choose this major? I realized there was a strong need for direction in today’s youth. There is also a lack of availability of resources that has negatively influenced the community a child is brought up in.
Why do you think this major suits you? My major suits me because I have a passion for helping youth through community outreach.
Was this major your first choice? No, my first major was sociology. When I realized this major was more focused on research I realized I wanted to major in something that allowed me to make a direct impact on youth.
What has been the best class you have taken for your major and why? Mexican Americans in Higher Education has been my favorite class because I learned about the issues that have deeply impacted the educational attainment of Mexican American students. I learned that alternative paths can be taken to help these students gain access to higher education.
How do you see your major helping you achieve your goals for the future? My career goal is to one day become a counselor focused on helping minorities get into higher education. I feel that my major is giving me the preparation I need to work with and understand youth and communities collectively as a counselor.
Major: Health Promotion
Minor: Education with specialization in disability studies.
What influenced you to choose this major? I have come to realize how important our physical and mental health is. Coming from El Paso where it’s encouraged to eat, or else grandma gets upset, I never realized how important it is to watch what we are putting into our bodies. Promoting health is important to me because there are people out there who get diagnosed with brain diseases or cancer, diseases that we can’t prevent. So we should do what we can to take care of the healthy bodies we are given.
Why do you think this major suits you? I want to be able to help people and give back to my community, my major gives me the foundation for that. It has also given me the opportunity to take classes that teach a great deal about autism which my brother was diagnosed with during my senior year of high school. After some of my kinesiology classes I am now able to understand him a lot better
Was this major your first choice? No, I started off with exercise science and switched to health promotion. They are in the same umbrella of kinesiology though, so there wasn’t a big difference.
What has been the best class you have taken for your major and why? Programming For People With Disabilities, because my passion has always been to help those with special needs and this class taught me about different disabilities and how to accommodate people with them so they can participate in physical education. This class also gave me and opportunity to volunteer with UT’s Autism Project where I was able to interact with children who have autism. This was by far one of my best experiences at the university.
How do you see your major helping you achieve your goals for the future? My major has given me the information I need to be able to go back home and start programs or interventions that I feel El Paso really needs such as better physical education and nutrition being included in our high school health class.
Minor: RTF (Radio, Television and Film)
What influenced you to chose this major? When I was in high school I had a really good English teacher who taught me how to think critically and outside the box. After that I had very good English teachers throughout high school. I also love to read and write, its always been something I enjoyed.
Why do you think this major suits you? With English major there is no right answer. As and English major you get to come up with your own opinions and answers to questions.
Was this your first choice? Yes!
What has been the best class you have taken for your major and why? The American Novel After 1920. We got to read many classic American books and the professor was really open and encouraging with the class.
How do you think your major will help you achieve your future goals? Being an English major makes you well rounded, you learn a lot more than just about books. You learn how to analyze and become a more critical thinker which is an admirable trait in many job positions.
What influenced you to choose this major? I have always been interested in science and learning about how bacteria and viruses can infect us and make us sick. It really amazed me that tiny microorganisms have the ability to make people die!
Why do you think this major suits you? I think my major suits me because I like to think analytically and with science there is always an answer. Also I feel as though being able to learn about different symptoms and diseases will help me when I become a dentist because I am going to have to diagnose my patients.
Was this major your first choice? No, first it was biology then I realized I could specialize in an area and I chose microbiology and have stuck with it since that day.
What has been the best class you have taken for your major and why? My favorite class has been organic chemistry because the professor I had was truly an inspiration to me. He showed me that hard works truly does pay off and taught me to never give up.
How do you see your major helping you achieve your goals for the future? I have been accepted to dental school and the first year is basically all science including microbiology, immunology, and physiology which are all courses I’ve had to take under my major. As a dentist I will have to diagnose and treat my patients which is also something I have learned to do in many of my classes.
Major: Women and Gender Studies
Minor: Sociology and Social Work
What influenced you to choose this major? My experiences growing up as a female have encouraged me to pursue this major. I have also always wanted to help and give back to the community.
Why do you think this major suits you? My major suits me because it allows me to surround myself with diverse people. Gender studies is also a new field so there are many more research possibilities.
Was this major your first choice? No my first choice was social work, which I still hope to pursue a Master’s degree in.
What has been the best class you have taken for your major and why? Intro to Women and Gender Studies has been my favorite class because it made me realize how interested I am in this new field.
How do you see your major helping you achieve your goals for the future? My major will teach me to reach out to marginalized groups and create a safe space for all people to express themselves and learn.