Choosing A Career Path In College: Tips For Self-Discovery

One of the biggest decisions of a high school graduate’s life is choosing a college major.  Declaring a major is a decision that will define many very important paths in life.  Many young people find themselves feeling a bit awestruck from the concept of making such an important decision so early in life.

College will likely be a rather sizeable investment.  Students feel pressure to choose a career path that will be financially rewarding as opposed to following their true interests.  There are numerous pressures surrounding most high school graduates.  Avoid adding more stress with these helpful tips for deciding where the future will lead and choosing a career path in college.

There is plenty of time

It is of the utmost importance that every first-year college student understand that there is time.  There is time to declare a major formally.  Typically, universities do not require students to declare a major until sophomore year.  Use the first year to explore and settle into the college environment.

Though there is time, do not haphazardly fumble through college like it is not expensive.  The longer a student takes to decide their path, the more debt is accrued, so be mindful.

Take time to explore

Utilize the time that is available to explore every interest.  Take classes in three different majors.  Sometimes students just do not know what their interests are until they take that one special class.  First-year students should grant themselves permission to have fun learning.

Separate personal goals from imposed goals

This is an important point to remember.  It is crucial to clearly separate personal goals from those goals that have been imposed by others.  Family and friends tend to think they know exactly what their star student will do when they “grow up.”  Keep in mind that they are not the students.

Too often, students allow family pressures to decide their career path and quickly find themselves unhappy in life.  Avoid falling in line with this crowd, and seek out personal gratification.

Avoid focusing on passion

Most college proposals to wanton students encourage them to follow their dreams and let their “passion” drive their journey, but “passion” is something else entirely.

“Passion is something you discover over time, by finding an interest, however small, and nurturing it.  There’s no epiphany; it’s a collection of small decisions that move you step by tiny step,” said Nathan Gebhard

If nature is an interest, seek out ways to invest time in learning what it would take to build a career involving the outdoors.

Consider cost and the market

Choosing what route to take with college should take into account the cost of the degree.  Some career goals take four years of school, and some take six to eight.  It should be determined before choosing a major, just how long it will take to complete the program.

Also, do not forget to consider the job market.  Every graduate needs a way to begin paying off their student loans.