Retrospect: Choosing The Perfect College Major

Published: August 3, 2020
By Mai
4 min read
Retrospect: Choosing The Perfect College Major

If you find yourself stuck in choosing what college degree to pursue, then don’t worry, you are not alone. Many of us do not know what we want to do with our lives until many years later, hence why many adults experience a quarter-life and mid-life crisis quite often. As you find yourself deciding what career path to pursue, let me share with you my thoughts from what I’ve experienced in college and my lessons that may or may not help you in the long run.

Many young students are left with two options to choose from: a career with good money and stability vs. a career that relates to their interests and hobbies. Between these two choices, one will usually mean accepting what society tells them is successful, while the other one means turning their backs on what they love doing.

The most common outcome is picking a college degree that will provide good pay and stability. A reason for this is because money and economic profits is the number one motivation above all else. We create normality out of any practice or profession and we put labels on what majors have higher chance of success. Over the years, we have started to abuse this concept by narrowing our options and only strive for high paying jobs only. We neglect what other options are there that might fit our personality and our stress levels better.

We, as a society, have mixed inner greatness with money and power and place influence on each generation that comes along. No one dares to explore other professions as much because everyone wants to make their money proliferate in this affluent type of culture rather than spending their time doing something they love. That is because the words “money” and “success” are akin in most people’s minds and are something constant no matter who or where we came from. Students who do decide to major in music, philosophy, or liberal arts often face severe feelings of inadequacy because they are compared to society’s standard of what is successful.

Most college students are afraid to choose the major they love because their major is not a profession that the parents approve of necessarily, or that society necessarily approves of. While some students pick stressful majors because they love “engineering” or because they have a “passion” for science, I can’t help wondering why they would dive in a tremendous amount of anxiety and unhappiness for the sake of material gain and reputation. However, it’s not the student’s fault. Parents, a lot of the time, tells us to shade our own legacy conforming to what society tells us is right. I learned that there is a huge space of contradiction as we grow up. Often parents tell us to be what we want to be, except ourselves.

But our legacy is what we create of it, and it is so much easier to craft legacy for ourselves with something we know we are good at. But sometimes what we are good at isn’t enough to survive in the real world. But, it is so much easier and enjoyable to be good at something when we are passionate about something, and if we’re passionate about something, we’re happy.

Let it be repeated that a student’s college major is not a role they play in society. It does not constitute a real picture of success; it is merely the conventional appearance of excessive pressure from today’s standards of greatness. These fields that we pursue, these jobs that we end up picking for ourselves, should be ones that we’re comfortable with and love to do. Not necessarily comfortable, it might be very uncomfortable to say the least, but pick something that you love and have passion for. And even though it might be intimidating, thrust yourself into it anyway, not because society or your parents tell us, but because you want to.

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