How to Pick Your College Major |  Study Tips
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How to Pick Your College Major | Study Tips

Hello my Socratica Friends. We’re here to help you be a GREAT STUDENT. Now here’s a question we’re all faced
with when we go to college. What’s your major? What are you majoring in? What are you going to do with the
REST OF YOUR LIFE!!??? No pressure. Let’s talk through this together. This is a chance for you to use your problem-solving
skills on YOURSELF. First, you have to understand your options. One of my friends marked “social science”
as an interest on her PSAT form… because she saw the word “science,” and she was
interested in biology, chemistry, physics…. She didn’t know that “social science”
is the study of human society – things like politics, sociology, anthropology… Pretty soon, she was getting ALL these pamphlets
from colleges that didn’t really match her interests. All because – she didn’t know the correct
terminology. Don’t let this happen to you. Pick up a catalog from a BIG college – they’re
mostly online nowadays – and go treasure hunting. Have a look at the description of each major. The catalog should also tell you which courses
are required to get each degree. There’s going to be a lot of overlap there
– for instance, many science majors will have very similar prerequisites before you get
to the advanced, more specialized courses. As you look through the course catalog, pay
attention to….your attention. That is, which courses really grab you. Are there any classes you get excited about
taking? That’s a good sign. Do you know any students who have declared
one of these majors? Talk to them about their choice. See how much your experience and interests
match theirs. Ask them about their workload, and their advice
about how to be successful. Also, while you’re at it, ask them if they
have any regrets – do they feel like they missed out on anything? Is there anything they would do differently? It’s also a good idea to interview college
instructors. If you’re lucky, one of them may be willing
to let you pick their brain. Ask about your career options, if you choose
to study this subject. Now remember, college instructors are career
academics, and there are many different jobs out there other than being a college professor. With that in mind, it’s a great option to
shadow someone who has a job you’re interested in. What did THEY major in? This might surprise you. You’ll find lawyers who were science majors. Doctors who studied French Literature. It’s true, most doctors did major in pre-med
in undergrad. But just realize that your major doesn’t
have to be a life sentence. There will be many careers open to you. Now that you’ve educated yourself about
your options, let’s take a closer look at YOU. There are a lot of great majors out there,
but which one will suit YOU? Remember that old saying – if you do what
you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. So what do you love to do? What do you like to read? Are you interested in the latest scientific
discoveries? Or would you rather read about the latest
election? How about TV shows? Think about what you like to read and watch for fun. What you like to talk about
with your friends? Or, if you’re making small talk with someone
at a party, how would you like that conversation to go? Would you like to speculate about the future? Or talk about an ancient culture? Basically, we’re trying to pin down where
does your mind NATURALLY go. Start paying attention to how you spend your
unscheduled time. Those choices you make can be quite telling
about your natural proclivities. This can make a big difference when you need
a little extra energy to carry you through those tough times in college. Now here’s another serious consideration. What are you actually GOOD AT. Which subjects do you find come to you a little
easier – or, put another way – which classes do you enjoy putting in the necessary time
to do really well? It’s one thing to enjoy solving math puzzles
for fun, but are you actually gifted in that direction to do serious math research? Where do you get good grades? And where do you find yourself struggling,
despite your best efforts? These experiences should all inform your choice. By the way, if you ARE struggling in your
classes, did you know we built a STUDY TIPS WEBSITE? We wanted to make a site where you could find
all our best study tips all together in one place. We built our Study Tips website using WIX. It was easy, starting with one of their templates. You just drag and drop, and play around to
give it your own personal look and feel. Follow the links in the description below,
and see what you think! Now…back to your MAJOR decision. Ask your closest friends for their input. What have they observed? Parents, teachers, loved ones – everyone is
going to have an opinion. Just keep in mind that YOU are the final decision
maker here. It’s YOUR life, after all. And you know yourself better than anyone else. But it never hurts to get a second opinion. Sometimes – this is a little funny – you’ll
find yourself getting offended when someone tries to give you advice and tells you you
need to be a doctor or lawyer or kindergarten teacher. Take a minute to examine those feelings. What do they tell you about yourself? It means you envision something different
for yourself, right? What is that vision? Tap into that. Have you tried this trick – pretend you HAVE
to make your decision today. Pick one of the majors you’ve been considering,
and try it out for a week or so. Go around saying to yourself, “I’m a PHYSICS
major. I’m going to school to study PHYSICS.” Take that course catalog, and plan out all
the classes you would take to get that degree. Picture yourself after college. Where will that degree take you? And are you happy with that picture of your
future? Your gut reaction is important here. You want a future you’ll look forward to. If you’re still struggling, you could pull
out the big guns. Consider taking a formal survey. These are intended to measure career and leisure
interests in a quantitative way. One popular option is the Strong Interest
Inventory, which is based on the work of Stanford Psychologist Edward Kellog Strong Jr. The Strong assessment measures interests in
various areas, as well as basic personality types that might make you better suited for
one occupation over another. You can pay companies to administer one of
these surveys and interpret it for you. But before you do that, visit the career development
office at your college. Your school may offer one of these surveys
as part of their regular service. One last thing, my Socratica Friends. You CAN change your mind. You can. Don’t feel like you’re deciding the rest
of your life, just by choosing your major. If you start down one path and it turns out
to be the wrong choice? Guess what. You can pick yourself up and start again in
another direction. Promise. We hope this helped you feel better about
making this choice. We’d love to hear what you’ve decided. Tell us about it in the comment section! Now that we’ve got that all sorted out,
you can think about …What are you going to MINOR in? We’re so glad you’ve been watching and
learning with us. If you find our work helpful, please consider
joining our Team of Socratica Friends on Patreon. The support of our Patrons makes these videos
possible, and the more support we have, the faster we can make them for you. Check out the link, read about the incentives,
and we hope you join us in our efforts to make great educational videos available for
everyone around the world. Thank you.

About James Carlton

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50 thoughts on “How to Pick Your College Major | Study Tips

  1. Oh your last sentence!!! Touched right there. There is always a second option waiting if you are actually thinking of it. And if not, there is no new beginning.

  2. This is so important. I’m about to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. It has been a fight because I thought I COULDN’T change my major. I thought that would mean I failed.
    And it doesn’t!!! So good luck out there to everyone trying to figure out their major. I’ve finally figured out what I’m passionate for (and I’m going to grad school for it😉)☺️

  3. OH beautiful lady,,,, how can I be like you as a native English speaker ,,,what are the special tips for me…..?????

  4. I would like to study again but my current job prevents me do so, aside from other reasons.

  5. Misleading students and parents with major names happens every year in China's "pheasant" colleges.

  6. So, when I left high school, I liked science but had dirt poor self confidence, so I went into architecture as a "regular person" job. That was fun, but going into anything artsy without passion is a recipe for disaster. I was doing decent at classes and helped others, plus I liked the educational environment, so I changed to secondary science education. That was great, and I still love pedagogy, but actually teaching high school was miserable for me. Fortunately, I did well in classes, got to teach higher stuff, and even got to research, giving me confidence for once. I also fell in love with math for math's sake. I was considering math, but scared of how competitive it is, I went to chem, which was fun (ochem exempt). But by then I was tired of being driven by fear and said, screw it, you love math, do math. And now I have a math degree, plan on grad school, and have never been happier. And to think I borderline failed precalc in high school.

    I think that I am happy with the diversity of my studies, but I regret all the uncertainty and long time to finally find something I loved. I think that if I had more resources to help with confidence in different fields, as well as the ability to sample at least some more advanced ideas to grow familiar with classes to come, it would have been a lot easier to settle into something I love.

  7. I’ve been looking for a “major” my whole life. Now I am 63 and “a jack of all trades and a master of none”. Don’t follow my example! It sucks! 🤯🥵🤬

  8. What about money? You completely skipped over that. The equation isn't you + effort + talent = success. The equation is you + options + effort + talent probably = success.

  9. Vim aqui pra ver o quanto essa mulher tem a didática perfeita tanto em portugues como em inglês

  10. Ah, the problem of life.
    Quite frankly, out of so many college students I've talked to and other people who have started their careers for quite some time:
    It really takes time for yourself to figure out who you are and what you want to be in this world. This video is mostly helpful but personal preference can only be fully understood by how the person performs.
    I know a great number of people were basically seeking their life path in college. Not necessarily before college. And people who did not go to college first instead, undertook many jobs and experiences to figure out what they really like and dislike.
    It's giant topic that really takes time, and wit for a person to find out.

  11. thanks for your work. I enjoy your math stuff. I think a few videos on philosophy of math would be fun.

  12. Career orientation: combination of one's talents, what one enjoy doing and what makes sense.
    Life orientation: based on one's greatest joys and greatest pains. Choosing to build something positive out of both will bring purpose to one's life and will be the answer to "what makes sense?" in one's career orientation.

  13. Welcome to Socratica! We make SMART videos focusing on STEM – science, math, programming. Subscribe here:

    Our study tips playlist is here:

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