It’s Okay Not To Know

What are you going to do with your life?  The pivotal moment in your life will come when you will have to answer this question.  Contrary to popular belief, that time isn’t now.  Like many college students, I used to be under the impression that you go to college to pick a major to study in that field to obtain a degree in that field to ultimately land a career in that field.

What are you going to do with your life?  The pivotal moment in your life will come when you will have to answer this question.  Contrary to popular belief, that time isn’t now.  Like many college students, I used to be under the impression that you go to college to pick a major to study in that field to obtain a degree in that field to ultimately land a career in that field.  In Laymen’s terms, picking a major is not the same as picking a profession.  What many students don’t realize is that college majors are more flexible than they appear.  For instance, a political science major can learn analytical skills needed for a career in the business field.  Throw in some internships and extracurricular involvement and you’ll graduate from college with skills that any employer is looking for.

It’s important to recognize the two types of majors.  First, you have your labor-intensive majors where prerequisite courses are the norm and specific topics need to be taught.  In other words, if you are even thinking about any of these majors, you should declare right away; if you don’t like it, it’ll be easier to transition to another major.  Examples of such majors at Mizzou include business, nursing, and journalism.

Second, you have, well, everything else.  These majors have a lot more flexibility and you’ll have less of a struggle trying to find your niche.  For example; if you love science, but can’t decide on what specific field to specialize in, broader majors such as chemistry or biology will provide you with a nuance of opportunities to learn what makes you happy.  As you build upon your college career, you can even build upon a simple science major with more emphasized internships, classes, and research projects that are related to your preferred field.

In a perfect world, college would be a time to learn simply for the sake of learning without worrying about landing the ultimate job.  However, this isn’t the case.  The ultimate point to all of this is to realize that your major, in fact, does not matter.  It’s imperative that your field of study emphasizes what you enjoy rather than what will land you the best job (if you can find both, then why are you still reading this?)  The major that you decide as an undergraduate will not define your life, if it even affects it at all.  You can be a CEO with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.  However, you can also study business and end up running a farm.