I Don't Know What to Major In!

By Gabriela Kuniec Modified on August 09, 2019

As a high school student, deciding what to study is exciting and daunting.

A student grumpily considers the options for a program to major in in college or university.

As a student going into grade 12, I'm starting my decision making process for post-secondary school, which is an exciting and daunting experience.

Personally, I always worry about whether I'm making the right choice. Will I like my program? Is this something I'm good at? Will it lead to a lucrative career? There is lots to consider when choosing a program and school, which can be overwhelming.

So how do you know which program's the right one?

It's not as simple as you might think. Before I chose my program, I felt pretty insecure about making such a big decision. I was worried that after I applied for a specific program, I would be stuck with it for life and there was no escape. Luckily, that's not the case. Lots of people transfer schools or programs.

When I was unsure about what to study, I made a list of my interests and strengths and what career pathways require them. Don't close yourself off to different options. It's important to explore programs that you wouldn't usually consider. Maybe a simple hobby could turn into a successful career. I narrowed down my list piece by piece until I landed on the right program.

Or maybe you're the other way around — maybe you know what you're interested in, but aren't sure what career you want to pursue. And that's okay! You have time to figure that out. Do a little research on careers your program could lead to, and decide from there.

Okay, but what school should I attend?

Once you've chosen a program, the next step is to choose your school. I made sure to look at campuses, tuition, location, size and classes when considering my school. Are you interested in college or university? Would you want to attend a big school or a small one? What are the costs like? Do you need a scholarship? How far away is it? These are the questions you should keep asking yourself as you make your decision.

For me, I like to prepare ahead of time and do my research. When it comes to choosing where to study, I search for schools that excel in my specific program, and I try not to be influenced by a school's overall reputation. Sure, a school might be well-known and prestigious, but what if it excels in computer science and tech, and I'm interested in business? Or art? The best match for you doesn't have to be the top college or university in your country.

Keep in mind that you should always be asking questions. Reaching out and talking to people gave me a lot of insight into my potential career and helped me finalize my decisions. If you know someone who attends your school or program, or someone who works in a field you're considering, you can always ask them (respectful!) questions. Find out about their day-to-day, what the job is like, which might help you decide what's right for you.

Remember, education is not one-size-fits-all. Take your time to make the right decision, and explore all your options. The possibilities are endless!

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