Registration Woes

Over the past four weeks, I have experienced part of the registration process for one the Colleges of Science and Mathematics. It's overwhelming...and I'm not even trying to figure out what classes I want to take. It appears that some students are facing closed or unavailable classes. Others are trying to figure out how ambitious is still wise with a slate of challenging pre-med classes. However, there are some students who are stressed because, truth be told, they aren't comfortable with registration because they don't know what they want to major in in the first place.

I can't do anything to make the registration process easier, but I can offer you suggestions in how to choose a major and/or career path that makes jumping through the hoops of undergrad worth the trouble!

  1. Figure out who you are. (Easier said than done, huh?!) There are several pieces to this: personality, interests, skills and values. Whether it's brainstorming through questions on your own (What are you interested in? What do you enjoy? What are your strengths? What's the coolest job you can think of? What work values are important to you?) or taking a formal assessment, I encourage you to meet with a career counselor to process the information you are putting together. I don't know about you, but if I'm working on a big jig-saw puzzle, it's a LOT easier if I'm working with someone. He or she always immediately finds that "missing" piece that I have been searching for!
  2. Research your areas of interest. That's right...research isn't just for the classroom! Just because being a CSI agent looks cool on TV, doesn't mean you have a firm grasp on that career. Some of the assessments (Type Focus and FOCUS) immediately push you into this step as you evaluate which careers appear to match up with what you find out about yourself. However, you should also explore the O*Net and Occupational Outlook Handbook to research the education/training needed, job outlook, salary information, etc. for various careers of interest. If you have landed on a major but are still struggling with finding a career path, check out What Can I Do With a Major In...?
  3. Evaluate your choices. At this point, you should have a pretty strong grasp on who you are and have a realistic view on a narrow list of careers. So need to choose. Write a pros and cons list. Evaluate if you can double major or if the interdisciplinary major is a fit for you. Talk through the information you have with your career counselor, academic advisor, professor, mentor, advisor, parents, etc.
  4. Take action. You have to move forward. Ideally, this process will keep you from having to change your major over and over, but it isn't a perfect science. If you are engaging in your college experience you are likely both increasing and narrowing your interests daily. However, you will never know if you don't get started. So, enroll in classes. Get a part-time job or internship in your area of interest to further explore.
Check out more resources with Career Development!

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