As a upcoming college freshman, you have probably heard the phrases, “the world is your oyster,” “carpe diem,” and “take the bull by the horns” multiple times in the past several months, but have you thought about how you can actually apply these nuggets of wisdom in college? As you face new choices and challenges such as registering for classes, doing your own laundry, and finding your way in Haley Center, Career Development Services wants to take the guesswork and mystery out of declaring a major. If you are unsure about which major to choose, how to find a career path, or what to do with your life in general, consider these top tips:
1. Assess yourself: Think about your strengths and your talents. Ask yourself, what am I naturally good at doing? Also, think about your interests and what you enjoy doing. Find some common ground and identify activities and classes you both excel in and enjoy. This may be a difficult task if you are good at many things and have varied interests so you may solicit some help from parents, friends, or teachers who have witnessed your best talents first hand. Additionally you might start by crossing off activities you don’t enjoy doing or those where you struggle to perform well. This can be a great starting point for indentifying areas where you do excel. Knowing who you are and what you can do will help in finding your niche in a specific major and career.
2. Explore your options: Did you know that Auburn University has over 140 different majors? From anthropology to zoology and everything in between you may find the task of choosing just one very daunting. As you prepare to enter your freshman year, take the time to explore all of the majors that interest you. In purposefully evaluating these majors, take notes on the topics you will be studying, opportunities to study abroad and intern, GPA and core requirements and possible career paths. Career Services offers multiple resources to help you find this information and sort through the options. Who knows, you may find your passion in a major or career field you never knew existed!
3. Ask questions: As you assess yourself and explore your options, ask as many questions as possible in order to paint a well-rounded picture of the majors you are considering. Talk to your parents and teachers about the options you are considering and ask if they know any professionals in those particular industries. Conduct informational interviews with these professionals to ask specific questions about the daily requirements of the job and the types of education or certification required for promotion. Also, solicit advice from Career Development Services for tips on how to prepare yourself for a career in your chosen field of study. There are many people who want to help you succeed so don’t be afraid to ask questions!
So, now after you decide whether or not to take 8 a.m. classes, dig through your pockets for spare quarters, and ponder Haley’s system of quadrants and floors, you can rest easy knowing how to tackle the task of finding your major and career direction by using these top tips and visiting Career Development Services. Whew!