Pinpointing your interests for your major

Illustration by Brandy Pickering

Upon learning about my enrollment at BC, someone I have just met will typically ask me to disclose my major. “I don’t know,” may have been a valid response in high school, but with my Associates Degree being awarded at the end of the quarter and the immediate transfer to a four-year university, I’m going to need to decide a major before I register for classes.

If you’re struggling to make that final decision, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the National Academic Advising Association, 20-50 percent of new college students are undecided. Here are some suggestions about how to pick your major by exploring aclasses at BC.

The most obvious tip is to consider what your interests are. Perhaps you love interacting with people or working on the computer. For the general Associate in Arts and Sciences degree, a vast range of classes are required, including 30 credits worth of electives. Investigate the classes regarding topics that peak your interest. There’s everything from psychology to cultural and ethnic studies to communications offered at BC.

If you are not keen on investing money in a class to explore interests, then check out the numerous BC clubs on campus. Join the computer science club, the business club, or one of the various cultural clubs. Visit the front desk of Student Programs in room C212 for a list of chartered clubs. Clubs provide excellent networking opportunities, friendship building, and an expansion of knowledge within that particular area.

Not all people can sort out their interests easily though. In this situation, think about what useful skills you possess. You may not necessarily enjoy writing essays for English class, but if you continually receive A’s, then pay attention to it. Or you may be one to help your peers whenever you are working in a lab because you follow the material easily. It can be shocking to come to the realization that  things you do well may not necessarily be the things you enjoy doing. In that case, mold it around your interests or hobbies.

Another factor to take into consideration is your desired future. Take into account a love or hate for traveling, working with children, technology, and living in rural versus urban environments, as picking one major over another may cause larger effects in your life than anticipated.

If all else fails, set goals for your preferred paycheck. Do you want to work hard and make a lot of money? Or do you want to spend lots of time with family and make enough to live comfortably? The Department of Labor published the top paying careers as being a natural sciences or marketing manager. The majority of the highest paying jobs are in the science fields.

While science-related careers offer great wages, the expenses and time to get to that level of income may turn some people off. Do not let the cost of a major dissuade you from declaring it. The financial burden may be tough, but you can apply for FASFA, scholarships, and participate in work study.

For some, talking it out may be the simplest way to make the decision about which major to declare. Meet with one of BC’s academic advisors to figure out what would be the best option for you. More information about their department can be found at

In the end, a major is a major. The average American worker will change careers anywhere from three to five times in their lifetime, and this number is continuing to rise.

Pick your major for your own benefits and not because of what your parents or friends may tell you. Use your time at BC to explore your interests and expand your knowledge. Let BC help you learn more about who you are and what you plan to become.