Choosing Your Major: Practicality Vs. Passion

Illustration by Kevin Flores.

It’s a sad reality that so many people have dedicated years to doing something that they don’t enjoy.

The realization that what I choose today will impact the rest of my life is something that has left me in a constant state of anxiety. The pressure to have everything figured out during college years can be overwhelming, but I soon learned that it’s not as difficult as many make it out to be.

My biggest struggle, one commonly shared by students, is the choice between practicality versus passion. How much will my passion cost me and can I get paid doing what I love?

What many fail to remember is that loving something does not always translate to a career in that specific interest. For example, enjoying baseball is much different than playing it. An interest in baseball can translate to a career as a sports writer, sports agent, athletic trainer, sports lawyer, sports analyst, etc.

Internships, networking opportunities, mentoring and a college education are all avenues for career exploration. They provide support and encourage the discovery of peripheral careers.

Several careers have been created out of need in the real world, so a new field could possibly center around your interest. Some of the top ranked jobs did not even exist ten years ago.

One of most difficult things to determine as a college student is your major. You are expected to have a major by the end of your freshman year, but how are you expected to know the one subject/field you plan on basing your entire academic life around?

I have personally struggled with choosing my major. Being a self proclaimed “English person,” I easily declared myself an English major. But now the unrelenting nerves have settled in. What can I do with an English major besides be a writer? Will technology completely wipe out the publication aspect of English?

These are some tough questions that I have been pondering as I debate my major. Is your major going to still exist and produce opportunities in 20 years? Will you enjoy the classes you are required to take within the major?

Although it might be scary at first, take the plunge. I implore you to explore your interests, take a class that seems like something that you wouldn’t mind waking up to go study. And if you have no interests, take a class outside of your comfort field. Challenge yourself and you just might find your passion.

When deciding what to do for the rest of your life, take your time and make sure it is something that you enjoy doing. At the end of the day, it is your major, your career, not anyone else’s.