Written by Mary Todd Christian. Media by Jack Dawdy.
If you are a college student, you’ve probably had the following experience… You’re at a dinner with some extended family members. One of them asks you how school is going and you say, “Fine.” Another starts asking about what you’re studying and then asks the dreaded question:
“So what are you going to do with your major?”
Your heart beats under the pressure of the question. Your palms get sweaty and you start to feel dizzy. You swallow and plainly answer, “I don’t know yet.” Then you cushion the response with, “I’m still trying to figure that out.” You smile while silently dying inside. As a result, your family starts to give you suggestions about what you could or should do with your degree only leaving you more
confused as to whether you are in the right field of study after all…
Okay, maybe the side effects in that scenario were a little extreme, but the worry for some college students is very real. “What am I going to do with my degree?” is certainly a question that every student considers during his or her college years. In fact, this question has become so prominent to college students that they can drive themselves to insanity with similar questions of: Is this even the right major? What if I’m not cut out for this “college thing?”
I’ve come to understand that this is very normal. Many come to college and know exactly what they want to study. Then there are those who discover their passion after a few General Education classes. For others, it may take a little longer. Having gone through a similar ordeal when deciding upon my own major, it was certainly a comfort when I finally declared one. However, I felt as if I was still surrounded by a series of question marks. How I was to utilize my degree in the future? How would this degree pay the bills? What if this was all a mistake? Thankfully, in the midst of my worry, I found out some good news… we don’t have to have it all figured out! Despite what people may say, it’s okay to not know what you want to do right away. Here are some reasons why!
Just having a degree gives you leg-up in the working world.
Now, I’m not saying you should get a degree just to get one. But, even if you don’t end up working in your preferred field, you will have a better chance at getting employed somewhere if the potential employer sees that you graduated college. Sure, maybe the person with a Worship Arts degree doesn’t want to end up as a bank teller, but if the employer sees leadership skills as a result of their worship leading, he or she may have a better opportunity of securing a job!
You have time to “experiment.”
As a college student, you are provided with (almost) four years of experimentation. I know this sounds weird, but follow me for a minute…
There are plenty of outlets while you are in college to discover your strengths and passions. Especially for freshmen, now is the time to try different fields of study. For those undecided, take time to figure out which general education classes are most exciting for you. Hey, maybe one will end up being your major!
You have the opportunity to do what you love.
For those of you who are torn as to what degree to choose, choose your first love. Who wants to study something in which they have no interest? If you are going to be investing time into study, let it be something you are good at and enjoy!
You can view your major as a ministry.
Even if you are unsure of what you are going to do with your major in the future, try and see how you can implicate the things you have already learned as a form of ministry. Try helping out with local outreaches and see if there is a place to utilize your skills. When we view our major as a calling or a ministry, it allows us to become open to what God has in store, and can open doors for you to use your degree for His glory.
The point is that it’s okay if you don’t have a set plan for your major. There are people out there with degrees who are still trying to figure things out, and that’s perfectly fine! Have fun, experiment, do what you love and the rest will follow!