Dear Estelle. Just how important is it to make a decision about a career prior to entering college? I frankly have not been able to identify any one thing that I would like to spend my life doing. I have so many interests, science, music, and writing. Since the cost of attending college has become so expensive, my parents would prefer that I choose a major early so as not to squander their investment in me. JS, Golden HS
How many 17 year olds are able to say exactly what they would like to do career-wise for the rest of their lives? Not many. Consider some statistics: Most students change their majors at least once while in college and many change them twice. People who graduated more than 25 years ago are in careers that didn’t exist when they graduated. Many parents of high school students are no longer in careers they intended to pursue when they were 18.
That is why it’s important to make decisions based on colleges that fit you the best, academically and socially. Take advantage of college to explore ideas and become educated about a lot of things including yourself. College provides a great opportunity to learn how to think critically and make wise decisions. Being undecided about your future provides opportunities to consider new directions and explore many options.
If you do have definite interests, like engineering or film making, make sure the colleges you are considering offer significant majors in those areas. Good research now will result in a positive educational experience. A “good fit” is definitely a most important consideration as you plan for your college years. There are hundreds of colleges and universities that welcome students who are undecided about their futures. A significant number of the undecided are able to determine their futures by the time they graduate four years later.