HomeArticlesIs It OK To Be Undecided?

Dear Estelle. At all the colleges I’ve visited this past year, prospective students and their parents at the information sessions would ask the admissions counselors “What are your most popular majors?” At age 17 I’m afraid to admit that I am clueless about majors and future careers. How important is it for me to know what my major should be? Is it OK to put undecided on the college application?
Hannah O., Overland High School

Believe it or not, it’s OK to be undecided. While some high school seniors may have settled on a major or a life career, the majority of students have no idea what their major should be nor is ones major an absolute determinant of the direction a student’s career will take once he or she enters the work force.

Many geologists are now in real estate; Medicine calls people from a number of different fields; Law is a perfect example of a field, which includes numerous undergraduate majors. Probably one of the most popular freshman majors is “undecided” or “yet to decide.” At most colleges and universities, students have until the end of their sophomore year to declare their major. Frequently, even then students drop and change majors and minors, often in an effort to refine the course of study that most appeals to them. Most colleges encourage academic exploration.

Understand that few high school students or even college freshmen and sophomores are prepared to identify a path early on. If they were, colleges wouldn’t put “undecided” as a choice on the application. If you have been excited about a specific subject you’ve taken in high school, perhaps you will want to pursue it in college. If you haven’t, don’t feel obligated to identify a major as a freshman. If you would like to know where your interests might take you career-wise, take a career assessment with a career counselor. You and your parents might find this beneficial.

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