A good rule for anyone to follow when choosing a university major is to consider personal interests before considering any other factors. This doesn’t mean that tuition fees or the job market don’t play a part in making the decision. In fact, all aspects of your chosen career path should be researched so that you’ll know what to expect during and after attending university. For the sake of your sanity, though, it’s within your best interest to make sure that you’ll love your program. Here are the reasons why.
>>The next three to four years of your time at university should be enjoyable
Everyone knows that university is time-consuming, expensive and difficult, but it shouldn’t be so difficult that you feel miserable with every class you attend, every paper you write and every test you study for.
If you choose a subject that interests you, the next few years of your life are going to be easier than if you choose something that bores you. The time will pass quickly, you’ll feel much more motivated to study, and your classes might even be *gasp* enjoyable!
It’s normal for the occasional mandatory class to be unpleasant, but if you find yourself feeling more bored and unhappy than not, it may be time to consider a change in majors.
>>You want your grades to be high
Whether you’re trying to maintain your grades for your scholarship, for personal satisfaction or to impress future employers or graduate schools, it’s going to be easier to obtain high grades if you enjoy what you’re studying. You’ll be able to conduct research, study for exams and write papers more quickly and easily than you will if you dislike what you’re doing.
Boredom breeds procrastination and mediocrity. When you love what you’re doing, your passion will show in your work and in your grades.
>>You’ll feel motivated to pursue activities that relate to your chosen field of study
While attending university, it’s important to start gaining experience that relates to your field, especially if your program does not offer a work practicum. When you truly enjoy the subject that you’re studying, you’ll feel motivated to volunteer for projects and organizations that are connected to your field, which will provide you with valuable experience and references for your résumé.
Most universities have departmental societies (e.g. Psychology Society) that students can join. Joining clubs and societies shows involvement in university activities, which looks good to graduate schools.
Gaining such experience may also give you an edge that other students don’t have when you start looking for employment. If you dislike your program of study, the chances are pretty low that you’ll bother to participate in any related club, society, or volunteer activity.
>>The big picture matters: you want a career that you’ll love
Presumably, you’re attending university in order to qualify for a well-paid job that you’ll love. If you despise what you study in university, what are the chances that you’ll enjoy working in this field until the day that you die or retire?
It’s true that many people are hired into jobs that aren’t related to the field that they studied in university, so it’s not written in stone that you’ll be doomed to a lifetime of counselling adolescents or whatever career path you’re chosen (not that counselling is a terrible career; it’s only terrible if you don’t enjoy doing it).
If you’ve chosen an unpleasant major that allows for a narrow range of career possibilities, you may want to consider changing your major, adding a specialization or even upgrading to a double-major that will increase your chances of finding a satisfying job after you’ve graduated. Your career will continue for most of your life; choosing a career that you love will make you feel happier with your life.
There are some people who know exactly what they want to do for a living, and there are many who aren’t so sure. It can be difficult to decide which university subject to major in when family might be pushing you towards a certain profession, when particular programs cost more money than others, or if the current job market makes some career fields more tempting to pursue than others. At the end of the day, though, you’ve got to love what you do.