“What do I want to do with my life?” It’s a question that many college students are asking as the time winds down to pick a major and hit the apply button on those college apps. Many students fear that the wrong choice could leave them jobless and unhappy after graduation. So, what do you do when you’re stuck on choosing a major? Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Talk to other people who understand the problem
It’s always great to hear from alumni or other people who have been in the same position. Get some advice, ask questions and talk to your guidance counsellors. Go to career fairs and talk to professionals. That being said, everyone’s experience is different. Don’t let what they tell you be the sole deciding factor on what major  you choose.

Separate your goals from people’s goals for you 
It’s not uncommon for parents to make the ultimate decision about what their child studies in college. When you have family and friends pushing their opinions and suggestions on you, it’s hard to block them out and go with what you truly want. On one end you have family members telling you that you need to be a doctor or lawyer, and on the other end, your gut is telling you that being a filmmaker is the passion you should pursue.

It’s okay if your goals are not the goals your parents or family members want for you. At the end of the day, you are going to be the one that has to live with the decision.

Does it fit with your life plan?
Often students rush into a major because they love the topic. They do not take into account whether or not that major will fit into their life plan. For example, if you have dreams of traveling around the world and having financial security, being a photographer would not be the ideal career for you. Although there is potential to travel, financial security is not guaranteed for photographers. You might even have to work odd hours to pay all of your expenses. There’s nothing wrong with choosing your passion, but just make sure you are ready to change your goals to fit with that passion if needed.

Make sure it’s something that you’re interested in
No one wants to spend 4+ years in college pursuing a major that they are completely bored with. It’ not uncommon for students to chose a major simply because it will secure a job that allows them to pay off their debt as quickly as possible. This is definitely not a great idea! There’s no point in wasting time and money on a major that you think will secure you a great job. The truth is, a job is not guaranteed no matter what path you choose. It’s much better to choose something that you actually see being useful to you in the future.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to rush into anything if you’re not ready. If you’re really stuck on what major to choose, take some time to figure it out. If you feel like you need to take a year or two off before heading back to school, go for it! Do whatever is best for YOU.