student ambassador

Exploring the Unknown

vsBy Vanessa Salman, ’17, Career Services Ambassador

College is all about self-discovery, right? You have the opportunity to figure out if you’re a morning or night person, fast or slow reader, independent or group “studier”. One of the most valuable discoveries, however, is finding your path of study. While many say that you’re not confined to your major in the workforce, picking one that will equip you with the proper knowledge and skills can give you a competitive edge when seeking employment.

Searching for a major isn’t like searching for your soul – it’s not finite. Here at Syracuse University, and most universities, there are countless programs to explore. From physics to political science, engineering to communications, the options seem endless. Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself into the seemingly obscure academic abyss that is college major selection – dive in full-force; you might surprise yourself.

Changing your major or coming into college without one is not a bad thing. It’s okay to not know what you want to study when entering your post-secondary educational career. While many students apply under specific programs and majors, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. The worst thing one could do is to compare their journey to finding a college major to someone else. We don’t live in a homogeneous society: as individuals, we have unique qualities and differing motivations from one another, therefore everyone’s experience won’t be the same.

While this may seem overwhelming, don’t think that you have to go at this alone. There are many resources at your fingertips to help you throughout your journey in finding the major for you. Aside from Career Services counselors, whom you can make an appointment with or speak with during drop-in hours, there are advisers in each department that are more than willing to give you advice and tell you about their program(s). Professors also serve as important resources in guiding you in the best direction. Don’t be afraid to reach out to individual professors if you find interest in what they’re teaching, regardless of if you are able to take their class right now.

When it comes to selecting a major, the best piece of advice I have is to search until you find your passion. That sounds scary, but it’s doable. Find the field that ignites the fire within that you had no idea existed. Sure, coursework can be daunting, and you’re not always going to be gung-ho about doing that 15-page research paper, but if you have a genuine interest in what you’re studying, the sense of accomplishment felt post-grueling assignment is indescribable.

Ask questions, do your research, take a class or two – it could lead to the unearthing of your future career.

Unsure about your major or exploring your options, join us for our Major Mixer & Panel tonight at 5 p.m. in 202 Hall of Languages. Upperclassmen who’ve been unsure of their major will talk about their journey and share tips to help you find yours.