Dear Ivy

Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

Ivy helps a student figure out their major

Dear Ivy,

I am currently a freshman here at Mason. Right now, I am still not sure what my major will be. There is not a single subject that I particularly like. I know I do not enjoy science, but other than that, there is nothing that stands out to me. At first, I was not too worried about not having a major, but it feels like time is running out and if I don’t pick something soon, I will not be able to graduate on time.


Dear Undecided,

I know firsthand how worrying it is to feel like you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Trust me, most students come into college just like you, and even those who think they have it all figured out often end up changing their mind, sometimes even more than once.

There are many ways you can figure out what major you want to pursue. You do not have to fall in love with a certain major or figure out the dream job you want after you graduate. You can start by looking at what you know you don’t like. You mentioned, for example, that you don’t like science. If that is the case, then at least we know a number of majors that you should not pursue.

Also, you might want to look at the type of classes that you enjoy. If you like the humanities, for example, you could always try to take classes from different subjects in that field. That way, you will narrow down your focus and get closer to finding your major.

What’s more, you could also look at what sort of job you want to have in the future. If you like interacting with people, then perhaps find a major that can get you a job in customer service. If you prefer working alone, then maybe find a major like computer science, where you will not have to deal with a lot of customers.

If you’ve done all this and you’re still unsure, try visiting our career counselors. They can offer you tremendous help by guiding you through the process and helping you discover your skills and interests. There is even an entire class, UNIV 220, dedicated to helping undeclared students who haven’t figured out their major yet.

And remember, you are not alone in this! It’s OK if you are undecided, and it is definitely normal for you to change your mind—most students do!