Choosing a major has long been a source of grief and frustration for college students. It is not an easy choice because there are so many factors playing into that decision. Some students will choose to pursue their dream careers while others will seek careers in order to provide for themselves and those they care about. The difficulty in choosing a major is heightened by the fact that not all majors are created equal; Some degrees all but guarantee financial security following graduation. Other degrees will require a good deal of careful thought and hard work before they yield similar results.
Trying to balance these factors when choosing a major is not easy, especially when a student is unsure of what they want for their own future. This can lead them to reach these decisions half-heartedly, which often leads to them changing their majors and having a less than stellar college experience. The best way to prevent this is an understanding that a degree that is chosen with a purpose will always provide more substantial and rewarding opportunities than a degree that was selected haphazardly without enthusiasm.
With this principle in mind, ASMSU and the Academic Advising Center recently collaborated on an event called Major Madness to help students learn more about not only what majors MSU has to offer, but what those majors have to offer the students studying them.
Geneva Zoltek, ASMSU’s University Studies senator, conceived the event with the goal of helping out with these problems. “I experienced a lot of anxiety during my first couple years of college because I had no idea what I wanted to major in, or how I was going to narrow it down,” she said, “That’s why when I was elected as the University Studies Senator, I wanted to create an event that could help alleviate this problem for other students. That’s how major madness got started.”
The event, held in the SUB ballrooms on March 7, brought together upper-level students representing programs from MSU’s eight colleges, who then spent an hour meeting with students who were interested in learning more. The students representing the different programs provided a wealth of information about both the enjoyable aspects of their majors as well as the job prospects for students graduating from the programs, all framed by their own personal experiences.
This is the sort of information college students need to be hearing as they prepare for the future, and Major Madness represents the sort of attitude that all universities and educators should taking in regards to their students. MSU needs to follow the example set by its student leadership and hold more events like this. If they do, and students take time to attend these events, then the frustrations and fears that have long been associated with choosing a major will eventually become a thing of the past and more students will have the opportunity to fully realize what their majors can offer them.
Seth Urick is a mostly ordinary American who grew up on a ranch. He has been lucky enough to have seen both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Conservation of the outdoors is his livelihood, while enjoying them is his life. Seth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.