Advice from the Staff: The Process of Choosing The “Right” Major

Are you struggling to pick the right major, or unsure if the program you selected is right for you? This feeling is totally normal, and every college student is bound to experience uncertainty at some point in their career. The secret of choosing a major is taking the time to explore your options and knowing that there are often several possible selections that will help you accomplish your career goals and provide you with the skills you will need to succeed. And if you happen to decide that you want to do something unrelated to your major, a career pivot is always possible!

Choosing a major and career can be a long journey. Erica Kryst, Senior Associate Director at the Fleishman Center, changed her major six times before settling on theater. Although her current career is in higher education and not theater, Erica feels that she gained a lot of valuable skills from theater that helped her succeed in her current career. “I gained so many transferable skills through my majors that I use everyday,” she notes. Studying theater allowed her to develop her creativity and communication skills, as well as gave her an opportunity to pursue a passion. 

Julia Sullivan, a graduate student and marketing assistant at the Fleishman Center, also went through six major changes in her undergraduate career. “I found that there were so many majors that resonated with me, so I had a hard time narrowing down and choosing something without feeling like I was missing out on a different potential opportunity,” she recalls. “I ended up graduating with an economics major so I could go into marketing. Now I realize that I could have majored in English, graphic design, psychology, or business and pursued the same kind of careers I’m looking at now, so there was never only one right choice.”

Other students needed a few less switches before they honed in on a major that was a good fit for them. Kailyn Lukaszewski, a third year student, chose to declare a psychology major after exploring science and pre-health. “I originally came to Binghamton as a Biology major and soon after starting freshman year I switched to Neuroscience because of the Psychology component,” she said. “After first semester freshman year, I came to the realization that I am just not good at science after taking chemistry and decided to pursue Psychology instead.” Kailyn notes that the process of choosing a new major allowed her to explore her interests and find other opportunities on campus that she could excel in, even if it was not what she had originally planned on pursuing as a first year student.

Choosing a major is a process that looks different for everyone. Our best wisdom is to evaluate your interests and goals and make sure that you are choosing a major that plays to your strengths–and making sure to give yourself the space to change your mind again if needed! The Fleishman Center is available to assist you through this and facilitate these conversations. Visit us in UU-133 for a walk-in or schedule an appointment.

By Julia Sullivan
Julia Sullivan Marketing Graduate Assistant Julia Sullivan