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Haylee’s Hub: How to choose the right major

Ohio University has more than 250 majors to choose from, and for an incoming freshman, that is a lot of pressure. Majors range from civil engineering to piano pedagogy, and with that much variety, picking one is a decision that often causes serious stress for incoming students. 

After all, deciding at 18 years old what you want to commit to for the rest of your life is hard. As someone who went into college undecided and ended up transferring into a major, I know a lot about the constant back-and-forth that comes with picking a major. These are tips that got me through that decision.

Don't rush into a major

I know firsthand how exciting it is to pick a major. Thinking about the different classes you’ll take, the people you’ll meet and the clubs you can join is all very exciting. However, picking a major from the comfort of your high school is a bit different than actually putting that major into practice. A lot of the time, once you start doing things relating to your major, you can realize that it isn’t right for you.

It is okay to pick a major straight from high school, but remember that sometimes transferring into programs can be difficult. Transferring to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism was a pretty lengthy process that included writing essays, submitting examples of my work and getting letters of recommendation. So, be aware of all transferring policies for majors you might be interested in. 

Explore different classes

One of the biggest ways to figure out what you want your major to be is taking classes. Many courses have an introductory course that allows you to get a feel for the major. Taking these courses and exploring makes a huge difference.

While it may seem intimidating to sign up for classes like this, just know that taking these steps will help you decide if you want to change your major. Figuring out early is a lot better than deciding your senior year you want to change. Explore and join different clubs and organizations; those things are so important to do your freshman year. The nice thing about freshman year is that you have so much time to figure things out. Take advantage of that.

Do what you can tolerate

People always stress about going to college and getting a degree purely for money. Although this is great in theory, oftentimes this isn’t the best route to go. 

Imagine doing something you absolutely despise for the rest of your life. Sure the money is great, but you are miserable. 85% of people end up hating their jobs, which poses a big problem.  I know a lot of people who went to college purely for the money and ended up hating their jobs. 

I am not saying just throw away your major, but pick something that you can tolerate doing. Making a lot of money won’t matter if you’re miserable. Picking a major you can picture doing for a long period of time is ideal. The money might not be as great, but you won’t have that sinking feeling in your stomach before every shift. 

Give yourself time

Picking a major at such a young age is hard. It is a huge decision and is very intimidating. If you find yourself not liking your major, give yourself time to think about things. Changing majors is more common than a lot of people think. 80% of students end up changing their major at some point during their college journey. It is completely normal to rethink their major. 

The college experience isn’t a race; you can take as long as you need to ensure you get the most out of the experience. Four years, despite what some people think, is a long time. Use this time to your advantage and do what's best for you.

Haylee Leasure is a sophomore studying journalism. Please note that the opinions expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk about the column? Email Haylee at

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