A cartoon guy trying to choose a path of a college major.

Do you feel as lost as this guy? Not to worry– there’s help!

Choosing the right major for you is no easy task. The best way to begin narrowing down interest areas is to look at what you’ve done so far.

You may look back at your high school years and be happy with the classes you took and the success you’ve had. You might also see successes and accomplishments that don’t necessarily include academic work. Either way, your past is a good place to start looking for what you are interested in as far as deciding on a major.

This decision may be one of the most difficult because people often think that once they decide, they are stuck with that choice.

The relieving truth is that this decision is not set in stone forever. Many of my fellow classmates, as well as myself have changed majors once, twice, maybe even three times. This flexibility is important to keep in mind when thinking about what you want to major in here at Winona State.

It will make the decision less stressful for you, as well as helping you keep the door for opportunity open.

At Winona State we are lucky to have a great group of people working in the Advising Services Office to make things a bit easier in this situation where you are trying to figure out what direction you might take with your education. Advising Services staff works day in and day out to help you make good choices about courses and declaring a major, among their many other great resources.

The best part is that all of these helpful services are available for free.

I have personally experienced great results in utilizing the tools they have available to all Winona State students. If you are unsure of what direction to tailor your education or you just have a question about classes in general, I recommend scheduling to meet with somebody in the Advising Offices. I promise you will not regret it.

Aside from advising, you can find more help by learning about the different departments on campus. Every department’s web page can be accessed through the university web site.  On the department website you will find all kinds of great information including an overview of what the department is about, outlines of what you will be studying and information about the faculty in each department.

This is a great resource if you are particularly unsettled by thoughts of the curriculum included in certain majors. A source, which I find goes hand in hand with the department itself, is talking to other students that are involved within the departments you feel interested in.

By talking with students you may get different perspectives on the department from students currently going through the coursework of that department.  Learning from your peers is extremely important in college and talking to students about the departments is part of that.

Unlike high school, the people you will eventually end up taking most classes with will be the students expressing the same educational interests as yours. What better way to meet other students is there than to talk about common interests?

Although Winona State has incredible resources for helping you choose the right major for you, don’t feel like you are behind if you are unsure of what major you want to earn. I think one of the first things I felt when starting at Winona State was that I felt behind, because I began my freshman year without any sort of idea as to what major I wanted to declare–which is completely understandable for first year students.

Deciding on what major you want to declare can be rough for some people because the opportunities vary widely.  Not only was I unsure of which major I wanted, but when I chose my major the first time around, I ended up changing my mind and did a complete 180 degree turn from my original decision.

College is a great chance to explore new areas that may not have been available to you in your high school.

So don’t be uneasy if you aren’t sure at this moment what you want for your major; most college students end up changing their minds anyway so use your uncertainty to explore new opportunities.

The best way to do this is to attack your General Education courses and maybe you’ll find you perfect major within them!

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Alex Russell

Alex graduated in 2015 with a BA in Psychology. He is originally from Winona, MN and his interests include writing, making music and baseball.

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