If you’re a junior or senior, chances are you’re thinking about life after high school. And if college is in your future, choosing a major area of study is no minor decision. Here are some hints to help you choose what’s right for you:

  • Decide what you want to be. A key to finding the right major is to first find the right career. Ask yourself, “What do I want to do with life? What kind of work would I like?” When you know the answer, choose a major that will get you there.

  • Talk with parents and academic advisers. If you’re not sure of what career to pursue, discuss different options with your parents and talk to your high school guidance counselor or visit a college academic/career advisement center. Advisers have resources, and it’s their job to help you.

  • Look for mentors. Talk with trusted adults who are working in fields you might be interested in. To get a realistic picture, ask about the responsibilities, rewards, and challenges of a profession. Spend a day on the job with mentors or get a summer job or internship in a field of your choice.

  • Consider your interests. After you have a list of careers and majors you think you might like, compare each one with activities you naturally enjoy. For example, if you like to read and write, journalism or English might be good choices. Love computers? Computer programming might be right up your alley.

  • Take a variety of classes. If you haven’t chosen a major by the time you enter college, don’t panic. The freshman year is a good time to take a variety of classes you’re interested in. General education classes can lead you towards graduation while helping you decide what field you want to pursue.

  • Remember that it’s okay to change your mind. If you start to pursue a major and decide it’s not for you, follow your conscience and make the change. To avoid additional college costs, try not to make changes late in your academic career.

  • Pray about your decision. As with all important decisions, seek Heavenly Father’s help in knowing what fields of study might be right for you.

Photography by Lana Leishman; illustrated by Scott Welty