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Career Indecision/Choosing a Major

Consider these points if you are you having trouble deciding on or committing to a major:

"I like so many things! I can’t make up my mind what to choose! If I pick one, I’ll be turning away from all these other things I want to do."

If this is your problem, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have trouble making other decisions in general?
  • Do I tend to fear committing to things because I could be wrong and then wouldn't know what to do?
  • Do I enjoy learning new things, but get bored if I have to delve too deeply into any one thing?
  • Do I tend to score evenly on interest tests because I really am interested in almost all those things?
  • Am I able to explore my broad variety of interest in ways outside of a major or career?

"I’ve picked my major. I’ll be great at it, everyone says so! I’m getting great grades and my professors are noticing my hard work and talent. So, why am I unhappy? Why do I feel like this is not what I really want to be doing? This isn’t supposed to be happening!"

If this sounds like you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I afraid that all these people are seeing something in me that isn’t there and I’ll end up failing them, and myself?
  • Am I afraid that I can succeed at this major and career path, and that could mean changes I might not be ready for?
  • Is there another major and possible career path that really interests me more, but isn’t what others are expecting me to do?

"I don’t really see anything I’d really like to do! I’m having trouble deciding on a major because nothing really excites or interests me."

If this sounds like you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I tend to have trouble feeling really excited or interested in other things in my life; do things generally feel "blah"?
  • Have I really explored all my options or have I been looking in only certain “expected” or “popular” places for the right major/career path?
  • If I can’t quite find the career path, I know I will love, am I willing to search for the career path that I would enjoy?

"I actually know what I love doing. There’s just one problem. It is a completely impractical thing to want to do and my family isn’t going to support me if I pursue that fantasy!"

If this sounds like you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I convinced myself that I will never earn a living doing what I love?
  • How do I know for sure that I won’t get the support I want?
  • Am I willing to take some low risk steps towards pursuing my fantasy?

*This information was adapted from Barbara Sher and Barbara Smith's book I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It.

Due to state licensing laws, students must be residing in Maryland to be eligible for Let’s Talk, assessment, and therapy services. Consider Togetherall, a 24/7 confidential peer to peer mental wellness resource, free to all enrolled Loyola students. Register here today. The Counseling Center located in Humanities 150 is open M-F from 8:30am until 5pm (EST) and closed when the university is closed. If you would like to make an appointment with a counselor, schedule an appointment online, stop by our office, or call 410-617-2273.

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