Two Mistakes Students Make When Choosing a College Major

Share Article

College students, on average, change their major three times. Student Launch Pad discusses two mistakes that students make when choosing a college major, finding that indecision does not have to be the norm.

News Image
Students tend to trust their instincts too much when choosing a college major. Instead, students should purposefully seek out experiences that will provide a unique perspective on the major they are considering.

This is the time of year when high school seniors are on the cusp of celebrating college acceptances and will now begin the daunting task of enrolling in their first college courses. For many, these decisions will be a shot in the dark, considering that most do not know what major they want to pursue. For college sophomores this struggle is enhanced, as many colleges require students to choose a major by the semester’s end.

A recent survey of graduates of the Student Launch Pad program found a 40% increase in students knowing which college major they should select.

The reason the program gives them a clearer insight into their career and college direction is that they are avoiding what research has shown are the two main mistakes made by high school students: First, trusting their instincts, and secondly making yes/no decisions.

Stephanie Shackelford, founder of Student Launch Pad, says, "Students tend to trust their instincts too much. However, instincts are not always accurate when making big decisions. Instead, students should purposefully seek out experiences that will provide a unique perspective on the major they are considering, such as trying out a few courses or talking to students who are already in that major."

She goes on to add, "The second mistake is making only ‘yes or no’ type of decisions. As students enter college they often ask questions such as, ‘Should I be a Finance major or not?’ or ‘Should I go into college undecided on a major or not?’ This type of decision often fails because students are pursuing a single option and trying to force it to work, rather than seeing if there is a better option."

These common mistakes contribute to the finding from the National Center for Education Statistics that on average, college students change their major at least three times over the course of college.

Knowing which mistakes to avoid enables students to find their best-fit college major, affecting the college classes that they take, internships that are available, and their career direction.

Student Launch Pad coaches high school and early college students to make the best decisions for their future based on the intersection of their strengths and passions. Through our one-on-one or online coaching programs, students are accepted to their dream colleges, choose their best major, and find their ideal careers. Student Launch Pad’s sister company, Career Flight Plan, offers career coaching for college seniors, recent graduates, and working professionals. Through one-on-one coaching programs, clients develop a flight plan to navigate their best possible career future.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Stephanie Shackelford
Follow >
Student Launch Pad
since: 11/2012
Like >
Student Launch Pad

Visit website