Dear Owls,

Like most schools of higher education, Keene State College offers so many degrees that it can be hard to decide on the “right one”. It is imperative to pursue studies that will keep you captivated. While it seems inappropriate for me to offer a simple solution by recommending you with the best major, English, I do have suggestions that might help you narrow your search for the perfect major. After all, when people ask what you are studying it is your right to answer with confidence and pride.

There is no way to know that we are choosing the right paths for ourselves. I would even argue that there are plenty of alternatives in life that could still lead to happy endings. However, there are simple ways to tell when things are not as they should be. As the old saying goes, trust your gut. When it comes to grand decisions such as “What do you want to be when you grow up?” you have to listen to your instincts. An unexpected stomach ache might be your body’s way of telling you that something just isn’t right. So I suggest that if something in your veins feels wrong as you tell people about your intended program of study, it might help to seek alternative options.

Photo by: William Wrobel

Photo by: William Wrobel

Exploring classes focused in other fields can create an epiphany. Taking a course on nutrition might provoke you to realize a dream to become a dietician, or it can reinforce the fact that history studies are the bee’s knees. With the availability of courses out there, I encourage students to seek electives that expand the material they have studied. Pushing boundaries and stepping outside of our comfort zones is very much a part of the college educational process and doing so just might help narrow your search for the perfect major.

An important warning: do not under any circumstances pursue a degree that somebody else wants you to complete. I repeat, if somebody has chosen your path for you, stray. At the end of the day, this is your life. It would be a shame to push your innermost desires off to the side to pursue a degree in something your grandparent, sibling or parent pressured you into. Just because you are good at something or a career path is common in your family does not mean that you are predestined to follow the trend. Seek out your own dreams and never let anyone persuade you from achieving them.

If you are struggling to formulate any ideas for a major, it is okay. Take the time to sit down and truly consider how you want to see your life go. Write down your interests. Once you have generated these ideas, start to connect them to programs of study that follow similar criteria.

If something feels wrong, it usually is. So if you wake up on Tuesday for your 8 a.m. history class and all you can think of is how you wish you could help your pal on the soccer team with a new injury, maybe it is time to read up on sports medicine. With so much information easily accessible on the Internet, we have no excuse not to explore alternatives.

Essentially, there is no specific formula for calculating the right major. My advice is to consider the strategies I have mentioned above in order to narrow your search. I believe that if you take time to consider your future now, you’ll feel much happier and secure in your career later. Good luck deciding; don’t ever worry that it is too late to change the course of your life.

Yours, Arline

Arline Votruba can be contacted at

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