How to choose a major


Step #1: Self Assessment

Journalism at Utica CollegeNo matter where you stand in your class, we’re sure that you have skills, abilities, and interests that distinguish you from your peers.

It’s a good idea to spend some time identifying your unique abilities, because most of us have difficulty pinpointing our strengths. For years your school has graded you in academic subjects, but what marks do you give yourself in equally important areas such as creativity, team-building, and problem-solving?

Although you’ll need some quiet time to think about yourself, the self-assessment process doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit. Don’t lock yourself in your room and wait for enlightenment to occur. Self-assessment occurs in the social context of your school, family, and friends. It can be fun to discuss your interests, skills, and values with your friends and family and discover how they see you. The following questions may help get you started:

  • What do you enjoy doing?
    (We don’t mean school subjects. Think about how you choose to spend your free time.)
  • What is most important to you?
    (Examples: social activities, academics, religious activities, etc.)
  • What have you enjoyed about the activities you’ve chosen or the jobs you’ve had?

  • What do you identify as your personal strengths?

  • What do others see as your strengths? What skills do family, friends, and teachers compliment you on?

  • Where would you like to live when you’re finished with school?

    "Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle."

    —Lewis Carroll
    Author of Alice In Wonderland
  • How strong is your commitment to your education?

  • How many years do you plan to stay in school?

  • What are your salary expectations?

Early Greek philosophers said, “Know thyself,” and philosophers today agree that wisdom begins with self-understanding. If there were quick and easy answers, philosophers and psychologists wouldn’t spend so much time talking about self-knowledge. So give yourself time, and keep at it until the pieces slowly come together and you begin to get a clear picture of your interests, abilities, and goals.

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