A predicament high school students often find themselves in is deciding what to do for a living when they grow up. Many students annually stress out about what they want to major in college because they think it is a paramount decision that heavily impacts their future job.
The Paly Voice asked upperclassmen about what they plan on pursuing in college and for some advice to help those who are unsure of their future aspirations.
Palo Alto High School senior Nicholas Zhao thinks that students should look at extracurricular activities that they enjoy outside of school and see how they relate to different jobs. Zhao’s interest in business outside of school is what inspired him to try to major it in college.
“I became focused on majoring in finance after being involved in business clubs and competitions like DECA that allowed me to further explore different aspects of business,” Zhao said. “I think people who aren’t sure what to major in should just keep an open mind and explore different interests.”
Senior Norman Karr says that people should plan their future based on their smaller interests. His experience and enjoyment in math and computers has caused him to become engrossed into engineering.
“I’m planning to major in some form of engineering and I’m probably going to minor in computer science,” Karr said. “If someone isn’t sure on what to major [in], you can look at the little things you like to do or watch and see if it closely relates to any fields.”
Junior Navid Najmabadi has not thought about the application process much, but he does believe that there are many people and resources that kids can use in order to seek for advice about college as well.
“I think your parents can be an extremely good source to just talk to about what you wanna do in the near future because they’ve been with you your whole life and they probably know you better than anyone else,” Najmabadi said. “The guidance counselors and advisers are also great places to go because they interact and advise students every year and they are very knowledgeable of the application process.”
If someone does start out as undecided in college or is not confident about a major, there is no need to stress out over it as it is nothing out of the ordinary.
According to The New York Times, students who are unsure about what to major have become more common as “At Penn State, 80 percent of freshmen — even those who have declared a major — say they are uncertain about their major, and half will change their minds after they declare, sometimes more than once.”
Junior Kristina Im knows plenty of people who went to college undecided, which actually turned out to help them in the long run.
“Going in undeclared will not determine your future,” Im said. “It may actually help you determine what you are really passionate about.”
According to the student handbook, students who would like college advice can contact their guidance counselors or advisers by emailing them and setting up private meetings with them. There are also mandatory advisory meetings students go to in which they can obtain more information about college and ask their advisers any questions that they may have.