Stress Free Way to Choose the Right College Degree Path

Picking a College Major the Stress-Free Way

When you make the decision of where to attend college, it may feel like the biggest decision in your life. It will determine where you live, who you meet, and what your life will be like for at least the first years. So once you’ve gotten past that decision, it should be smooth sailing–right?


Many college students are dismayed to realize that choosing where they will attend college is only the first of many enormous decisions they will have to make about their futures. And for many, choosing a major is among the most stressful of these decisions. After all, your major determines the kind of career that you’ll have. Those who are uncertain of exactly what they want to do with their future fear that choosing the wrong major may limit them or cut off certain options.

What should you do if you don’t know what to do?

For students who find themselves uncertain of what they want to do, it’s important to sample classes from a wide variety of departments and majors. Some students enter college certain that they want to major in biology only to take a course in the journalism department and discover a passion that they never knew they had. You owe it to yourself to make sure that you are studying something that you genuinely enjoy rather than something that you merely want to enjoy. This will ensure that whatever your future job options line up with your interests.

What if you’ve looked around and still aren’t sure?

Maybe you’re already past the point of sampling around. You’ve taken a few classes here, a few classes there, and found nothing that really stood out to you. Still–you have to pick a major to get a degree! How can you pick what to study if you haven’t yet found your passions?

For many, it’s a smart choice to pick something that won’t limit your future career options. Studying something extremely specific may get you a job, but it will also only qualify you for an extremely narrow range of jobs. If you get out into the workforce and find that the career you’re qualified for is better in theory than in practice, you’ll be left with few options other than going back to school and getting another degree.

On the other hand, there are a few majors that will leave you qualified to work in a huge variety of workplaces. Studying something like business or communications will expand your options rather than limit them. Rather than being qualified to work in one specific field, you’ll find that your talents can be applied to a variety of challenges and career fields. That means that if you find that your first job out of college doesn’t quit you, you’ll be able to find another one that’s completely different with relative ease.

Don’t stress. Just choose a Degree.

If you keep this advice in mind, the stress of picking a college major will be relatively little. It’s not a choice that will determine the entire course of your future, after all. And picking a General Studies major is perhaps the only way to guarantee that you’ll leave college qualified for a broader array of opportunities than you were when you entered. Other degrees that have general appeal are political science, history, marketing, and business.

So feel free to study something that you enjoy. And feel free to make the choice without putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s your future–and it’s wide open. Enjoy it.

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a startup enthusiast and entrepreneur who provides insights into the world of Silicon Valley and beyond. As a former startup founder, Mark lends his expertise to aspiring entrepreneurs through mentorship and his incisive writing.