Students walking into school
When it comes to actually paying your tuition bill, you don’t want to end up with more expenses than you need.

This is one of the reasons why you may want to narrow down your major before reaching college campus, or at the very least, shortly after taking the gen ed requirements. Maybe you know someone who went to school and dropped out – those Student Loans aren’t forgiven.

Take your dollars further by taking only the classes you need. The less debt you have after graduation, the better. So how do you narrow down your choices and decide on a major? Let’s consider the following:

1. Think about what you really like to do, no matter how off-the-wall the activity may be. Do you like to hike? Head to your local National Park and take a nice long hike. Being in nature clears your thoughts and helps you focus on what your next step will be.

Or, if you love watching the Food Network, consider baking something for a group bake sale, and give the proceeds to charity. If you are more creatively motivated, consider singing in the choir or taking art classes.

Investing time in your hobbies may help you pare down what you really like to do, so when it’s time to pick your major, you may have a better idea where your talents lie.

2. Don’t be overly hard on yourself. If you need some time to make this important decision, that’s okay. Just focus on doing the best you can in your classes, and take part in some extracurricular activities so you can have some fun, too. The more variety, the better – but be sure to not overextend yourself and burn out. It’s easy to do!

3. Ask a counselor.  Most (if not all) accredited colleges, universities, and trade schools will have a counseling (or guidance) department that offers advice and testing to shed some light on which major you may want to pursue. Schedule a meeting; if you don’t jive with the first counselor you meet, don’t be afraid to talk to someone else. A variety of opinions will serve you well when making this important decision.

Most importantly, allow yourself to have some fun! Stressing too much leads to poor school performance, sleep difficulties and many other problems. Enjoy this time while you prepare to take the “real world” head-on.