Should students know their majors before applying to college?

Oliver Melara-Perez, Contributing Writer

Every year, millions of students across the country apply to college not knowing what they want to major in.  When many of these students eventually go to college undecided, they often feel pressured to choose a major that they are not passionate about and will not enjoy having a career in.  If students succumb to this pressure, they could end up wasting thousands of dollars paying in tuition fees when they could be taking a year off deciding what they want to do in life.  Schools should definitely push students to choose a major before they apply to college or advise them to take a gap year if they are unsure of their decision.

“I think if kids don’t know what they want to major in after high school they should take a gap year before going to college so they find out what jobs they like,” said junior Nick Scardigno.

College students are not only pressured to pick a major, but they also often choose majors that make the most money rather than majors they would enjoy working in in the future, causing many adults to end up hating their job.  This is why schools should advise that students take a gap year if they are not entirely sure about their major.  Although many students are nervous to take a gap year since they fear falling behind when they start college, this extra time to think could ultimately benefit their future.

“You will often will find that many adults are unhappy with their jobs and dread going to work.  I feel like this is usually a result of them rushing to a major because they felt pressured to in college,” said freshman Mateo Torres.

A gap year can be very beneficial since this time off provides students with an opportunity to figure out what they want to do in the future.  They can use this extra time to experiment with internships or just to figure out their true interests.  However, schools should be pushing for students to decide what they want to do before senior year, maybe starting their junior year, so that the need for a gap year could be avoided.  In other countries, students need to narrow down their choices to a specific program, or at least a certain discipline, before they graduate high school. In the U.K., for example, going in undeclared is simply not an option.

The cost of an American college education is another factor to consider.  Since college can cost thousands of dollars, this large sum of money should not be wasted without serious consideration.  Students should ensure that their money is spent paying for a major they are truly passionate about, rather than just paying for tuition just because being at college is the “thing to do.”

“I think students should know what they want to major in before they go to college because they are wasting a lot of money on tuition when in reality they are going to school for no reason for potentially a long time,” said freshman Erik Tang.

Additionally, students should not be pressured to go to college just because the majority of students are doing so.  There are so many jobs available and not all of them require a college degree.  If a student discovers a job that they truly love and does not require a college degree, they could save a lot of money as well as time if they chose not to attend college.

“College is not for everyone.  Students should also consider working options that do not require a college degree, such as starting a business,” said senior Patrick Barry.

Ultimately, college is a major decision that takes a lot of time and serious consideration.  However, students cannot make this decision on their own.  Therefore, schools should push all of their students to pick a major that they are passionate and excited about.  For students who believe that taking a gap year may be the right decision, they should work with the school to figure out a plan for this free time.