How to actually choose your major

Humor editor Eshaan Sarup offers practical advice for the undeclared

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If, like me, you STILL can’t figure out what in the world you should major in, I’ve got your back. Stratton Marsh | Cavalier Daily

I’ve heard it ALL:

“Major in something you enjoy; what you study doesn’t determine what you do.” 

  • A legacy student with a cozy job at his family’s company lined up. 

“U own like 3 button-downs - you’ll fit in with the pre-Comm crowd.”

  • Guy whose mom still has to tie his tie.

“Major in something practical - how else are you going to pay off your loans?”

  • My dad, still wishing I went to GMU instead of paying $30k a year to mindlessly swipe through Tinder during lectures and sleep through my 9 a.m.’s.

“If you major in anything besides engineering you’ll never make more than $30k.”

  • E-schooler who thinks economics and business are the same thing, wears New Balance sneakers with a suit and is terrified of getting asked what he likes to do for fun in an interview.

Well, I’ve been in college for three semesters, and all I’ve truly learned is the perfect amount of time to microwave ramen and how much coffee I can drink before I can feel my heart through my chest. If, like me, you STILL can’t figure out what in the world you should major in, I’ve got your back.

1. What your friends are doing

Look, college is about the EXPERIENCE. You didn’t bust your ass all of high school, get straight A’s, play varsity lacrosse, volunteer and copy your science fair project from online just so you could go grind for four more years! Your life will be WAY more fun if you can goof around with your bros in class, make fun of the professor’s weird bald spot and point at ugly people in textbooks and say “that’s you.” Just make sure you have one friend in the group who actually cares about their education and will save your ass when it's the day before your Econ final and the only monopoly you understand is the board game.

2. Anything with more than three words

“Global security and justice.” “Environmental thought and practice.” “Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law.” All of these majors are a MOUTHFUL but sound super impressive and cool! It’ll be a great conversation starter for sure, until somebody asks you what you plan to do with it after college and you realize that E-schooler might have had a point.

3. What your crush is in

Do you like someone, but don’t have the confidence to just talk to them normally or ask them to lunch? No worries! Just make sure you take every class they’re in, sit right next to them and be their partner on EVERY group assignment! They’ll be obligated to make small talk, and you can win their heart by helping them with classwork! I promise you, you’ll never miss a class again. But wait! What if they end up with someone else that actually has the tiniest bit of confidence? No worries — just find somebody else and move on! What did you think was the REAL reason that the average college student changes majors three times? 

4. Computer Science

Ah, the money-making, parent-pleasing major. You’ll be seen as “smart” by those around you, throw around buzzwords like “big data” and “machine learning” and have people constantly asking you to fix random computer problems even if you’re completely incapable. Sure, you’ll have to hold your breath every time you walk through Thornton stacks on a hot day (99 percent sure it's against the rules to wear deodorant there), but you’ll laugh all the way to the bank regardless. Just make sure you avoid people who actually understand the field at all; it’ll shatter your ego when they point out you’re just a dumber version of a computer engineering major.

5. The backup major

Unfortunately, a large group of you next semester will have the opposite problem. You came in first semester DEAD SET on McIntire, but didn’t get in. It’s so unfair! JUST because you partied a LITTLE too hard first year and spent a FEW weekends too hungover to do anything and skipped a FEW classes and got C’s in like TWO pre-reqs doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of doing the work! Besides, you told yourself second year was “grind time” and worked SUPER hard until you ran out of steam four weeks in. How were you supposed to know that rushing Sig Nu and playing pickup spikeball weren’t considered legitimate extracurriculars? Plus, when you actually DID try to join Comm clubs, they all rejected you faster than you could say “I’m interested in investment banking and consulting.” Anyhow, while you’re basically stuck with Econ now, the one thing you CAN do is save face by telling friends and family you simply “didn’t like the culture” of McIntire. It’s totally believable!

No matter what you end up picking, don’t sweat it too much! Just remember: at least you don’t go to Tech!

Eshaan Sarup is a Humor Editor for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at e.sarup@cavalierdaily.com.

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