T Nation

college major?

I’m applying to colleges, as I have been for the past weeks. I have all the grades, the extra activites, the boards, but I don’t have any idea to what I want to do! I am 13th in a class of 260 in the best school in RI, have a 95/100 average, 2nd degree black belt in kenpo karate, have over 1500 hours community service, got 1290 on the SAT’s, and all that good boy stuff. I have the grades, I just don’t know what to do with myself. I have been contributing to this forum, and have seen posts related to college. Well, I’m asking for some advice. I like working out, dealing with the body, so I thought medicine is for me, but I don’t want to go into any premed program because i’m not sure that’s what i want to do. I have a feeling i’d be good in business, and it would be of interest to me, but i need a skill, a major, besides business. Can anyone give me some good schools around the east coast and some possible majors? I’d appreciate it

Now is not the time to be worried with majors. You should try to go to a good school with good programs across the board. If you plan to go to one of the top 20 schools you may want to try to raise your SAT scores. Everything else sounds really good though. You say that you don’t know what to do with yourself. That’s OK, you don’t need to. Just go a good liberal arts college and take any class that interests you. At this point, you can take a sports science course or a course on nutrition and see if you like it and then go from there. Major declaration is far away. Enjoy yourself and take classes that you like and do well in. You’ll work things out and less us know what school you end up accepting to. Peace!

You might like biology. Most people have a rough idea of what they want to take, and so go into the faculty of their choice and do a year of general studies. You could try the faculty of commerce and minor in bio, to get into the business end of the fitness industry.

I just started college this year, and I was in the same boat that you are. Most schools, I believe, require you to take a certain amount of general education classes in order to graduate. I would suggest finding some classes that might interest you and see how you like them. If you like the class, progress to a higher level, if you don’t like the class, no harm done. That’s my advice and I hope it helps.

On a side note, I’m thinking about secondary education in mathematics for my major.

Here is a different tack. You could try a short tour in the military first. I would recommend the Air Force and in particular the the PJ program. Why you ask. Cause you will learn more about yourself, hands-on medicine, people and get money for college all at the same time. You can check out the program by doing a search for Special Forces, Air Force. Also the military is so in need of medical personnel that they treat them very well. Got medical people get scholarships, professional pay bonuses, etc. Think about it. Best of Luck.

What were your favorite classes in high school? That could help you decide a little. Did you take any Advanced Placement classes? That will be important. Also, it could effect your choice in a college. My college gave me 6 hours credit for a 3 on the AP US History test. Most don’t give any for that, some give 3 hours.


The best thing you can do for yourself is to pick a college that you like. Visit it and talk to people. My US History teacher used to tell us that picking a college without visiting it was like getting married without meeting your wife first. There’s a good chance that you’re just not going to like it.


Once you get to school, take a broad range of classes. See what you like. Pick up a course guide and look through it. Take intro classes that sound good to you. When you’re in the class, ask for some references to upper classmen that you can talk to about the program. Then decide. I thought I was going to be a communications major until I got into my first COMM class. Hated it. Same with education. I didn’t realized UNTIL I got into college how much I loved computers, then got started on my computer science degree my sophomore year. Remember, you have (usually) until your junior year to declare a major.


Good luck.

If you want to do some online research about colleges, go to www.review.com, which is The Princeton Review’s website – it has a search engine you can use to put in all sorts of criteria, and it basically goes through the profiles of The Princeton Review’s College Guide and pulls out profiles based on your specified criteria.


As for majors, the best advice I could give you is to not worry so much about it right now. Most people change majors 2 or 3 times over the course of a collegiate career. I myself started out as a bioengineering major, then switched to biochemistry, and finally ended up with a double major in U.S. history and finance – obviously, quite disparate areas. Just take a lot of classes in a lot of subject areas and see what you like. At the same time, talk to people in various majors and see what they want to do as careers. Most schools don’t even make you declare a major until your junior year, so take advantage of your freedom and find out what you like to do most.

Older Lifter has a good point about giving the armed forces a go. It gives you a chance to grow up a bit, learn more about yourself, travel the world and earn money towards college. I personally would be in favor of everyone between the ages of 18 and 20 being mandated to enlist. But that’ll probably never happen. Anyway, have you thought of taking a few years off (with or without the military) to do some self-discovery? Might be worth considering. I can’t see much point in spending four years and thousands of dollars on something that you end up either hating or not practicing once in the real world.

I also second what Spanky had to say regarding AP courses, but don’t be afraid to negotiate with your school on the credit hours they allot per AP score. One of the schools I interviewed with had a standard 5 point allowance for any “passing” AP score. I didn’t like that much since I had 5’s on my AP English, Spanish and US History tests. So I bitched (I know, imagine that) to the admissions counsellors and ended up negotiating 10 credits for the English and 9 for both the Spanish and US History. Bye-bye “freshman” status as soon as I walked through the front door.

If taking time off from school is not your bag, do some thinking about what career fields interest you and what it is about those fields that interest you. I grew up watching “Perry Mason” and all I ever wanted to be was a prosecutor. God, I loved that show! Every academic choice from the 7th grade on was geared toward that goal. But, as life would have it, circumstances prevailed and my life as Perry Mason would never come to be. What I do now (Systems Analyst/DBA) is a far cry from my dream but at it’s root is the very thing that drew me to being an attorney. It’s all about the mental gymnastics and analysis of complex problems; it’s all about solving the riddle. (I get many odd looks when doing my happy dance after finding a solution to an issue or writing a beautiful ad hoc. I love shoving success in the face of naysayers.) I would have never thought of going into computer sciences but this has turned out to be a much better fit for me than I imagine being an attorney would have been. The belabored point here is not to focus on a “career” but try to uncover what type of activities you enjoy and derive personal pleasure from and then find what careers offer those activities. Good luck!

“And another thing.” Check out Dr. Dennis Waitley’s book “Empires of the Mind”. In it he gives a doable plan for determining your best field. Bsst of Luck.

As an aside, maybe I never noticed posts about it before, but does anyone else find it even hotter than ~karma~ is a computer geek? Sweet!!

Athletic administration. Sports marketing. Be the director of football operations for a college football team, be the athletic director at a college, be the sports information director.

These aren’t dealing with your body, but they will allow you to be associated with athletics and athletes, and give you business stuff as well.

The only advice I have is get a big bottle of aspirin because college is one big long fucking headache that cost a small fortune. But its worth it, right? It better fucking be.