Personal column: Major decision takes more than meets the eye


Owen Lepiksaar

Senior Owen Lepiksaar and other seniors utilize the CommonApp software for their applications. Throughout this process, seniors have the opportunity to choose their intended major early in the application. Each application contains a dropdown menu, listing a variety of majors to choose from.

Owen Lepiksaar, Staff Writer

There’s one question that seniors tend to hear a lot during their final year in high school after college applications have been sent out: “What is your major?”

According to University of Bridgeport, between 20-50% of students will put “undecided” on their college applications, although there are a select few that have been able to choose the career path that they want to delve into as they step into their new life after high school.

 According to Thomas Franck on CNBC, over 450,000 jobs were added in the U.S. throughout January alone, a large amount being in professional business fields. With the increasing number of jobs within the United States, it is growing difficult for seniors to decide what particular field they want to major in. Recently, there has been a strong demand for workers in leisure and hospitality fields, meaning that there can be an overwhelming number of opportunities for incoming college students when they’re tasked with choosing a possible major. 

Additionally, being unsure of possible career options can make choosing a major even harder. Many college applicants worry that the major they’re studying might be the wrong one.

At first, my explorations went multiple different directions, these explorations being the stepping stones that would eventually assist me in finding my major 

In my junior year, I tried out programming as I wanted to go into the cybersecurity field. I learned how to code in Python, which helped me with multiple personal projects, including attempting to script games. Eventually, I decided that this was not the field that I wanted to study, since coding ended up being something I didn’t fully enjoy.

 I considered going into the automotive field this year, which led me to taking an auto collision class. I’ve learned how to paint a car, fix headlight yellowing, as well as how to properly fix dents in a car. After a while, I realized that, even though I originally wanted to be a mechanic, this was not the field for me because I didn’t feel like I had the ability to pursue further in that field.

It took me three tries to decide what I wanted to major in during college. At some points, deciding what I wanted to choose as my first major was somewhat stressful, particularly when I had to decide what I wanted to look into first.

There are many classes that CHS offers that I looked into when I was trying to find my interests, including the classes in the Chantilly Academy programs. 

Outside of the Academy, there are still many classes that I took part in when trying to find a possible major, including band and journalism. After taking these two classes, I decided that even though they were enjoyable experiences, I didn’t want to spend college going more in-depth into either of the fields. 

Even when I did research, which included searching for jobs that matched my interests and looking up what I could do to obtain the knowledge needed to succeed in my chosen field, the weight of the actual decision of a major can be a heartstopper in the moment. 

As a proud psychology major, I can confirm that doing the research is worth it. 

I’ve been interested in the mind for quite a while, which led me to take psychology this year, which proved to be the final push I needed to choose my major.

In the future, I plan to explore the field of behavioral psychology. I hope to learn more about how the mind works and why people react the way they do in certain scenarios. I believe that I’ll be able to thrive in this field of study, which is why I’m happy I’ve been taking psychology this year in order to achieve my goal.