Tag: college admissions



How to Choose a Major

Many of us struggle to settle on dinner plans, so when it comes down to picking a college major — a decision that has shaped the courses and career paths of numerous lives — it is no wonder that some are left feeling stumped. So, if you don’t know where to start on the road to a fulfilling college experience and possible profession, consider these five questions.

  1. Where are you applying?

As you begin to weigh your options, it’s important to note that every school may not have the major you’re looking for. With that said, try not to immediately settle on a college solely because you fell in love with the campus or the institution is popular or prestigious; these are valid reasons, but shouldn’t be the primary driving force behind why you choose to enroll somewhere. If your dream school happens to offer your major of choice, that’s great! If not, you may want to reevaluate your college list.

2. How competitive is your major?

Of course, some schools are more selective than others when it comes to certain majors. Depending on where you are applying, these majors may vary. So, if your major of choice happens to be highly competitive, remember that your applications will have to be stronger; this is where solid admissions essays, great teacher recommendations, and a robust activities resume will come in handy. On the other hand, as the demand and competition for your chosen major decreases, your chances of admission may increase.

3. What’s your career path?

This is a question that many people struggle with — even after college. So, if you are unsure about what you want to do with your degree right now, don’t worry. There are tons of resources out there to lead you in the right direction. For instance, a career aptitude test is a great place to start. The YouScience aptitude test is a favorite of mine, and you can request to take it for free through Crosby Scholars. Your hobbies and interests can additionally serve as guiding lights, shaping where you’ll end up professionally. Moreover, consulting with a counselor or advisor may clear up any uncertainty you have about the future. In short, having a career goal can make a world of difference when deciding on a major.

4. Do you like your major?

Though a bit silly on the surface, answering this question early on will save you from stress and anxiety down the line. A word of advice: try to avoid choosing a major based merely on its potential to grant you a large paycheck. Of course, financial security is important, and money is a considerable driving force for most things in life, but compromising your passion for monetary gain can be detrimental to your mental, emotional, and social well-being. However, never sell yourself short and underestimate your abilities. Reaching for goals outside of your comfort zone can be very rewarding, so consider investigating majors that both interest and challenge you.

5. Do you have a backup plan?

For those who may be indecisive, I would consider weighing a variety options when it comes to choosing what you plan to study. For instance, attending a two-year college is a great way to save money and complete general education courses as you explore your interests. Taking a gap year is another potential path if you need more time to unpack your passions or gain work experience. Additionally, try researching institutions that offer exploratory studies programs or don’t require you to declare a major freshmen year; most four-year institutions will allow you to change your mind down the line. Declaring a minor is another option to consider for those who cannot seem to settle on one area of interest.

After answering these questions, you’re hopefully one step closer to your ideal major. If not, it’s okay! With persistence and determination, you’ll surely land on your feet.


Waiting on Decisions – What should I do?

So you have finished your applications and are now waiting to hear from the schools about a decision. Each day you check your email, run to the mailbox, or log in to the school’s website to check your status. It does not help when friends and family going through this process might have already heard from their school and are posting all over social media, “I Got IN” photos. Very few people jump on to tell the world they were deferred, waitlisted, or rejected.

So we are really in No Man’s Land. That space where you just have to wait. Some people are better at this than others. If you have not received the envelope yet, you are probably wondering WHY?

Add COVID into the mix and you are probably wondering if there is a path out of NO Man’s Land. Here are a few things you can do.

Stay Calm – Don’t stress out.  There are so many factors and you should take a moment to enjoy the relief of completing your college applications.

Don’t pick up the Phone First – The last thing you want to do is pester the admissions department.  Calling and saying – “Where’s my letter or Why didn’t I get in?”  Is probably not going to get you anything.

CHECK YOUR EMAIL – Yes that is all in caps for emphasis.  I have no idea why, but high school students really don’t like email.  But schools still use email to communicate key pieces of information.  Not only Check your email…READ your email. 

Check the School’s Web Tools – It is really important to make sure YOU are NOT missing something or your application is incomplete. Also, you might see an update on your status online, before you get anything in the mail.

COVID IS having an impact on the process – Each College is working their process through the lens of a pandemic.  The number of applications might have changed, which changes the formula that they might have used in the past.  The Fall enrollment might have been down so they are trying to figure out how many students to accept.  Be patient, this might work in your favor.

Do Your Homework and Reach Out if appropriate – Some Admissions teams really WANT to interact with students!  Schools are going to extraordinary lengths to reach out to students.  These offices missed in person interaction in the fall. They are setting up zooms, virtual hours, and social media live events.  Check into the school’s policy on interacting and reach out to those departments.  

I am tired of hearing and saying that this year is different, but it really is.  If you have real questions and you have done your homework reach out. They know this year is different and they want to make sure you have a path to communicate. Follow these steps.

If the published dates pass and you have not heard, or you have not gotten the response you were hoping for, reach out to your Crosby Advisor.  We are here to help.  You can also email me at jjamison@crosbyscholarsiredell.org. I would love to help in any way I can.