Major Decisions: How Seniors Pick Their College Course of Study


Emily Gleason

The engineering building at Colorado State University houses programs such as engineering, aeronautics, and cybersecurity. For seniors, choosing a major can be difficult because of the vast amount of majors and personal interests.

Emily Gleason and Gabby Schrock

Weighing personal preferences, financial decisions, and future careers, many Creek seniors have already applied to college or are wrapping up the college application process. 

While the process can be exciting, the rigors and duress can also create doubt. 

“I have so many different ideas of what I want to do, but it’s hard because you have so many different interests, and so many different things that you like to do; [so] choosing one specific major you think you’re going to do for the rest of your life is really hard,” senior Anna Lang said. 

Lang will attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall and plans to major in biomedical engineering with a focus on sports medicine since she wants to be in a medical career involved with both sports and athletes.

While Lang knows where she will most likely attend school, many other seniors have been weighing the decisions and differences between schools as extensive and negligible.

Senior Eric Zhang knows that he would like to major in political science and has applied to a wide variety of schools including Ivy Leagues or the equivalent, target schools like Case Western Reserve University and CU Boulder. While he does not know where he will attend in the fall, he has noticed that seniors often put more emphasis on attending some schools rather than others. 

“There definitely is this culture of if you aren’t going to a name brand school, especially if you’re in academically high-level classes, you are some sort of disappointment or failure,” Zhang said. “Obviously, no one’s going to say that, but you can tell by their tone of voice and their looks.”

This is also commonly felt among other grade levels.

“I think there are too many high expectations for [seniors] and definitely the colleges they go to, and if you say out loud you’re going to a community college, for example, people can look down on you and that’s definitely really sad,” junior Jennifer Oh said. “There should be less judgment on what you choose as a college and what majors you choose.” Oh is currently undecided in her major, although she is interested in majoring in either linguistics or political science.

Both Zhang and Oh believe that friend groups can have a major influence on one’s major and can contribute to seniors choosing certain majors over others.

“Whenever you talk with your friends, they’ll say, ‘What major are you going into?’ and if you don’t have one in mind, it’s just like, ‘Oh, well, I don’t know,’ and it can be a little bit awkward,” Zhang said. 

The trouble of finding the right major for oneself is stressful for those who don’t know what they want to do in life. Although picking a college major is mostly up to students, those who need assistance should be given the support they feel they need.

Lang believes that Creek should do a better job of informing seniors about all of the different majors in order to support seniors throughout the process of applying to college. 

“I don’t think that the school at all supports us in our major decision,” Lang said. “I think they leave it very up to us, but I feel like [the school] could give us more education of what majors specifically look like because I feel like a lot of [seniors] just choose a major because we know that that’s a major that exists because we don’t know anything else. I think the school could definitely give us more insight on what each major looks like.”

Zhang, on the other hand, disagrees and cites Creek’s Post Graduate Center as one of the best ways Creek supports seniors. 

“Post Grad is one of the most helpful resources I’ve ever seen from any high school,” Zhang said. “I do know that other high schools do not have anything close to what we have, and I think our counselors are great but more importantly Post Grad itself is just such a nice area where the whole [college] process is outlined for you.”

With all of these challenges and resources, seniors can sometimes forget that choosing a major and one’s future is a personal decision.

“Major in what you want in the end, right?” Zhang said. “There’s a lot of factors to consider, but what you major in is your choice.”