6 Strategies for Making the Right Choice

Finding the perfect major isn’t always easy. We asked Carthage students how they found the right major for them. Here is their advice:

1. Follow your childhood dreams

A photo from Carthage's production of ?On The Verge.'

Childhood dreams often become grown-up careers. These students knew exactly what their majors would be when they were children.

“8-year-old me would have been so excited to hear that I am following my childhood dream. Being a performer is something I have always wanted to do, and here I am doing it!” — Olivia Litton ’25; musical theatre major

“Even at a young age, I knew I wanted to do something that involved science. To be able to follow through and pursue an education that satisfies that desire is a surreal feeling.” — Devon Kuhn ’26; nursing major

“I think 8-year-old Amber would be excited about what I’m doing in school now. For as long as I can remember, I have been doing art. I also love helping people however I can.” — Amber Redmond ’24; psychology and studio art major

2. Explore your personal interests

Student in a pottery class.

One way to choose a major is to find what activities, subjects, and fields are most interesting to you. These students decided on their majors by exploring their personal interests.

“I think that my younger self would love that I decided to major in studio art as I have always loved art and can’t wait to find a way to incorporate that into my career.” — Basil Kiracofe ’27; political science and studio art major, history and women’s and gender studies minor

“I’ve somehow found a way to keep my passion for music and engineering and be able to study them both and maybe even possibly continue both works in my professional life.” — Trevor Milne ’26; engineering and musical theatre major

“I had a lot of worries about going to college because I felt like there was so much I liked to do. The Aspire Center staff helped me narrow down what I liked to do, which allowed me to find a major in computer science.” — Lily Anderson ’25; computer science major, theatre minor

3. Take classes that seem fascinating

Students in a computer classroom.

Consider what subjects you find most fascinating, or subjects you’ve never taken a class on before. You might just find a new passion.

“During freshman year, I took various classes, ranging from business to graphic design and dance, and this year, I’m taking a political science class. Taking such a range of classes helped me to find what I was really interested in, and also gave me a wide range of experiences.” — Maya Zenner ’25; computer science and Chinese majors

“This semester, I’m taking Entomology, a class focused on the study of insects, and it’s a blast. Most people are afraid of bugs, but it’s truly fascinating how different they are from us. I’m also interested in the invertebrate side of paleontology, so learning about the modern analogs of prehistoric invertebrates is very helpful.” — Maverick Leer ’26; biology major with an emphasis in paleontology, geoscience minor

“Ceramic Wheel Throwing helped me discover my passion for studio art, which is now my minor.” — Eva Menzia ’25; special education and elementary education majors, studio art minor

4. Consider the job market

Students prepare for the job market at the Career Fair.

When choosing their majors, these students researched the job market. They were able to find majors that interested them while still ensuring they could start their careers and make a living after graduation.

“Majoring in International Political Economy (IPE) has allowed me to learn about political science, international business, and economics all within one major. I advise students to consider the number of career paths their major can lead to; IPE provides a pathway to many promising jobs.” — Tyler Kelly ’24’, international political economy and political science major

“Other students should consider allied health science as a major because it opens doors to many diverse opportunities after Carthage. It prepares students to obtain any career in healthcare that they want.” — Abigail Davidson ’25; allied health science major 

5. Don’t be afraid to switch your major

Students in Professor John Kirk's class learn about chemistry through glass blowing.

If you’ve chosen a major that no longer feels right, consider changing your major to something more interesting to you. Find your strengths, explore your interests, and choose a major you’re passionate about.

“As a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I ended up changing my major three times during my freshman year. However, with the help of the Carthage faculty, my career specialist in The Aspire Center, and my student success advisor, I was able to find where I belonged and what I truly loved.” — Gabriella Tanguay ’25; social work major, criminal justice minor

“I recently switched my major toward the end of my freshman year to history. I used to be a political science major focusing on international relations, but I learned that it was a little too much for me to handle, so I switched to being a history major. The beauty of studying history is that it’s all about perspective.” — Tony Lule ’26; history and Japanese major, Spanish minor

6. When in doubt, ask for advice!

Prof. Greg Baer meets with a student in his office.

Sometimes the faculty and staff at Carthage can offer you great advice when you’re trying to decide on a major. Ask your advisor or a professor to help point you in the right direction.

“When I began as a freshman, I initially pursued a biology major with a pre-health concentration due to external pressures and expectations. However, the remarkable faculty members guided me towards my true passions and helped me find my authentic path.” — Abigail Smith ’25; studio art and art history majors

“My chemistry professor, Professor Christine Blaine, gave me the idea to double major in physics and chemistry and helped me plan out a schedule that fulfills all of the requirements and still allows me to graduate in four years.” — Julia Radkte ’24; physics and chemistry majors, French minor

“The faculty here support me in different ways. When I was unsure about changing my major, they provided unbiased points of view and broadened my career idea horizon. They help connect me with people in those careers to talk and see what option would be the best fit for me.” — Zahra Rognstad ’25; allied health science major, biology minor

Carthage is the perfect place to explore new subjects and discover your passions.

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