Choosing A Major Can Be A Lot Like Tapas

By Liz Marx


Some people know exactly what they want, and they choose that thing.

Some worry about making even the simplest of decisions, so they choose a lot of different things.

Take tapas, for example.

At a tapas restaurant you order more—or less—depending on how hungry you are. You can try a little of everything or order only one entrée.

Apply this to choosing a college major. The idea of choosing just one can really stress out even the strongest of students. Parents often feel that their student’s path will be much easier if they know where they’re headed. The truth is that, for most students, making that kind of decision is simply not that easy. If you’ve known you wanted to be an engineer since you built your first LEGO® Death Star, that’s fantastic, but most students don’t have that kind of clarity in high school.

College is designed for exploration. In fact, many colleges don’t require a student to declare a major until the spring of their sophomore year, so you have plenty of time to study new topics that you haven’t been exposed to before (like anthropology). 

If choosing the patatas bravas or the squid is only a little less daunting than picking a major, why not research interdisciplinary majors where you can combine all of your interests?

If you know you have several areas that interest you, there are quite a number of programs that might cater to you. Finding these programs might help you narrow down your search for a college that’s a best-fit for you.

Take, for example, Science, Technology, and Society, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, or The College of Letters where you can study European literature, history, and philosophy?

Interdisciplinary majors allow for students to engage in a variety of connected interests. Not all colleges have these options, but if these programs sound good, you can actually have it all.

(After all, has anyone ever regretted ordering the pu pu platter?)


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