High Schoolers Making Major Decisions

High Schoolers Making Major Decisions

A study by Borderzine said, “80 percent of college students end up changing their major at least once.” The statistic also said that, on average, a college student changes their major three times. So what makes a high school student so sure, or not so sure, that they know the path they want to take? 

Mary Kehoe, a guidance counselor at West Orange High School, said, “students usually select a major based on a subject that they are really interested in or that they are really good at.  Often students can be influenced by the major/career path of a family member or prominent person in their lives, too. Other factors that can come up include the type/length of education required and the potential availability/salary of jobs in a given field.”

Celia Murphy-Braunstein, West Orange High School’s 2021 Valedictorian, chose her potential major based on what subjects she is interested in. She has chosen to pursue majors that have to do with physics because she likes the class, and it is something she is interested in. 

One can argue our experiences shape us into the people we become and the people we want to be. Samantha Joseph, a student at West Orange High School, has grown up with animals her whole life, which is why she claims that, “they always have a special place in [her] heart.” It is important to pursue a career that excites you. For Samantha, who has a love for animals, pre-veterinary medicine feels like a great choice! 

When applying, many schools give a choice of a second, third, or even a sixth major choice in Celia’s case, when applying to Rutgers. She claims that sometimes it is hard to narrow down exactly what major she wants to do because she has so many interests in the science and math fields. When applying to Rutgers, she did not have to choose and had the opportunity to write down many of the possible majors that interest her. Unlike Samantha, Celia is not exactly sure the career she wants to engage in with her preferred major, although she does have ideas. Celia is currently interested in the possibility of becoming a scientific researcher, but is not exactly sure because there are a multitude of paths that she could go down. 

Nanma Biju, another student at West Orange High school, said she plans on majoring in biomedical engineering. She reported that, like Celia, she has a love for math and science, so she decided she wanted to use her love for science in the medical field. To decide that this was what she wanted to do, she looked at college websites to see what biomedical engineering has to offer and made sure it was something she was interested in. She also watched videos where people spoke about biomedical engineering. 

It takes a heavy amount of thought and consideration to choose a college major. Overall, most high schoolers go for something they love and something that interests them.