By Celeste Parler
Web Content Contributor
Ever wonder why everyone talks about how to find your perfect college major without talking about how to consider your minor? This is a question that has personally stumped me as someone who didn’t declare a minor as a freshman and went on to change my degree planning multiple times.
It seems that every time I hear someone mention they are changing their major, I hear two more stories about adding, dropping or changing a minor. Sure, changing your major can have huge effects on your graduation time and degree plan, but so can not deciding a minor that best benefits you.
Class registration among many other factors has stressed students out making decisions for the next semester. With many classes filling up and no one talking about the importance of declaring a minor (or multiple), students feel uncertain of how to go about making this decision. What does a good college minor look like? Should my minor complement my major? When do I need to start taking my minor classes?
Keep in mind that not every degree requires a minor, but having one can strengthen your college degree and can add to your expertise in an area of study you are passionate about. Whether your degree requires one or not, here are some tips on how to choose your perfect college minor.
The first is to consider if there is a possible minor that teaches information complementary to your major classes. However, it’s likely any overlapping courses or minors offered in the same school/department will not be eligible in your degree plan. So there is such thing as having your minor being too similar to your major. At first, these classes with intersecting knowledge may not be obvious. But if your major is reliant on human interaction, for example, psychology is a minor that allows for a deeper understanding of human behavior.
My second tip is to choose a minor that will develop practical skills for your future career. Career opportunities present themselves in a variety of ways, but it is always within reach to better prepare yourself for any type of career by taking supplementary classes. Look for classes that enhance or strengthen your hard skills, skills that take technical training and practice to apply to a specific task. Writing, computer literacy, business skills and speaking a foreign language are just some skills most employers look for in new graduates.
Your third consideration for your college minor should be your outside hobbies and passions beyond education or finding a job. Often, these have nothing to do with your declared major. But people who choose minors about subjects they are already interested in or want to explore deeper come away with a new love for their hobby and a complete college experience. If you are passionate about theatre or music, philosophy or nature and sustainability then enjoy yourself and study it further.
If you have glanced at Texas State’s list of undergraduate minors and were unsure to declare a minor you might not know much about, talk to a knowledgeable person. When people think of needing help with class registration and degree planning, they think of meeting with an advisor.
What’s more convenient for most people is to find friends and friends of friends that are involved in the programs they are interested in. Not only can they tell you how much they enjoy their studies, but they can also highlight the most intriguing classes and professors to take. None of that is to say that talking to advisors and professors who would love to inform you of course options is unimportant or unreliable.
And finally, my best tip, in my opinion, is to only choose a minor for yourself, not for anyone else or trending subjects. College is more about learning more about yourself and the rest of the world than becoming marketable. Picking a minor to satisfy a requirement or satisfy someone else’s expectations will only make you miserable and can even mess up your GPA. Whatever your reason for choosing your minor, choose something that makes you feel fulfilled in what you accomplish.
Featured Image by Celeste Parler.