Many people will tell you, “You’re in high school. You have plenty of time to think about your future career.”
This is very true—you shouldn’t be stressing yourself out about the rest of your life. Aside from gaining an education, high school is a time for learning about yourself, making friends, and exploring interests.
However, delving into your interests can be a way to reveal possible career paths. Sometimes, the things you enjoy in high school can become what you end up doing as a college major.
Here are 5 ways to explore possible college majors while you’re still in high school:
1. Take classes that interest you. Sure, this one is kind of a no-brainer, but if you’re an overachiever, you may get caught up in only taking AP classes and courses that affect your ranking. Try to make room in your schedule for one class you have a real interest in. Worst-case scenario: You hate the class and realize you don’t like that particular field/subject. However, sometimes knowing what you don’t want in a career path can help further illuminate your way down the right one.
2. Join clubs. Do you really love doing the experiments in your chemistry class? Join the chemistry club. There is no chemistry club? Start one. The best thing about joining clubs is that you can always quit if you’re not into it. Generally, they’re free, you get to socialize, and sometimes they have food—all while exploring a subject that you enjoy.
3. Get on committees for school events. It takes a lot to put on a big event, including everything from publicity to organization. Getting involved in a school function, like Homecoming or Prom, may teach you a little about what you like to work on (being creative with posters?) to maybe whether you like to manage a team (future entrepreneur?).
4. Job-shadow someone in a field that interests you. Often, high schools will offer “Job Shadow” days where students can visit a workplace/office of a career that interests them. Take advantage of such opportunities, as these are often helpful in putting yourself in the shoes of a job you desire. Think of it like when actors research roles for a movie—only you’re researching the role of your life! Talk to a school counselor to see if your school offers Job Shadow days, and if it doesn’t, see how you can go about getting your school to offer this.
5. Informational interview someone. Informational interviews are a little like job-shadowing, only a little more personal. This is basically like a Barbara Walters interview with someone whose job you’re thinking about going into. For example, maybe you’re thinking about becoming a doctor. Call your family doctor and ask him or her if they have time to chat over coffee about how they got started, what classes they took in high school/college, and what led them to that path. Usually, people are more than happy to talk about their jobs—and may be kind of flattered you asked them.