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University aids undecided

Selecting a major can be one of the hardest decisions a student makes in college.

Fortunately, there is help at the University for students struggling with this choice.

The University offers two courses that help students identify which majors and careers would best suit their interests.

Courses offered include career and life planning and career exploration.

Career and life planning focuses on helping students find a major that fits the interests of the individual.

Julie Jackson, coordinator for the career and life planning course, said the classes can help guide students to an area of interest, but students must still make their own decisions about career focuses.

This was the case for Lisa Murray, a junior exercise specialist major, who took the career and life planning course.

“It [career and life planning] helped me decide I wanted to go into physical therapy,” Murray said.

Part of the problem students have with choosing the wrong major is the amount of time they spend making the decision.

Michelle Simmons, a senior associate director at the Career Center, knows some students who select careers without looking at other options.

“Some people won’t spend as much time picking out a career as they will picking out a car,” Simmons said.

Simmons has also noticed a change in what is expected from students when they come to college as freshmen.

“Twenty or 30 years ago, it was expected that a student know what they want. Now you have more options,” she said.

Simmons also said students shouldn’t feel pressured to know what they want to major in right away.

“Tell people you are still deciding, not that you are undecided,” Simmons said.

On the other hand, students interested in looking at future career options can take career exploration.

The career exploration course provides juniors and seniors with a chance to explore career options by looking at what is available to them when they graduate.

There is also a career center located in Conklin North that has several different ways to help students choose a career.

They see freshmen through seniors who are still weighing various career options.

Janet Crawford, who works at the Career Center, knows some students who would rather have their major selected for them.

However, she said she knows students usually don’t use just the exams in selecting their major.

“Some people think that when they come in that they will have a one-hour session and that they will have a major become clear to them, and it doesn’t work that way,” Crawford said.

Through the process of selecting a major, students should also seek guidance from their academic advisers.

Peg Bucksky, a job locator and developer at the Career Center, said academic advisers should assist students in selecting a major, while the Career Center should focus on what a student does after graduation.

For students who have gone to see an adviser and are still unsure about what career or major they would be interested in, there is always the option of taking what Simmons called “interest inventory,” which is a program found on myBGSU under the quick-links tab “Focus: Career and Educational Planning Solutions.”

The career center also has self-exploration exams available to students, which explore what a student likes and dislikes to do.

But despite all of the help these tests can offer, Crawford also cautioned students who take the tests to not let the results decide the career path they should follow.

“You must be honest with yourself when you take the tests. A student could come up with different results different days,” Crawford said.

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