20-50% of students enter college undecided about a major. That’s a lot of students! In this episode Vicki and Lynn unpack some of the reasons students may not be ready to make a decision, some myths about undecided students, and some of the questions parents can ask to help their student take control of the process of exploring options. Being an exploratory student may be the best option for some and will help relieve a bit of the pressure on students to make this decision before they are ready.
So many students enter college undecided about a major, and they have so many reasons. We often worry that our student won’t find direction or be able to finish college if they are undecided, and students worry as well.
In this episode we suggested thinking about why your student may be undecided. Vicki shared four statements and suggested that you see if any of these sound familiar.
- “I have no idea what I want to do.”
- “I’m interested in everything and I can’t narrow it down.”
- “I have some idea of what I’m interested in, but I’m not sure.”
- “I want to do X but everyone expects me to do Y.”
We also shared some myths about being undecided that students may believe.
- “I’ll just figure it out eventually.”
- “I’m the only one who doesn’t have a plan.”
- “Once I’ve chosen a major, I won’t be able to change.”
- “When I choose a major I’ll have chosen a career for my entire life.”
Vicki shared some information about “multipotentiality” and the work of Emilie Wapnick. If you’d like to learn more about her work, check out her book and her TED talk.
We also mentioned decision paralysis and how students are overwhelmed by too many choices. If you want to learn more about this theory check out the book that we mentioned.
The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Dr. Barry Schwartz
If you’d like to follow up on some of these topics, here are some articles that may help.
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