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home : columns : dear harriette October 22, 2020

7/20/2020 9:22:00 AM
College student unsure about major

DEAR HARRIETTE: How do I choose my major in college? I have several interests, but I don't know which major to choose. I am studying classics right now; I was introduced to it because a lot of my family members study it. I enjoy it very much -- most of the time. However, I'm wondering if I should branch out and experiment before committing to it as a major. What should I do? -- Undeclared

DEAR UNDECLARED: Think about what you would like to do for your work after you finish school. Consider job options as broadly as your interests take you. Spend some time researching areas that interest you and what jobs exist in those fields. If you have interests in more than one area, take classes in those other fields to get your feet wet and learn. At most higher educational institutions, you must declare a major by your sophomore year. When you get there, do your best to make a choice that represents YOUR interests, not those of your family. This may be one of your first independent decisions. Consider it carefully. Talk to your adviser for additional support.

If you truly remain unsure, you may just have to pick something. For example, I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but there was no "writing" major at my college. When it came time to declare, I chose English because seemed to be the best match. It turned out to work perfectly for me. For other students, it has meant that they have needed to change their majors after a semester or so when it became clear that the subject they chose was not a fit. You do have the option to change if necessary.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I think that my mom's boyfriend may be unfaithful. I accidentally stumbled upon a love letter written by another woman in his pocket while doing laundry. This piqued my suspicion, so I looked through his phone and saw that he had multiple calls to a woman I haven't heard him talk about. Obviously, this is not a sure sign that he is cheating, but it does raise some serious questions. Now that I've seen these red flags, it's going to be hard for me to drop this. How should I approach this situation? -- Cheater

DEAR CHEATER: This is tricky, as you are venturing into your mother's personal business. Since you innocently found the letter, you may consider telling her you have something to share with her that you know is none of your business, but you thought she may want to know. Give her the letter, and tell her how you came upon it. Admit to everything that you did, including going through his phone and seeing someone's number show up repeatedly.

Apologize for going through her boyfriend's phone. Do not add any personal commentary or thoughts about what may or may not be going on. Just give her the letter and let her decide what, if anything, she will do about it.

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