Here on the ENGAGE blog, we believe that volunteerism and community engagement can foster wellness, both in the individual and the world. One way to start on the path of engaging with your community is to first engage with yourself. A common way to do that is to choose a major, to define yourself with your field. But, for many of us, that is easier said than done. I think we all know at least one person who is undecided and another has switched to another field. I’d like to share how I found my own major in the hopes that it might be helpful.
Be Calm, Take a Deep Breath
When I was choosing my major, I realized how beneficial a calm mind and body are. From my experience, many of my actions would be affected by my emotions and mental state. For example, web pages detailing university programs would seem much more daunting and every click would lead to a growing sense of being lost. The opposite is true when I remembered to stay calm. My mind would have the peace it needed to organize itself and those daunting web pages became much easier to traverse. The process of looking through them became a learning experience instead of a hectic scramble. By taking a deep breath when I felt stressed, I was able to remain calm and be present in the moment instead of getting overwhelmed by the difficulty of the task.
Notice What Makes you Happy in Everyday Life
Happiness is a great facilitator of productivity, so, it’s important that your major is something that makes you happy. How do you figure out what makes you happy? For me, I looked at the little things in everyday life. For example, I love talking with people. Sharing ideas and learning from each other is something that gives me a deep sense of happiness. It feels nourishing. I then asked myself, why do I enjoy this so much? After some calm reflection, I realized that talking with people made me happy because I love to perform and share ideas. These realizations led to me pursue Education, a field that mixes performance with learning. When something makes you happy, or you find yourself coming back to certain activities, take a moment to ask yourself if this is something that you could major in.
Have a Goal But Don’t Be Tied to It
Having a set of goals is a great way to tackle work. However, know when to let a goal go and take advantage of another opportunity. In the past, I’ve found myself getting dead set on certain goals and while that kind of mentality can create a good work ethic, accepting that your goals may fail helps you to be flexible and shape many situations that look to like a loss into a gain. For example, I took an entrance exam to get into law school and scored on the average. Instead of treating this as something to be sad about, I thought of it as a new opportunity. I realized that I really didn’t like law and was only taking the test because I wanted to try something new. That realization led to a personal journey to find out where my talents lie and, eventually, led to my major.
Hope this helped!