One of the most terrifying decisions every college student has to make is what major they should go down.
It's insanity. At the age of 18, you are expected to pick what could potentially be the path you go down for the rest of your life. It's okay to feel overwhelmed. I switched majors twice before landing on Psychology.
The reason so many students struggle with this decision is they don't know themselves well enough.
That's why we need to do what Socrates is famous for saying, "Know Thyself." Getting to know yourself better is one of the best ways to uncover your interests and major in college.
Here are 7 questions I wish I had asked myself before coming to college to help me uncover my interests and major.
Question 1: Do I Want To Be A Master Chef Or An Artist?
There are two strategies to uncovering your interests and major at college.
Strategy 1: 🧑🍳The Master Chef
The first strategy is to be a master chef.
Master chefs refine their interests and major before they ever come to college like how a master chef refines their menu before people come to dine. They analyze the rest of the people in the niche they are interested in and find ways they can differentiate themselves beforehand.
The benefits of this strategy is it provides you with a plan from the get go. You are less likely to waste time taking classes that won't contribute to your major.
But the major drawback is it takes more time, makes you less likely to explore other intellectual curiosities, and can leave you unwilling to change majors later on because of a need to commit.
Strategy 2: 🎨The Artist
The second strategy is to be an artist.
Artists don't know their interests and major but rather craft it over time like a painter creates a painting from a blank canvas. They try a whole bunch of different classes and consume information in a whole bunch of different areas.
The benefit of this strategy is it takes less planning, and allows you to explore many interests (good for cultivating a love for learning).
But the major drawback is you will likely take lots of classes that won't contribute towards your major.
Choose the strategy that resonates more with you from up about.
📚Question 2: What Is My Lindy Effect List?
Write out your top 3:
This list shows what information has profoundly shaped who you are.
You are what you eat. Information, whether digital or physical, is food for the brain. It's no accident we call new ideas "food for thought."
Hopefully writing out this list will give you clarity on what your interests are.
- The Category Design Toolkit
- The Extended Mind
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- The Pathless Path
- The Meditations
- The Coddling of the American Mind
- Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke
- Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- The Stormlight Archives
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Ready Player One
- The First Law Trilogy
- The Lord of the Rings
- Her (2013) Movie Analysis
- Fight Club
- The Martian
- The Matrix
- Ready Player One
- Groundhog Day
- The Before Trilogy
- Controlling Your Dopamine for Motivation, Focus & Satisfaction Episode 39
- Alonement How to Be Alone and Happy - Francesca Spectre
- How Anyone Can Develop the Mindset of a Multi-Million Dollar Entrepreneur - Daniel Priestley
- Happiness 2.0 The Path to Contentment
- The Pathless Path How to Recreate Your Life In 2023
- Someday Is Today — Achieve Your Goals and Live Without Regret - Matthew Dicks
- The Quiet Catastrophe Brewing In Our Social Lives
- Louise Perry — the Case Against the Sexual Revolution
- Ep. 31 — RYAN HOLIDAY on Ranch Life, Fostering Discipline, and the Loss of Reading Culture
- EP144 Happiness Expert Returns Retrain Your Brain For Maximum Happiness Mo Gawdat
- Some Stoic Musings on Loneliness by Kevin Vost
- The Complete Guide to Memory
- The Future of Education Is Community The Rise of Cohort-Based Courses
- 🌲 How Obsidian Replaced Video Games & Helped Me Publish
- Why People Believe Others’ Social Lives Are Richer Than Their Own
- 🦘The Skip Test
- The Objectivity Illusion
- The Audio Revolution
- My 12 Hour Walk
- Work Life Balance Is Impossible
- How to Stop Overthinking
- Life Is a Video Game (Here’s How You Win)
- The Paradox of Choice Barry Schwartz
- Dan Koe & Dickie Bush On One-Person Businesses, Creative Workflows, and Lifestyle Design
- Revealing Ship 30's Million-Dollar Marketing Strategy Espresso Hour E13
- Navigating uncertainty as a creator with Paul Millerd
- The Best Relationship Advice No One Tells You
- Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 130 – The Spiritual Path
- Early 20s Syndrome, Paid Newsletter Empire, and Focus Framework
- How ‘purpose’ works
- Charisma University
- Build Your Knowledge Portfolio
- Linking Your Thinking Workshop
- Building A Second Brain Cohort 4
- Part Time YouTuber Academy Cohort 4
- Awakening From The Meaning Crisis
- Human Bonding Cornell
- Six Pretty Good Books Cornell
- Food For Contemporary Living Cornell
- Social Psychology Cornell
- Matthew Dicks
- Nicolas Cole
- Marcus Aurelius
- Brandon Sanderson
- Alex Hormozi
- Ali Abdaal
- Andrew Huberman
- Cal Newport
- Paul Milliard
- Nick Milo
- Dan Koe
💡What Is Your PIERS Framework?
The PIERS Framework stands for:
P - Principles
I - Interests
E - Exception
R - Reluctance
S - Strengths
Figuring out what these things are will give you tremendous insight into what your interests are.
I encourage you to go through and write your answers to the questions for each below taking my answers as inspiration.
What do you care about most in life? What do you spend a lot of time doing? Is there anything that most people agree with, but you take a different stand? What makes you feel that you have a purpose in life?
I care about helping others reignite their childhood curiosity and transcending the self.
Many people love learning from childhood but have the love sucked out of them by the school system. Helping others fall in love with their childhood curiosity is important to me because it makes life an endless reservoir of possible joy. It humbles you. You realize how small you are in comparison to the universe.
This in turn helps you transcend the self.
Transcending the self stops you from pursuing egoic desires which often hurt others.
I spend a lot of time creating content helping people learn how to create a Personal Knowledge Management System that helps them reignite their childhood curiosity.
What do most people agree with I disagree:
- Happiness is the ultimate life goal
- The default path is safe
- Writing online isn't a viable way to make money
- Getting straight A's is something they should do
- Memorizing is a waste of time
- Atomic notes are a viable way to take notes
- Notes shouldn't connect between classes
- Humor, charisma, and creativity are talents we are born with
- Intelligence is largely genetic
What broad level topics do you enjoy? What are your hobbies? Look at your weekly schedule. What do you always find time for? Reading? Exercising? Cooking? What are you learning currently? What would give people a positive impression?
- Online Business
- Stand Up Comedy
- Fitness Content
- Online Writing
- Film Analysis
I always find time for:
- Conversing With Friends
- Board Games
- Video Games
What’s special (or weird) about you? How are you different than most people? Is this quirkiness going to scare some people away?
I am unusually positive. I have a deep emotional world under the surface but try and come across positively most of the time because it brings other people up. I have a deep drive to help other people. I can't just sit and rest, it's not my nature.
What things don’t come naturally to you or do you have to spend a lot of time doing? What do you not want to associate with your personal brand?
Finance related things in the business. I don't associate salesiness with myself. I want to be very approachable. I don't want to come across as too serious.
What are you good at? Has anyone complimented you on a skill? Have you achieved surprising results in one of your previous projects (projects at work, online projects, or hobby projects)? What does that tell you? Thinking back to your childhood, what did you gravitate towards doing?
I'm good at consistency, authenticity, writing, reading, storytelling, public speaking, Personal Knowledge Management, learning effectively.
Hopefully answering these questions has helped you uncover your interests.
While I can't advise you which major to pick based off of this I encourage you to meet with a career advisor and use these questions to help guide you in your major decision.
Remember, passions are built, rarely found.
If you don't feel you are passionate about much yet, that's okay. Pick something. Anything. Your purpose is solving whatever is your biggest problem at the moment.
Cultivate your passion over time.