Top Tips for Making the Right Decision


Are you struggling to make a decision about what major you should choose? Choosing a major is an important part of your career path, and you should put time and thought into what you want to do after college, and how your education will help you achieve that. For all the best help on how to make the right decision, read on.



University of the People student making a decision
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Top Tips for Making the Right Decision

Making decisions is tough when it comes to choosing a major, but we’ve got the best tips on how you can make the right choice.


1. Signs are Everywhere


When the time comes to make an important decision such as your college major, the universe might start giving you signs. Examples could be receiving an email back when you need it most, getting a call from someone you’ve been thinking about, or even seeing your birthday numbers somewhere. Keep your mind open for these signs and they could help you along the way.



2. Listen to Your Own Advice


You’ve likely made hard decisions before, so think about what helped you the previous time and try to use the same methods. This will also give you more confidence with this decision.



3. Keep Your Conscience Clean


When your decisions are aligned with your values, it gives you motivation and sense of purpose. Make a list of your values, then write how each major and its outcomes will align with those priorities, values, and passions. This will help you feel that your decision is the right one for you.



4. Stay Positive and Detach from Negativity


It won’t help you one bit to look at the negative side of the coin when it comes to majors — try to think positive and make the decision with the most positive outcomes, not the least negative ones.



5. Who Are Your Influences? Know Your Biases



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Choose wisely who you ask for advice — a trusted group such as significant other, good friends or family members. Limiting the number of people you ask will help you not feel overwhelmed. Listening to others too much can make it feel like it is no longer your decision. Also, think about what biases you are coming into this decision with, and how might those be affecting you.



6. Listen to Your Gut


You have instincts for a reason — use them! Going with your gut means listening to that first feeling you have, and not overthinking it or second guessing yourself. Your intuition is one of your most powerful tools for decision making.



7. Know Your Limits


Making the right choice means knowing what you can and can’t do. Think about both your strengths and weaknesses in order to set yourself up for success in making your decision.



8. Organize Your Thoughts


Don’t get caught with tunnel vision, only looking at the immediate consequences. Make sure you are looking at long-term outcomes. Consider both positive and negative outcomes of each decision which will help you find clarity and direction.



9. How Do You Feel?


Before you even get started making a list of pros and cons of getting into prerequisites, sit with yourself and discover your intuitive feelings about the major. Self reflection is an important part of the process.



10. Identify Your Goals and Set Standards


Identify and understand your goals. Don’t make your decision based on the wrong end goal, or you will set yourself up for failure. Setting standards for yourself and your future will help you with that.



11. Don’t Rush


Don’t choose your major on a whim. You don’t need to decide right away. Do your research beforehand on job outlooks for that major, entry-level salary expectations, and what prerequisites are required.



12. Eliminate the Small Stuff


When making your list of pros and cons, make an effort to recognize which areas aren’t too important to you. Try to eliminate those thoughts to provide yourself with more clarity.



Ask Questions to Make the Right Decision

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Fear is Normal


Fear is the reason why most people are hesitant to make a decision. Fear is the most natural part of the human experience and everyone feels afraid or nervous on some level when making big decisions, such as choosing a major. If you recognize you may be afraid of your choice, you can overcome the fear.



Is it Safe to Make this Decision?


Risk-avoidance is a big part of decision making. But realize that you are also taking a risk by not making the decision. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect decision so don’t get caught up in worrying that you aren’t choosing the perfect path for you.



Start with Making Small Decisions


Use the safe-to-try method when making small decisions. With every decision you make throughout the day, week or year you’ll eventually get better at answering this question with confidence about every level of decision.



What’s the Worst-Case Scenario?


Ask yourself the “what ifs” of every aspect of the decision. You will eventually see that the worst-case scenario is never as bad as you are making it out to be. Realizing that will help you be calm in the decision-making process.



What to Think Before Making Any Decision

University of the People student thinking about the right decision
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There are three important things to think about during the major decision-making process. First, your limitations. Are you really going to succeed in this career, are you interested for the right reasons? Second, opportunity cost. How much are you earning back on the investment in your education with each major you are considering? Finally, the impact of your decision — think of all the possible consequences that could happen as a result of this major.



Types of Right Decisions

1. Long Term vs Short Term:


Make sure you take both into perspective when making your decision.



2. Doing Good vs Money:


Are you going to save the world, or make big bucks? Maybe if you’re lucky, you can do both!



Step-by-Step: How to Make the Right Decisions

1. Understand Your Fear


Write down your fears about making the right or wrong major choice. This will help you see things clearly. Look at each worst-case scenario as you do this to get everything on the table. Consider the outcomes of your major after graduation and talk to friends and family to get their advice.



2. Consider the Decision


Staying calm is an important part of this part of the decision-making process. Take deep breaths anytime you start to feel worried about your decision. Do plenty of research on your major — what are the possible jobs and starting salaries, and what courses are needed for graduation. Ask yourself “why” five times consecutively to get deeper into understanding your own interests, fears, and biases. Make a list of each major you are interested in and all of the pros and cons of them.



3. Make the Decision


When it is time to finally make the decision, try giving yourself advice as if you were advising one of your classmates or friends. Think about your future with the major, and trust your instincts. Finally, have a back-up plan. Choose a second major and career path that is also a great option for you, should you change your mind about this one.


Making the right choice about your college major should be a fun and exciting part of the college experience. You finally get to study what you want! Don’t stress about every aspect of the decision-making process. Just follow our tips on how to make the right decision and you are sure to make a good one!