Everyone finds their purpose in different ways and at different times in their lives. Some instinctively know what they are called to do at a young age and plan their whole academic career around that. Others test out various things to discover their passion and talents.
Picking your college major is a big decision, and, frankly, some heading to college aren’t certain of which direction to go. Nashville rising businessman Forrest Walker Conner said it was a trip in the summer after his eighth-grade year at Montgomery Bell Academy that set him on his path.
A Program That Changed His Life
That was the summer Forrest Walker Conner studied Lithuania and the Baltic countries during World War II. The fortitude of these smaller countries to remain free impressed Forrest Walker Conner and prompted him to participate in any exchange program available.
His family hosted German and Lithuanian students, and Walker traveled to Australia to study in between his junior and senior years in high school. After high school, Forrest Walker’s travels and experiences led him to enroll in University of the South, Sewanee.
Picking a Major in College
A rising junior, Forrest Conner is majoring in economics and minoring in business. Forrest Walker is also a paid intern in Washington, D.C., while participating in an economic and public policy program called the Fund for American Studies.
He said the toughest decision of his college career was picking a major.
“I know it doesn’t sound like that crucial of a choice,” Forrest Walker Conner said, “however, understanding that it will affect my life further down the road definitely adds more pressure to the decision.”
Learning from Experiences
Forrest Walker said he enjoys new places, people, and experiences, which led to many opportunities. He pays attention to relationships and listens to mentors. He said he tries to learn from every experience. All of that has helped him come to decisions about his major.
Those who are having trouble deciding which major is the right one can do some of the things Forrest Conner did to help you decide.
Forrest Walker Conner participated in extracurricular study programs, like the one in the Baltic States, which piqued his interest in foreign countries, the economy, and freedom.
He also started seeking out foreign exchange programs to learn more about the world, which ultimately led him to the nation’s capital. Learning about different topics can put you in a direction that you wouldn’t have expected.
Expand Social Circles
Forrest Walker Conner also expanded his circle of relationships. That can be beneficial in multiple ways because, as he stated, it opens up opportunities. More opportunities mean you could find something you really enjoy that you hadn’t pursued before.
Most of all, he listened to those he respected. Forrest Walker Conner said that included family, friends, teachers, those at church.
Forrest Walker said he knows he still has much to learn and is eager to continue learning both in the classroom and in life.
Find Your Interests
Those who are having a challenging time deciding what interests them should take an interest inventory test. This is offered through guidance counselors’ offices, and some are even online.
Answering simple and fun questions can clue you in on parts of personality you haven’t thought about before. After calculating your answers, the inventory test will list several possible jobs that you may have the skills and interest in pursuing.
It doesn’t hurt to do some part-time or temporary work or even volunteer in different industries to see if you’re a fit for that job. You can earn some money, gain some skills, meet new people who can help you advance your career, and find out if you truly like a job before you pursue it as a career.
That is what Forrest Walker Conner is doing in participating in a paid internship. He said he is learning that public policy and business often work together, and the experience is teaching him how government policies affect the economy and business environments.
Take on Challenges
He advises young people to try as many new things as possible, even if it appears to be challenging.
Forrest Walker said trying new things may seem intimidating, but they can be some of the best experiences of your life.
He said the more you challenge yourself, the less scary things become. Then you can face the next challenge with confidence.
“Then before you know it, there isn’t much that will intimidate you anymore,” Forrest Walker said.
Picking a college major doesn’t have to happen the moment you hit the college doors.
You can take some basic courses while you think about it. Just don’t put it off. Search different avenues and make the most of every opportunity so you can move ahead when you figure out which major you want to pursue.