College often starts with a core curriculum that keeps you quite busy. Soon, the time comes to pick a major, which can be very challenging if you are undecided. The decision-making process is a lot of pressure. After all, it can affect what you do for the rest of your life. If choosing a college major is stressing you out, here are five tips that can ease the burden.

1. List What You Like and Are Interested In

Consider the things that interest you, such as what you like to read, what your hobbies are, and the kinds of skills that have been mastered so far. Your college has a guide that explains all the available majors. Compare your likes and abilities to these, cross out those that don’t garner any interest, and start a list of majors that do. It can also help to look at a high school transcript; the classes you enjoyed and had the highest grades in may reflect the major most suitable for you.

2. Take an Assessment

Colleges often have major and career assessment tools. You may have to take some time to answer tough questions about yourself, but the answers can yield surprising results. Some schools even offer courses built around helping you pick a major. The programs may include career exploration classes, personal interest inventories, and personality assessments.

3. Set Reasonable Goals

Your college years will go very fast. Before you know it, graduation is fast approaching and it is time to look for a job. If you set goals, then you can have a timeline for taking the necessary steps to decide on the best major. The first two years will be spent fulfilling your general education requirements, unless you’re studying a vocational field. By setting goals, you could get into the right mindset, take classes that will prepare you for your major, and even list the courses to register for every semester of your college tenure.

4. Follow Your Own Expectations

If your parents aren’t privy to you pursuing ACU’s conflict resolution degree, consider what the benefits would be for you. They may have a solid focus on return on investment. That’s not always bad, but focusing only on the financial aspects of the program can lead to a career you don’t like.

5. Sign Up for an Internship

College students don’t only complete internships for their majors. You don’t have to wait to declare; in fact, completing an internship program as a freshman or sophomore can give you insights into real-world, hands-on experience. This can help you decide if it’s a field you like, and provide an opportunity to connect and network with professionals.

Remember, not every one of your classmates at Emerson College has made their decision. Don’t be afraid to do a little exploring or take advantage of helpful career resources. Some time spent on self-reflection can be a benefit later, when you have a major, and ultimately a career, that you enjoy.