Preparing to start college can be extremely stressful for a lot of reasons, one of them being the pressure you feel to choose a major. It's the inevitable question that EVERYONE will ask you -- "So what are you majoring in?" I'm serious, literally every single person you talk to about college will ask you this. Your family, your teachers, your friends' parents, your co-workers, the people that you meet once you get to college, etc. It's inescapable.
I didn't decide on a major until about a week or two ago. I would always feel so awkward and even embarrassed when someone would ask me what I intended to major in and I would have to tell them that I was undecided, or one of the other vague answers that you'll give as an undecided, or exploratory, major. Even though older students, adults, or even my adviser would reassure me that it wasn't at all a bad thing to be undecided, I still felt like it was. I've come to realize that it isn't though, and here are my two reasons for why.
As an undecided major, the classes that I took last semester were very different. I took Finite Mathematics (because it's required, I'm really awful at math and I despised every minute of it), Biology of the Senses (super cool class, learned a lot of really useful information), Psychology 101 (also required I think, although I'm not positive. Loved the class though, Dr. Thomassen is hilarious), Personal Health (I'm really invested in healthy living, so I naturally really enjoyed this class), and Religion in America (I took this class to gain a better understanding of the many different religions and the way they influence our lives). Although Bio and Psych had some of the same info (which was super helpful in remembering the info), the other classes that I took had nothing to do with one another. It was cool to learn about so many different topics. But not Finite. I think I have Finite PTSD.
One of my main reasons for not declaring a major was because I knew that if I did, I would probably change it. I didn't want to take several classes that I might not even need down the road. Most of the people who told me that it was okay to not have my mind set on something right away told me that because they personally changed their majors or they knew someone who did. So don't hesitate to take your time to decide, because it can be very beneficial. That being said, don't procrastinate and wait until you're a junior to decide on something because then you will likely be behind.
Even though it took me a semester to decide, I've finally decided that I want to major in English, although I'm not sure if I need to major in English Language and Literature or English Composition; I need to make an appointment with my adviser once the semester starts. A degree in English will help me score my dream job as a book editor at a publishing company. I've known for awhile that I might want to pursue something in the publishing field, I just wasn't sure what it would be. I've always loved books, and I've always been a fairly good writer. So I'm pretty positive that being a book editor, which is a combination of the two things I listed in the previous sentence -- reading and writing -- is the best job for me.
What I'm trying to say is don't worry if you don't know what you want to do for the rest of your life in your first year of college. It's a huge decision to make, and it shouldn't be rushed (although it should be done in a timely manner). Take different classes that interest you, and really consider what you love to do and who you are as a person so you can really choose what will most benefit you and your future career.
Once you do finally realize what you want to do, it feels AWESOME. You'll get there (: And don't be ashamed of not choosing right away, so many students are undecided. You aren't the only one!