“So…what’s your major?” If college was a dating service, this would be the icebreaker question. It makes sense considering many students strongly identify with their major. College is the time to explore your academic interests and passions. In many cases, however, students focused on their major of choice rarely take the chance to pursue a different area of study. With so much emphasis placed on a major and a future career, an important aspect of learning gets lost: the freedom to discover new interests. Curious about how declaring a minor can positively impact your life? You came to the right place.
Put Your Electives to Good Use
This is the most practical reason of the bunch. You probably need to take a certain amount of classes that fall outside the requirements for your major. It might be tempting to take morning Yoga or Guitar for fun, but why not put those credits to good use? Instead of taking an array of random classes, narrow your focus and take different courses within one academic discipline. Do you love The History Channel? Maybe you have a secret passion for the stage? Use this opportunity to pursue topics that excite you.
Take Advantage of Stellar Programs
All schools have that one program that shines a little brighter than the rest and chances are it’s not your major. Maybe you go to a school with a famous business program or a renowned political science department. It may not be a field that you want to dedicate all of your time to, but why not take some classes that interest you with knowledgeable professors? Go ahead and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Meet New People
Don’t try to deny that every major has a stereotype. Despite the fact that we all pride ourselves on being 100% original, it gets tiring to only meet people who share your interests and dreams. Sure, wanting to be a network anchor, senator or Broadway star is admirable, but not exactly exciting when you know hundreds of people in the same boat. It can be refreshing to meet someone authentically interested in a field you know nothing about. Take a step out of your comfort zone and you might be surprised by who you meet.
Learn a New Language
Maybe you dream about studying abroad in Italy; what better way to prepare than by learning Italian? Whether you love foreign culture or want to make your resume more competitive, using your minor to learn a new language is a fun and rewarding choice. Even if you don’t make it to Italy during your college years, at least you’ll be able to order at that delicious Italian restaurant without completely embarrassing yourself.
Have a Back-up Plan
This may seem a tad glass-half-empty, but let’s be honest in saying that many career choices are overwhelmingly competitive. Having a second area of expertise is not a terrible idea, especially when it comes time to look for jobs. Maybe you’re a business major with a minor in political science, or an English major with a minor in communications. Adding one more skill to your already bountiful skillset will only help you in the future. Your career preference might change and it won’t hurt to have another area of experience.
Boost Your Resume
If you’re looking for a simple way to stand out among a sea of applicants, what better way than to have multiple interests and skills? Not only does a minor on your resume provide a talking point, it also complements your major if you choose wisely. Let’s say you’re a public relations major and a business minor. Not only do you have experience with writing and communication, but also a business-savvy mind. Don’t be afraid to expand upon how your minor choice makes you more qualified for a position during an interview. Let employers know how your education prepared you for your future career.
Don’t overlook this major reason to declare a minor. Remember that learning is fun and that you should love what you study (at least most of the time). Right now, you have a great opportunity to ignite your interest in a new area that might not be as stressful and demanding as your major choice. Just because you’re pre-law doesn’t mean you can’t try out some theater classes. So take control of your learning and don’t forget to have a little fun.
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