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How to Help Your Teen Narrow Down Their College Major

How to Help Your Teen Narrow Down Their College Major

career exploration college admissions juniors majors seniors Feb 21, 2022

How do you get a high school student to start narrowing down what their focus is?

At KMAC, we use an assessment that's a little bit different to help students find their career or college major. Aside from a standard personality test, we have found it really helpful to make students think about the whole process in a different manner. 

We want to ask questions other than, "what do you want to be?" That's kind of overwhelming! Does your child even know all the possibilities of what they could be? Or what they want to do? "I want to be rich. I want to have money. I want to help others." Those are pretty common responses that we get from students, but there are a lot of ways to help others. There are a lot of ways to make money. 

Let's ask a different question: what do you want your life to look like?

It's a Wednesday morning. You're rolling out of bed. What time is it? Where do you live? What are you putting on? Are we putting on a suit? Are you putting on a pencil, skirt and high heels? Are you putting on scrubs? Are you dressing pretty casual? Are we working from home? What are you doing?  How are you spending your day? How much time do you talk behind the computer?

How much time do you spend interacting with others? How important is that? Because that's usually a real key piece for students to know how much time they're with other people versus how much time they'd like to work autonomously.

What kind of things are you responsible for? Are you writing? Are you video recording? Are you drawing diagrams? Are you creating? What things are you doing?

When was your last day off? How many hours do you think you will work today? Do you have any plans with friends later? Do you live in the same city as your family? 

Are you driving around all day meeting other people? Are you sitting in an office? Are you in a cubicle? Are you in a hospital? Are you out at a job site? Are you out in the environment doing testing samples? Are you in a lab? How do you want it to look?

Pulling those answers out from them takes time, but this type of an assessment really is eye opening for students! Sometimes students will say, "I'm thinking nursing because I want to help others." There's a lot of ways to help others. Are you willing to do shift work? Are you willing to work holidays? We've had students say flat out, no way, never going to happen— so nursing probably would not be the best fit for them. You can help others in other ways.

Asking a child what they want their life to look like can help eliminate choices that would not be a good fit for them, and open their mind up to other possibilities. Maybe nursing wouldn't be a good fit for them, but maybe working in hospital administration or in a subsidiary of nursing (like forensic nursing or community health) might be a perfect fit, and still allow your child to work in a medical setting and help people.

I think it's so important for kids to really look at it a little bit different in ways that they can articulate, in ways that they can discuss what they want their life to look like and what they want those accomplishments to be.

Want to learn more about how we can help your child find their best fit college major and find a career that can make them happy long-term? Contact us today to see how we can help you!

We've put together a list of awesome scholarships with deadlines in March that you may qualify for! These scholarships are the perfect way to make your dream school a little more affordable.

Scholarship Amount Deadline
Netfloor USA Access Flooring Scholarship Program $1,000 3/1/2022
Adrian Ryan Kirk Memorial Scholarship $1,000 3/1/2022
The David & Dovetta Wilson Scholarship $1,000 3/1/2022
AFA’s Teen Alzheimer’s Awareness Scholarship 2022 $5,000 3/1/2022
UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship Varies 3/1/2022
Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship $1,000 3/2/2022
DNA Day Essay Contest Varies 3/3/2022
Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge $1,000 3/4/2022
Doodle 4 Google Contest Varies 3/4/2022
Cancer Unwrapped Writing Contest $1,000 3/4/2022
Private Frontier Video Contest Varies 3/11/2022
Children of Coast Guard Members Scholarship Varies 3/15/2022
Flavorful Futures Scholarship $5,000 3/15/2022
Earth Day Awards $500 3/15/2022
Walgreens Expressions Challenge Varies 3/31/2022
Stewart J. Guss Scholarship $1,000 3/31/2022
College Raptor Scholarship $2,500 3/31/2022
iSeeCars Future Entrepreneurs Scholarship $1,000 3/31/2022
The No Sweat Scholarship $2,500 3/31/2022
KNR'S Stop Distracted Driving Scholarship $5,000 3/31/2022
Make Me Laugh Scholarship $1,500 3/31/2022

See a scholarship that you might qualify for but not sure where to start? Want some help writing an essay or editing a video? Book a free 15-minute consultation with KMAC to see how we can help you complete your scholarships and make college easier for your budget!