To make up your major you’ll need to bring together some generally good for life in general and some good for college in general ideas.
but even before those:
1.) Go to school somewhere it’s possible.
At my school, University of North Carolina Asheville, creating one’s own major was a choice available to anyone intrepid enough to do it, but that wasn’t exactly broadcast during orientation. Some schools don’t allow it, some strongly discourage it and some require you to have a certain grade point average to do so. I had to do some chasing, begging and profuse thanking to be able to write my own major, but it was worth it.
Good Ideas For Life
2.) Trust your desires.
Leave no interest unexplored. It’s unlikely your school will sanction you majoring in Biology Without The Stupid Classes or some such almost exact replica of what they already offer. Think about everything you’ve ever wanted to learn and how you can maximize what you learn with this major. Don’t tell yourself that it wouldn’t make sense to study this or that, at least not in the first phase of decision making. One key principle of DIY education is that knowledge really doesn’t come in these separate packages, we just pretend that it it does. Give yourself permission to stop pretending.
3.) Trust your curiosity and be trustworthy with your curiosity.
To strike it out on your own requires you to be pushed by the questions rather than the tide. A number of people told me that they would like to create their own major, but wouldn’t be able to think one up. Be curious, make connections, and never stop. I decided on my major in large part by plugging interesting phrases into google scholar and other journal search engines and seeing what came up.
Good Ideas For College
4.) Become best friends with the course catalog. BEST FRIENDS.
This is where you figure out how you’re going to use the rules to your advantage. I read and re read, copied and recited the section about designing your major. I read class descriptions and made lists and four year charts. I got out of general education classes by reading the catalog. I prepared myself to beg to skip prerequisites by reading the catalog. I daydreamed about becoming a textile artist/programmer/quantitative researcher/entrepreneur reading class descriptions of classes I ultimately decided not to take. Along with the course catalog seek out information about how often courses are offered and who teaches them, which is often not in the course catalog.
5.) Focus on professors you click with
In my experience the subject matter of the class is overshadowed by the professor in determining how impactful a class will be. I found out what classes the professors I meshed with taught and took their classes preferentially. It didn’t really matter what they were teaching (I mean, I liked them in part because of what they taught as well as how), especially since I had lots of leeway over what classes I took. I also found professors willing to support my solo major journey, including one who became my superstar advisor.
6.) Refine that plan over and over.
As you go along you will find out which professors you’ll want to avoid, whether you actually like that subject you were daydreaming about and how you feel about the workload you planned for yourself. I was able to tweak my plan as I went along as long as the theme remained the same. I advise that you procure for yourself the greatest possible amount of wiggle room. Make your major work for you.