Getting prepared for college can be a very daunting task, especially for incoming freshmen. There is so much to do before classes begin, from meeting roommates and all the new faces throughout the dorms to buying books. New students are faced with many new challenges, including what it is they are going to study.
According to Randi Schneider, director of enrollment management at Kent State University Trumbull Campus, there are two types of incoming students.
''A student is going to come to college for many different reasons,'' Schneider said. "You have a student who knows what they want to do as soon as they walk through the door, and you have a student who knows they want to go to college, but they are still exploring what they want to do.''
So, if a student is undecided what is the first thing they should do?
According to Andre Ballinger, a student assistant at Youngstown State University, the college offers the Focus Assessment Test to help students understand where their aptitudes lie.
''If they are undecided on a major, it helps them learn about themselves, what career best suits them,'' said Ballinger.
One of the best ways for a student to learn what they may be interested in or not is to enroll in a wide variety of courses during their early college career.
''That's one of the reasons an orientation course is offered,'' said Schneider.
Students who don't choose a major are considered ''exploratory'' and are able to work on their university requirements while they look for their right career path.
Although many students feel it to be beneficial to wait a year or two to decide on a major, Schneider warns that indecision can come with a price.
''We'd like to have students by the end of their first year of college to have a major in place,'' said Schneider. ''The further down the road a student gets without declaring a degree, the more possibility they will leave without a degree or will end up taking more classes than they need to take.''
It is also common for students who declare a major to decide to change their degree path any number of times throughout their college career.
''Students do change their majors, and that's fine, but the further down the road you change your major, the more courses the student will take,'' said Schneider.
By taking a larger number of classes throughout their college career, many students have found themselves enrolled in school longer than the customary four years, costing them more money.
So for the undeclared college student, it is not essential they know exactly what they want to be the second they enter their first lecture class. There are many options to choose from and it is important that they find the path that is best for them.
Whatever the situation, students enrolled at Kent State University, Youngstown State University or any of the colleges and universities across the country have access to counselors and staff that will help guide them toward their goal - a college degree.