top of page

Why Do We Feel the Need to Justify Our Major to Everyone?

Grade 12 hits and the stress and joy of starting to plan your future begins to set in. It can be super overwhelming to comb through all of the potential programs you could apply to. Likely your peers around you are in the same boat and the excitement starts to build. It is also likely that a lot of people around you may have an opinion on what program to choose and what school to choose. It is so important to have a support system and have people that you can talk through your options with, it is also important to remember that at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to do it and make the decision. This is likely one of the biggest decisions you have had to make at this point in your life.

That is actually a great thing! It is one of the first steps in getting outside of your comfort zone and choosing where you want to be and what you want to do in the future.

In a small town, it is relatively common for people to end up doing the same thing as their friends or maybe as their parents. This is awesome and definitely works for some people, but I think it's important to not make the assumption that you should repeat the cycle just because it’s an obvious choice. Moving away from your small town can expose you to so many more careers and people than you may have expected.

Something that I think many people have discovered is that they might feel like they are constantly justifying their major to those around them. It can be hard to not “stick to the status quo” (let me quote High School Music, such a classic) but that shouldn’t be something that holds you back. Speaking from personal experience, I am a Communications major and I couldn’t even try to keep track of how many people have asked me what my program is or “what are you even studying”. It can be hard when it might feel like everyone is talking down to you or they don’t think your program/ interest is a “real” option.

I want to highlight that when you’re choosing what to do post-secondary it is not a choice that you should make based on someone else, but I know it can be hard when it feels like there is pressure on you to choose what your friends or family wants. Something that can help with this is making sure you’ve done your research and when you’re looking into program options, making sure that the programs you’re looking at do align with your interests. This will help to make sure that you are knowledgeable about the individual programs that you are applying to which can help give some reassurance to those around you. When you’re passionate about the program and it is something that you could see yourself doing in the future then it can be worth the short-term frustration.

Once you’re in post-secondary there are so many opportunities to find others with similar interests or even for you to find other opportunities that you didn’t know you had an interest in. It is really important to remember that you are the one in control of your future and there is nothing wrong with trying a ton of different things to find the right fit for yourself. Keep stepping outside of your comfort zone!

- Alex Madill


bottom of page