How do I choose what to major in University?

NUS Open day today with the tertiary CG made me feel very fortunate about where I am right now. Looking back at it, I was in a pool of confusion and despair at some point a little over last year because of the uncertainty that was in front of me. But truly when doors close, many more open, not in our time but in God’s time.

When you come to an Open House like today, you might be tempted to look at the cut-off grade as a benchmark for which degree/faculty to choose. Something my junior said today really disturbed me, “I want to consider XXXX but it’s at the lowest cut-off out of all the majors in XXXX…” Hold up now, one has to remember that the cut-off score is merely a reflection of the degree/faculty’s popularity amongst applicants. Indeed, there are many other things to consider like job prospects, area of interest, aptitude. It’s not wrong to want to think about all those right now. But these factors are pretty subject to change, even your interests.

The phrase “follow your passion”, isn’t very helpful.

When you’re 18-19, maybe just fresh from JC or poly, it’s difficult to think about decisions that seem to define your entire career, your entire life. Here’s the truth, it won’t. So don’t just think about what you’re interested in right now, because those things might change, and when they do, it’s going to be hard to stick to it. On the other hand, don’t just pick something because you’re “good at it”. University is a whole different ball game when it comes to studying, so I think there has to be a balance of both to truly persevere.

Last of all, don’t just make the decision, pray about it. Take some time for introspection. Think about your motivations and reasons for wanting to choose that major/faculty. But at the end of the day, it is a decision to be made. And if one day you look back and think, “Maybe I should have chosen something else…”, don’t. Don’t entertain the thought. We live in the present, not the trail of our past. Even if you aren’t satisfied with where you are, pray about where to go from here on out.

In my period of navigating the whole university conundrum, I felt so lost and let down. But nowadays I look at my life and see where are the opportunities I have been given, to still meet the goals that I want. Putting trust in God’s plan has helped me to remove my blinders and see life for what it gives and not just for what it seems to “take away”.

This Lent so far has definitely been a season of more intentional prayer for me. Although sometimes it gets very difficult to focus and just be in His presence, I find that it has helped me find peace on days where I can barely hold onto anything. I seek to listen more to what God wants to tell me.

Here is a beautiful prayer shared by one of the Residential Catholics, which I think is really apt for anyone out there making “tough” decisions right now:

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


(Prayer from Thomas Merton)

Our decisions aren’t as tough as we think they are, because if we trust in God and we listen to where He calls us, they should come with ease.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Trust and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. – Pslam 34:8


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