Published: Nov. 22, 2019

With midterms wrapping up and fall break right around the corner, you may be feeling overwhelming pressure to “have it all figured out”—from declaring a major to getting involved. While it’s common to feel this way, you don’t need to have all the answers.

A person picking food laid out on a tableIn fact, this is a great time to reach out to your family and friends to ask them about their college experiences. By hearing about their journeys, you may gain some insight into navigating your own. Here's a list of questions to get you started.

What was your major in college and how did you decide?

Not everyone’s path to declaring a major is linear. In many cases, it takes people a couple tries to land on the perfect fit. By asking your family and friends this question, it may help you in narrowing down what areas you may be interested in. They can also help you decide between a few different major options.

What was the most beneficial experience you had in college that helped you in your career?

Ask your loved ones how they got to where they are today in their career. Odds are, they have had more than one career in their lifetime and can tell you what they learned in college that helped them the most. By listening to their story, you may learn some ideas about how you can build your own résumé.

What were you involved in?

Getting involved on campus can be just as important as discovering an academic path. Find out what your friends and family participated in while they were in college. Ask them about clubs, groups, jobs, internships or study abroad experiences.

If anything you hear sparks your interest, take time over fall break to learn more about getting involved on campus.

If you were to do college over again, what’s one thing you would do differently?

It’s always a good idea to ask for advice. Your family and friends have been in your shoes before and may just have a few tips about making the most out of college. Learning from others mistakes can prevent you from going down the same road.

What skills did you learn in college that you have used the most in your career?

Discover what skills your family and friends benefitted from the most and adopt some of them into your own life. Ask them to be specific. What types of writing, communication or leadership skills do they have and how did they learn them?