Tip of the Week: Choosing a Major
As the semester is coming to an end, many are faced with the approaching decision of choosing a major. This decision can be a stressful and scary one. Let’s reflect on a few tips to help you in this decision process:
1. What are your interests? Take some time to think of what sparks joy in your life and what you are good at! We are more likely to succeed and excel in our careers if we have a passion for it driving us.
2. What values and beliefs are important to you? Working in a field that reflects your core values and beliefs is a vital factor to your overall happiness. Take time to write down important values that are essential in your career path.
3. Ask for help. It is always okay to ask for help. Ask your academic advisors, family, and friends their advice. Those who know you know well are there to help inspire, and motivate you to find your academic passion.
4. Use your electives to spark interest. Take advantage of your electives to find your areas of interest. Taking a wide variety of electives can help you narrow down your field of interest. You never know until you try it!
5. Volunteer in your community. Taking advantage of volunteer opportunities in your community is a great way to network and familiarize yourself in different lines of work. Not to mention it will look great on your college applications and resumes!
Choosing a major can be a difficult decision but there are resources out there to help you right here at NOVA! Visit the Advising and Counseling page at https://www.nvcc.edu/advising/index.html for counseling support for career, transfer, retention (academic success) and disability issues.
Or email AcademicAdvising@nvcc.edu (emails are answered within 24 hours).
Or chat online directly with the Live Chat link to talk with a viral advisor here: https://www.nvcc.edu/virtualadvising/index.html
With Fall 2019 semester now in full swing, the academic load can be overwhelming. Let’s take a moment to determine how we can make this a successful semester! Consider the following as you go about your everyday:
1. Stay Organized: Keep a detailed calendar for both your academic and social calendars and make sure they do not collide. Setting reminders in your phone and/or using sticky notes is a great method to staying on track.
2. Time Management: This may be the most important skill you master in your NOVA career and beyond. Prioritizing your work load is essential to your success! Make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time for your class load each week in accordance to your work life. While you may be taking on a lot this semester, may sure you make time for self-care!
3. Don’t Cram or Over Study: As tempting as staying up until 3a.m. to study for that test may be, studies show that last minute cramming only leads to undo stress, sacrificed sleeping and ultimately poor test performance. Instead let’s practice time management discussed above.
4. Unplug & Disconnect: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great source for staying in touch with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, however, it can be a huge distraction. In your appointed study hours consider turning off all social media accounts and focusing on the here and now.
5. Find Your Comfort Zone: It is all about finding what works for you. Whether it may be the quiet library, the busy coffee shop, or the local park with distance sounds of nature. We all operate different and finding the place to focus your mind is essential to your studying success!
6. Take a Break: Sometimes the work load can seem overwhelming. Take a break! Sometimes walking away from a tough paper you are writing or a stressful test you are studying for can give you a fresh perspective when you walk back to it. Allow yourself to clear your mind and regain focus.
We hope you can find these tips helpful in your NOVA success. Additional resources can be found at: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
If you need additional support, feel free to email us at: NOVACares@nvcc.edu
Counselors are professionals who are available to assist you in your educational career and life planning. They can help you to make effective decisions and to deal with problems that you may be facing while attending the College. Nature of Counseling and Advising Services:
It may be appropriate to meet with a counselor for one or more of the following issues:
- Adjusting to college and managing the new academic environment
- Academic advising and declaring a major
- Disabilities that impair functioning in class
- Temporary personal issues impacting academic performance
- Uncertainty about career or academic major
- Brainstorming strategies to be successful and to effectively manage concerns
- Clarifying program and transfer requirements
- Tools for effective communication and decision-making
Do I Need an Appointment?
In most cases, you can receive services any time through walk-in advising. If you require special services the front desk can help arrange an appointment with a specific counselor.
Mental Health Referrals:
Students who need more intensive or ongoing services should discuss referral options with their counselor. Often students who have health insurance can find reimbursable mental health options in the community. There are also a few options for non-insured students, or for students who do not have mental health coverage on their insurance plans.
Other resources for mental health referrals that you can access include:
- 211 Virginia: Dial 2-1-1 to get referred, or visit
- 24 hour Sexual Assault Services Hotline: 703-338-0834,