Picture this: you’re 45 years old and you start to really question your life – what you’re doing with your career and your family, and you’re starting to think that now is the right time to buy an absurdly expensive sports car… because that’s what all the other cool guys your age are doing, right? Now, take that same scenario and apply it to your university self as of this moment. Maybe you’re halfway through your program and realize that this isn’t what you want to do, and don’t know where this choice of degree will take you. Maybe you’re sitting up on stage at convocation – you look, anxiously, while receiving your diploma, posing with a lack of a smile on your face as the thoughts cross your mind: “Why did I even major in this? Where is it going to get me? What am I doing in life? Adulting? Why is that even a thing?” You’re going through a mid-university crisis, as I like to call it, and it’s something that is common to so many other students.
You might be in this phase of not knowing where your program will get you or you may be starting to question your major and think about if this is really what you want – and if it isn’t, should you change it? So many times, people ask me, “So, what do you want to do after university? What’s the ideal career to get with your major?” Truth be told, I really don’t know. I’m in the midst of thinking that I have other interests in different subject areas, and if you’re like me, then you’ll want to take a look at some of the tips and tricks I provide you below. I’ve conjured them up through my own experience and I think that they’re really helpful in dealing with your confused thoughts about your university degree. (I mean, I used these tips, so they must be helpful, right? *insert sassy girl flipping hair emoji*)
Explore your options
Don’t think that just because you have an interest in a certain subject area means that you should major in it. The same goes for those mentalities that certain majors are superior to others and will get you a job or career straight out of your undergrad. You need to really explore your options and think of a subject area that makes you happy; something that you believe spending four years doing that will pay off in the long run.
Find your passion
So you like science, or you have this overwhelming love for women’s studies. Whatever the area of choice, make sure it’s something you actually like to do. No, your undergrad degree does not always dictate your career path, but for some, it might. Find what makes you happy, because when you’re in a career that you love, it won’t feel like a grind, it’ll be fulfilling.
Take your time
My coworker gave me the best advice recently when I was talking to her about schooling, and she assured me that it’s in my best interest to take my time. You don’t have to rush your schooling. Knowledge and learning are lifelong journeys. If you decide a little late in the game that you want to do a minor, or even take on a double major, then take the time you need to do so. If that means taking an extra semester, then take it. If you’re like me and would really prefer to graduate on time and with all of your close friends, then my suggestion is to look at the additional courses you need and see what requires a pre-requisite and what doesn’t. Those that don’t require a pre-requisite can be taken during day school, or in night school during a certain semester and those courses that need that pre-requisite (which you need to make sure you take prior, of course,) can be taken at once in spring/summer semester. Plan strategically and you’ll be up on stage at convocation in no time.
Enjoy the ride
No one said it would be easy, and if they did, they lied. Many teachers in high school told me that if I got straight As in high school then university would be a breeze. Plot twist: it isn’t. You need to take it one day at a time and enjoy the ride. I like to think of university as a four year (and sometimes longer) roller coaster that ends on a path to *hopefully* success. With that being said, my mom always tells me that life is a journey, and not a destination. The same thing goes for university; realize that your time in post-secondary is a journey and you need to enjoy that journey and make the best of it in order to end at your destination.
Take this advice with a grain of salt. I’m no expert here, but these tips might help you to realize that a program change is needed, or perhaps a program change isn’t really what you want to do. These tips might help you consider a minor or even a certificate in your post-grad. However you plan on using these tips, just remember that you’re capable of anything you set your mind to.