If you’ve ever thought about changing courses midway during your studies, you are not alone. Everybody wants to discover their calling in life. To live life as you pictured in your mind is a beautiful dream indeed.
But what if you’re not sure of which direction your ship should sail? What if you despise your course so much that you feel like you’re suffocating in it? Should you plan for an escape or persist through the pain and suffering?
Here are some considerations before you take that leap of faith.
#1. Figure out why you want to change courses
Is it because you’re struggling with the pace and the assignments? Are you disinterested with the study material? Or is it because you don’t have any friends?
Whatever your reasons are, it is monumental that you figure out the true reasons why you want to switch courses and assess if there’s anything that can be done to fix things before succumbing to the more drastic measure of changing degrees.
If you find the course too challenging, evaluate the effort that you have given to the course. Are you doing enough? Do you prioritise your studies above all else?
If you’re feeling demotivated, it may just be that you’re bored. This is completely understandable as the learning environment can be stuffy at times. Hit the pause button and catch a break from studying. A short holiday or getaway may help you recharge.
When you’ve mulled over the reason and you’re confident that this change of heart is not due to the environment but because of a passion you want to pursue, then the next point is for you.
#2. Find out if your desired career requires a relevant degree
Are you planning to pursue the path of a professional baker who delights the world with sweet treats? Or perhaps you’re looking to unleash your inner creativity as a graphic designer?
Whatever that tickles your fancy, find out if what you want to do in life requires you to have a formal degree. Many industries, such as advertising, marketing, consulting and even investment banking, expect you to have a degree, but not necessarily one that’s pertinent. This means that you can still continue on with your course without jeopardising your career. In addition, there are short courses available that can beef up your knowledge in that particular field.
However, if you are determined to pursue more academic careers, such as those that are governed by professional bodies (think medicine, pharmacy and dentistry), then you will be required to have the relevant formal training.
So what if you’ve done your research and decide that securing your dream job will require you to switch courses for an added advantage? Well, that brings us to our next point.
#3. Calculate the investment
Tertiary education is by no means a frivolous pursuit.
Take into account the hours you will have to spend studying a particular course, bearing in mind that this time can never be regained. There’s also the financial aspect – the money that you pour in as an investment for your future. These are large quantities of seeds that you sow, in hopes of reaping the fruits of your labour later on.
Changing courses is akin to having to plant brand new seeds. With the amount of money that you have already invested in your current course, are you able to find the funds for this new course? Are you willing to spend the time to restart your degree all over again? How confident are you that you will stick through the tough times this time around?
Consider carefully if this new investment is worth every sweat, second and sen. Only take the leap if your answer is a resounding yes.
#4. Know the repercussions
If you do decide to set sail on a new course, bear in mind the implications of your choice.
Choosing a new course will lead you on a completely different path. While it will open up a brand new world for you, it might very well close a few doors as well. That is the collateral that you will have to bear.
Do your research and be acutely informed of your choices. Remember that it is not impossible that the interest in your newly chosen field subsides as time goes by. Do not blindly follow the words of others either without knowing where the bandwagon leads.
Each choice you make counts. Be very sure that it is worth it for you.