Dear Kally,

Good day to you.

I have a problem. To be frank, I am scared and lost at this moment. I’m a first-year student at my university, studying engineering. My family isn’t well-to-do so it takes a lot of my parents’ savings and borrowing from relatives to get me to go overseas to study at this prestigious university. So it is imperative for me to get myself a degree and do them proud.

It is a chance of a lifetime but it does put a lot of pressure on me to do well in my studies. The thing is I have zero interest in engineering. I applied thinking that I might be interested in it but after having a go at it for a full year, I totally suck at the subject. Every test, I barely passed. Every morning, I just dragged myself to school.

Honestly, I don’t know what subjects interest me. I’m so homesick but I can’t go home. Maybe it is better for everyone if I can just go home but it means betraying my parents’ faith and trust in me. Disappointing them is the last thing I want to do. I’m their only child. Their hopes and dreams pinned on me since day one.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to go home and be a laughing stock but neither do I want to continue to be this miserable.

Help me!

Sincerely with respect,
Jonnie S.


Dear Jonnie,

I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your schooling. School life is supposed to be all about learning with a dash of fun in it.

Understandably you are away from your loved ones and feeling homesick is perfectly normal. I felt it too when I was working overseas for 2 years. However, the big difference between your situation and mine, I thoroughly enjoy what I was doing.

One of the key questions that you should ask yourself is that whether it is subject that you dislike or the homesick situation that is putting you miserable. Two are clearly separate issues here and if you are able to eliminate one, you might have a solution to ease away the other.

There are two ways to go about it. One is to seek counseling from your school counselor. You can even try to go for other classes in different subjects to see if something perks up your interest. Another good and painless way is to browse through some of the free courses online and see if anything clicks for you. This way, you don’t have to completely drop your studies before you make a decision but rather, explore your interest and if you do find one, try to make the switch in your university.

Another solution is to perhaps relocate to a university nearer to your home and transfer the credits there. You can also opt to pause your studies until you clear your head. A break for a few months isn’t a poor choice but a sensible one especially if you don’t like the major you are doing now.

There is no shame in pausing your life to evaluate your choices, even if you have to backtrack and start all over again. I believe your parents want you to be happy and nothing pains them more if they know that you suffer because of their choice, not your own. Life is all about trials and errors. Being true to yourself is what’s important here than to live a lie for the rest of your life.

Think through on the options above and let me know once you come to a decision. We can always take a step at a time.

Good luck.

From,
Kally@MiddleMe.net

For graduate related articles, you may find these interesting:

A Letter To A Graduate
How To Choose Your 1st Job When You Graduate


 

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19 replies on “A Word Of Advice: Switching Majors

  1. Solid advice, dear Kally. Another option: take a break as Kally suggested and find yourself a job to save money: in case you decide to switch major, or university, or even pursue a totally different choice, you can send your parents money and maybe feel less guilty of the choice? Don’t be afraid to disappoint anyone, make sure you don’t disappoint yourself 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Patty for adding onto my advice! I love that option. I think finding himself a job might give him a better perspective of what he likes and dislikes. We can only grow if we try something new.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Culture can be an extremely difficult to manage in life. When a culture almost determines how people see and treat you, even among families it’s not easy to just give up wanting to exceed. Expectations are high and doing your family proud can be an overbearing weight on your shoulders. In many cultures, disappointing family is not really a big deal as it’s a ‘me first, do what a want’ way of life. in an ideal world, as long as we do what makes us happy, family should support our every decision. But, that’s the ideal, not reality. Money, a big house, a fancy car, are all things people pursue which they think will bring them happiness. J.P. Getty, a multi millionaire said that people think “money will bring you happiness. Maybe, unhappiness”. Money does help make things easier in life,, no doubt about that, but it doesn’t make a person truly happy. Love and family, in whatever form ‘family’ takes is what makes us want to keep living and enjoy life. Be honest with how you feel, and at the very least, let your family know. It doesn’t mean you will go back home, but it does give you a glimpse of having the support of your family instead of dealing with these feelings all by yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still remember how much I sucked in my first two semesters in university. Low grades in major subjects turned not just my world upside down, but also of my parents. Especially of my father because he paid up heavy fees, right out of his savings which he received after retirement.
    I then glued myself back together and started to focus more. The result was good grades in next semesters in not only major subjects but also in complementary ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Going to a prestigious university does not necessarily grant a good education or success in life, especially when one is not happy, seems to me this is more about image.. there are a lot of excellent schools that are not necessarily “prestigious universities”… 🙂

    Me thinks Jonnie should go home and have a heart to heart talk with her family, all cards on the table and discuss the right path to take for Jonnie, if they are truly interested in happiness for Jonnie, like everyone else, Jonnie will not excel in something Jonnie is not happy with… whether she is at home or overseas..

    “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary” Steve Jobs

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I live by Steve Jobs quote too. I think honesty is the best instead of living in a lie and trying to fulfill others’ dreams instead of his own. Thank you, DutchIl for your contribution.

      Like

  5. This is a complex situation.

    As it stands it seems that you are wasting your parents money, as well as your own time. Neither is good or productive.

    I agree with Kally, speak to your school councilor and see if perhaps you can take an aptitude test which will tell you what areas your most likely to enjoy and be good at. Might I suggest you do this ASAP.

    There is no shame in trying and failing; the “shame “{NOT a good word for it}, is NOT to endeavor to find out what your BEST suited for and then strive to excel in that endeavor.

    Friend we are what God made us. Discover your Better-Self and then explain to parents your decision and WHY your changing your career choice.

    Seek and you will find, is a prudent bit of advice. Simply wallowing in misery is time, talent and money wasted.

    Patrick

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can remember that I was unready for college, at 17. My choice, then, was to work for a few months, at my father’s factory, then enter the military. When I re-entered college, three years later, I was more ready to go into it full-tilt. There will always be those who are hyper-critical, but they are not in the shoes of the individual.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Solid advice Kelly 🤓 I would share one of my favorite quotes with the young man “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”

    Liked by 3 people

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