Should I Change My Degree?

ChangingDegrees (Britt Article) by Charlotte Hanlin.jpg

What’s in a degree?

Thinking of a change? Not happy with what you are studying? Not sure what to do? Have a read of my story with changing degrees and mental health.

By Brittany Asplin

Almost anyone above the age of 30 will tell you to go to university and study for a degree for 3 plus years and it will help you prepare for the big wide world.  But what if what you are studying, is not what you want to do?  What if you've had a change of heart?  What if it wasn't what you thought?  As a sixth year student (I'll explain) I know the feeling of going through a degree that I hated; but I am here to tell you that changing degrees isn't a big deal and that it can be for the better.

My Story

I was fresh out of high school and straight into uni; I chose to study a double major in Management and Human Resource Management.  Now in my final year of high school I had the obligatory chat with my parents; the daunting "what will you do with your life?" question.  At the time I had no idea, and after a long chat with multiple cups of tea, my parents suggested I study a business degree, so no matter what ever I decided to do I had the business knowledge behind it.  It made sense, so I went ahead with it.

But what I didn't realise was I was going to hate it.  There were subjects I seriously struggled with; it took a toll on my self-confidence and my mental health.  I was genuinely struggling.  I didn't want to go to classes because I didn't understand, I didn't want to continually ask questions and hold everyone else up; I was coming home nearly every day from uni in tears.  I needed to make a change for myself, so I bought it up with my family.

I tell my parents everything, they are my best mates and they knew I wasn't happy with my study.  We talked out the options: do I drop out and get a full-time job?  Or do I change my degree? I brainstormed what I was actually good at and what I loved ... writing.  I loved making up stories as a kid: Ninja Barbies, Poh (yes from the Teletubbies) and Alkalas, The Bears, so many stories.  My parents helped to build my imagination as a kid (thanks mum and dad).  I also did creative writing as a subject in high school and was awarded for my writing.  So, I pitched the idea to my parents.  All they said was "as long as it makes you happy."

That night I dropped out of my third year, second semester of business and made a meeting with a student councillor to talk about the change.  The student councillors are wonderful!  They are there to help us students!  They are the only sane ones in this joint!  My meeting with the student councillor helped create a new degree study plan for me and also helped make a meeting with the Academic Chair for Arts.  After my meetings with the Academic Chair everything was approved and I was on my way to study a new degree: a major in English and Creative Writing and a minor in Journalism.

Within the first few weeks of my new degree I knew I made the right decision.  I am now in my third and final year of my degree and I am still happy with my degree.

My Advice: Are you happy?

Anyone will tell you to continue with your degree, stick it out and finish it; but sometimes we have a change of heart.  You need to be happy with whatever you are studying.  Your mental health is the most important thing when it comes to studying.  Trying to study with poor mental health is one of the most difficult things to do.  But whatever the case may be you need to be happy, it is up to you to make that decision for yourself.  You do you chica.

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