Picking your university program is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. It determines your entire life path, and leads to the job that you will be working for the rest of your years. It’s scary, it’s intimidating, and most importantly, it’s exciting!
Thinking back on the decisions I made regarding my university education, I sort of regret it.
Just to make things clear, I absolutely LOVE the school I’m attending, but I absolutely hated my program.
Initially, I went to Brock to study Applied Linguistics – Speech and Language sciences because at the time, I thought I wanted to be a speech pathologist. I was excited as hell to learn about linguistics, and all the dumb rules of language that came with that. But, I quickly learned that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.
Speech pathology was something my parents subtly encouraged me to do. It was reenforced on me and I thought being a doctor would be neat!! After about two months into my program, I learned the profession wasn’t what I thought it was and came to the conclusion that I needed to switch.
So, I talked to my parents about it and they were against the idea, obviously. “Don’t switch” they said, “give it a year” they said. So I did. Instead, I met with my academic advisor to see what other paths I could take after finishing my degree (which were quite limited) and came to the conclusion that I could stick it out and simply get my masters in a different field. After all, I did like most of my classes and I did enjoy what I was learning.
I finally finished first year and still my mind hadn’t changed. I loved the classes, hated the outcome. Second year then started up, and here I was back in the same place. It came to the point where I stopped attending classes because I couldn’t stand it any longer. Due to the requirements of my program, I was in all context courses and didn’t get to choose a single elective this year. I absolutely loathed my program at this point. Again, attempting to tell my parents how I felt, I was shot down and discouraged from making any changes.
To hopefully find a way to change their mind, I met with my academic advisor once again. Because of all the requirements of my program and how specific my linguistics classes were, none of my credits would transfer over to another program. SO, if I truly wanted to change programs, I’d have to start again from first year. Hoorah. What a waste.
After three meetings, I came to my advisor with the proposal to switch to another branch of the linguistic program – to TESL (Teaching English as a Subsequent Language). It was a win-win situation. It was still my program, except with less context credits. This way, I could use the electives that were given to get my teachable credits!
…Yes, I want to be a teacher. Yes I’m aware of how dumb of a field it is to go into.
At this point, it was around November and I was emailing graduate schools like crazy asking if they’d take any of my credits as teachables & what the requirements to get into teachers colleges were. Most of the answers I got back weren’t in my favour, but finally one said they’d happily accept what I could potentially bring to the table and I was ecstatic.
It took months of convincing my parents, months of broken communication between others schools, months of researching, but finally… I’ve done it. I’ve officially switched programs and I’m on what feels to be as the right path. It’s been a stressful year and a half, painfully learning useless things, but I’m still incredibly thankful for all the crap I’ve stored away in my brain.
If there’s anything you should take from this post, it’s not to hesitate when you feel things aren’t right. Especially when it comes to an expensive education. Although I do not support an irrational decision to switch, I do support the idea of doing what makes you happy. Your education determines a big part of what you can do with your life! Make sure to do your research and to find a suitable path that still keeps a lot of doors open for you.
Switch as many times as you want as long as you’re happy & hopefully not wasting time and money!!
For all we know, I could switch again by the end of next week…. after all, neurobiology sounds nice🙄