A long, long time ago (last semester) in a college not so far away (really close by, actually, since I’m writing this article in my dorm room), I was a Pre-Med major. I know, I know; how did I, the girl who passes out from just talking about blood, who’s been dreaming of being a high-power book editor ever since I saw Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, ever think I wanted to be a doctor?
I have a feeling you might actually empathize with my poor, confused freshman-year self. I, like many, entered college telling myself that I’d grow to love my science and math classes, that I’d get over my blood phobia, that being a doctor would be a job I would be good at despite my complete disinterest in working in medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I have deep respect and awe for all people in the medical profession: I come from a family of doctors and a ton of my best friends at school study Pre-Med, so I have crazy reverence for all the hard work medical practitioners endure. However, I knew deep down that this particular career path wasn’t for me: it just took me a little while to figure it out.
And once I did, I was terrified.
Were all the blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention all the money I dropped on textbooks) about to be all for naught? How could I take that first step towards reconfiguring my classes, exploring my options? Would I be successful in a new field of study, or would I just leave one-course track in order to fall out of love with a second one? These questions and more kept me up at night, and it was only after a lot of hour-long conversations with my family and no small amount of soul-searching that I decided that dropping Pre-Med would be a good choice. I talked to my counselor, made a rough game plan for the next semester, and muddled through final days of my science and math classes. After winter break, it was time to jump into a completely new academic department.
And, dear reader, I loved it.
Here’s the thing you’ll realize if you switch from a major you hate to one you love: suddenly, the work seems worth it, and your energy starts being fruitful. Instead of staring blankly at chemistry equations and stats problems, I found myself thinking more deeply about my classes and taking more information in on the topics we were studying. The passion for learning that I saw in my friends who loved Pre-Med was now ignited in me for my English and Poli-Sci classes, and I started looking for opportunities outside of the classroom to continue my learning, something I had been way too scared to try while I was Pre-Med (I’m wary of blood, remember? ER shadowing wouldn’t be a good idea!). The newfound energy I put into my classes and my new internship at a literary agency showed, and the positive feedback and amazing learning I experienced made every anguished night debating my course of study worth the struggle. The embarrassment I had previously felt for dropping a major that was sure to put me on the fast-track to success–at first, I felt like a total failure, unable to keep up with my intelligent and accomplished friends–faded with each day, and soon enough I was proud of the work I was doing once more. That’s not to say I’m a perfect student; I find myself apathetic or frustrated often enough, but at least now I don’t ask myself “What’s the point?”.
What I’m trying to say is that, if you aren’t finding a point in your studies, rethink your route to success. You’ve got a long life ahead of you, and it’s better to you enjoy what you study and work towards, no matter how nervous you might be about the future. Hard work and dedication shines through no matter the subject material, and we all know that good things come to those who hustle.