“Never give up!”, “Winners never quit and quitters never win”. Society is filled with quotes like these disparaging anyone who decides to stray from their beaten path. Instead of allowing people to own their mistakes and move on, we’re bombarded with the virtue of sticking to our choices like glue.
But sometimes knowing when to switch directions truly is the best option. Here’s how to tell.
Be realistic in your study goals:
Think about your dream job constructively. Make sure you know all about your prospective industry, the specifics of what the role entails and not just the glamorous side outsiders get to see. Then, when all the data’s in, ask yourself this: is your dream job still the light at the end of your study tunnel? If not you’ll need to seriously consider changing career paths. If so, your course is just a means to an end so knuckle down and go for it.
Check your motivations:
Why are you studying this course? Was it your choice? To succeed in anything you need to be fully on board, so make sure you’re living your own life – and not somebody else’s. If you are doing this for another, when the going gets tough you’ll find yourself becoming increasingly resentful and prone to procrastination. If it’s your choice, however, it’s just the price you pay to get the job done.
You dread going to lectures:
If, regardless of your lecturers’ ability, you find each of your course sessions mind-numbingly boring with no redeeming qualities – it’s a good chance you might be on the wrong track.
Factor in some rest:
If you don’t factor in some down time you’ll find everything from your enthusiasm, to your motivation, waning.
Get perspective around your studies:
It’s also essential to never make life-impacting decisions on a whim during a particular turbulent time in your studies. For example, no one is going to be thinking nice thoughts about their course in the midst of exam season, where lack-of-sleep is rife and nerves can become overpowering. If exams are still months away and you still feel like you’re on the train to nowhere, listen to your instincts!
Hard doesn’t mean wrong:
Don’t be fooled: university is hard and every course worth doing will get increasingly difficult as you progress – so don’t fall by the wayside – switching courses before you’ve even given yourself a chance. Remember: if it’s too easy, everyone would be doing it. There’s a great deal of satisfaction to be had earning something that took blood, sweat and tears to achieve.
How to know if you’re studying the right university course:
- Ask yourself some tough questions
- Give yourself a break and then reassess
- Check your motivations
- Don’t make life-changing decisions on a whim