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When Your Major Isn’t “The One”

September 5, 2016 No Comments

The most challenging part of my new job came up last week. I have to tell students that they will not be admitted into their major of choice because their grades aren’t good enough. It’s like breaking up with them and saying, “It’s not me, it’s you.” Burn.

Sometimes in our education and career plans we need to have a he’s just not that into you conversation with ourselves and realize, “You know, I don’t really have the aptitude for this.” It can dent our confidence, but ultimately is a positive thing in regards to your future. There’s a quote I heard about dating when I was young{er} that says, “The wrong one is the right one to lead you to the best one.” That little gem got me through more than a couple breakups, but I think it applies to a lot of things in life.

Fry is so wise. Via Relatably.
Fry is so wise. Via Relatably.

Say you barely squeak by and get into a program, but you struggle the whole time with low grades. That could impact your ability to get internships, research opportunities with professors, letters of recommendations, and networking. If what you want to do requires a graduate degree, you typically need at least a 3.0 to get in and much higher to be competitive. So if you’re not doing well, you have to recognize that you may be paying all that money to not be able to do what you actually want to do.

It hurts, I know. Cry it out if you need to. But remember that this is a step on the path to where you may fit better. I won’t say “meant to be” because we could all probably do well in many things, and that mentality tends to limit us rather than open up our many options.

So if you’re on that new, better-for-you path, and don’t know where to go, then run into the open, comforting arms of…the career center! He’s been sitting there patiently waiting for you to notice him and ok, I’m done with the breakup theme. Let’s just get down to business because jokes aside, this could save your life. Or money. Probably more the money thing.

Recently I spent some time learning what the career center has to offer at the university I work at. I’m going to be honest, the only time I went to the career center when I was a student was to fill out the paperwork to get a campus job. Not really sure why I didn’t check it out, but I’m kicking myself now for not going! It really could have helped bypass the whole wasting time with my major issue.

The best thing I did while checking it out was to take advantage of the career assessments. My university offers the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory, so I took both. Then I set up an appointment with one of the employees to review my results one-on-one. I was so glad to have the one-on-one afterwards, it helped me interpret the scores with much better understanding of what I was seeing.

I can 90% guarantee nobody at the career center will say this to you.
I can 90% guarantee that nobody at the career center will say this to you. Via Sizzle

The SII is really interesting. You can check out its Wikipedia page if you want to learn a little more about the test itself. I got a packet of results with lists of careers for each section of the occupational themes, ranked by which ones I would likely align with based on my responses. It also told me my areas of least interest: computers and accounting. Amen, test! A fascinating thing I noticed was that most of the careers that were super high on my list were ones I discovered or learned more about after I graduated college, and was subsequently ticked that I didn’t know about sooner.

What if I had done this while in college? It’s easy to imagine that having this list of careers, I would have then looked into them more and put myself on a path for one of them, which was better suited to me than being a therapist ever was. And I still would have been in college to make those plans! I wouldn’t have to be going to school right now for prerequisites before I can even apply to graduate school. I would have saved time, money, headaches, anger at the higher education system, and could already be working where I ultimately want to be. I really enjoy what I’m doing now, but it’s not my end goal.

If you have been forced to look at other options, there is help! Career resources are available and your school likely does promote them a lot. It’s easy to ignore it and ruminate on what might have been in your previous major and plans. Just remember, your tests will end, school will be done–and you’ll have bills that you can hopefully pay. Much like you would after a breakup, get yourself showered, dressed, out of the house, make some plans and show them off like you don’t even remember which building the other major was in.

That old one was a jerk anyways.

Via Rebloggy
Thanks Tay. Via Rebloggy

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