What happens if you change your mind about your uni course?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 12:00 AM

Eleanor writes from experience…


The last few weeks have been a little strange for me. As well as the usual cool-down after exams, I found myself debating what I should do with my life. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? But, honestly, that’s how it has been. My dilemma was: should I choose medicine – the course I have wanted to do for years, or costume design? A big difference I know, but ultimately I’ve chosen costume design. Why? Well, I realised I was doing medicine for the wrong reasons: I was doing it to show those that doubted me that I could do it, and this wasn’t a good enough reason for me to do the course, and I knew that I wouldn’t have the motivation required to get me through my course.


So what do you do when you have a sudden change of heart about what course to do?


1) My advice is – talk to those around you.

I don’t mean your parents who are biased and will tell you you’re brilliant at everything you do. I mean other family members and friends, preferably ones who have known you a long long time, and talk to them. I found that upon talking to a family friend, my choice became very clear as she pointed out how I had always been doing theatre and creative things over anything else for as long as she could remember.


2) Think about what you want to do with your life.

Do you want to have kids, social life, and things like that which are outside of your career? How important are they, does the job come first? For me, I thought about my future as a doctor, how little time I would have to continue my performing arts, how I couldn’t have kids until I was much older, how my life would revolve around work and nothing else. That scared me and I didn’t think I could cope with that.


3) Is your career something that you enjoy doing?

If not, then being realistic, how are you going to be happy spending every day of the majority of your life doing that job?


I’m not saying don’t aim high or push yourself, just be realistic as to who you are and how you want to spend your life. It’s very easy to lose yourself over the last two years of (seemingly) endless exams, and it is now more important than ever that you work out who you are. BUT you must also remember that changing your course will have other knock-on effects; for example, think about your earnings and how they will be affected and whether this is important to you.


So what do I do if you have changed my mind?

The first thing is to tell your parents, and if you have booked any open days, cancel them. I found that going to one really helped me confirm my decision, but it is not worth wasting the money on going to uni’s that don’t offer the course you want. Then talk to your head of 6th form or college equivalent. It is their job to help advise you as to what to do next. In my case I am dropping physics and taking art, as this will help my application.


The most important thing is to keep calm and decide carefully and thoroughly what your choices are. Take any help given and keep calm. Don’t panic and you will get through it. Friends are a brilliant help.


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