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Time For A Change – Part #2: Advice On What To Do If You Want To Switch Your Graduation Course

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The article below was written by Isadora César Pacello and edited by Laura Okida. Liked this type of content? Check out Her Campus Cásper Líbero for more!

Last month, we presented some signs that could maybe show it is time for you to switch your graduation course. If you have related to those red flags and have decided that it is time for a change, you are probably wondering: “Okay, but what are the next steps?” That’s exactly what we are going to talk about in this article.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: PICTURE YOUR IDEAL LIFE

Before anything else, set some time aside and imagine your ideal life. What would you like to do daily? What would your house be like? And what about your vacations? Imagine every single detail of your dream life. Don’t worry if it’s not realistic – that’s just an exercise to expand your horizons. Write everything down, so you can use it as a guide to your future decisions.

MAKE A LIST OF PROS AND CONS…

If you haven’t done it yet, now it’s the time: grab a piece of paper and divide it into two columns – one for the pros of insisting on your graduation course, and the other one for the cons. You may think you can do it in your head, but trust me, it’s going to be so much easier if you write it down. Remember to include every single thing that crosses your mind, even if it sounds silly, like “I love the cafeteria at the campus” or “The classrooms look nice”. Try not to make any judgments and just get it off your head.

… AND EVALUATE THEM

Now it is time for judgments. Go through each item on your list and classify them according to their importance to you. How much does the commuting time annoy you? Do your colleagues matter to you? The more sincere you are, the better.

CONSIDER HOW FAR YOU’VE COME (AND HOW FAR YOU STILL HAVE TO GO)

Was your experience in college representative? And how much sacrifice would it take to reach the finish line? These are fundamental questions you need to ask yourself.

For example, if you have just ended your junior year of a five-year course, maybe you haven’t had the time to really feel college. Most times, the first year is not a great representation of what is coming. In that case, you should consider insisting a little bit longer, as a trial period. Set a goal: if by the end of the next semester you haven’t seen any improvements, it will be time to let go.

On the other hand, if there’s only one semester ahead of you, ask yourself how awful it would be to face it and get the diploma. After that, you don’t even need to work on the area – you may start another graduation course.

TALK TO PEOPLE

Whether it’s a senior at your college or a friend from your childhood, people can help us open our minds. Look for different people who can talk to you about your graduation course, your university, the labor market, and life in general. It will give you different perspectives and show you that, more often than not, things are not as definitive as we picture them. 

THINK ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES

Remember when you pictured your ideal life? Did you imagine your dream job? If you did, that is a strong sign of what you should study instead. On the other hand, if you still haven’t figured out what you want to work with, don’t worry: odds are, time is going to help you with that. The important thing is that you start to imagine the alternatives for what you are currently studying.

BE REALI$TIC

In an ideal world, all it takes is our will to make things happen. But, unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Sometimes, we need to be practical. If you have decided to go for it and switch your course, you must know if it is doable – in other words, will you have financial support? If you still rely on your parents for money, sit down and talk to them. Be honest about how you feel and show them that is not an impulsive decision. Then, see if they can afford this change. Will there be any conditions for that? Can you do anything to help? Maybe you will have to apply for a public school instead of a private one, or maybe you will need to try to get a scholarship. Be creative and look for alternatives to make it achievable.

CONSIDER SOMETHING LESS DEFINITIVE

Instead of simply dropping out of college and jumping into the void, why not take a semester (or even a year) off to experiment with other things? If you can afford that, it is a great way to mature your ideas and discover yourself. Start studying for admission tests (even if you don’t know what career you want to pursue!) and try new hobbies. By the end of that period, one thing is for sure: you will be so much more connected to yourself.

BEFORE WE GO: THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  1. Your health must be a priority. Your studies and your career are important, but so are YOU. Both your mental and physical health should be a strong criteria when making decisions about your life.
  2. There’s no such thing as a “waste of time”. If you’ve decided to switch your graduation course, you should know everything you’ve done so far has added to who you are. You may think all your Engineering skills are useless if you want to study Literature, but trust me, the things you’ve learned in the past will serve you at some point – sometimes, in the most unexpected ways.
  3. Except death, nothing is definitive. Nowadays, careers are fluid and mutable. You may start working with Biology and end up as an illustrator or a photographer – who knows what the future holds? Try to relax and enjoy the moment. You can always adjust your route on the way.
  4. You are not alone! When we face change, we may feel terribly lonely, like there’s no one out there who gets us. That is not true. There are many people going through similar situations, you just need to find them.
👯‍♀️ Related: SCHOOL IS HARD – LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
I’m a writer and Journalism student at Cásper Líbero. Besides writing and reading, I’m fascinated by culture, arts and wellness.
Laura Okida

Casper Libero '21

Journalist. Music, series, books, pop culture, in no particular order.
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