I’m sure we all have that one friend who just knows how the next 20 years of their life is going to pan out. Okay Patricia, we know you’re going to complete your Business Management degree, get a job with some investment bank, make tons of money, and have 3 children with your gorgeous Brazilian husband.
The rest of us, however, aren’t so sure of what life has in store for us. Perhaps, we may even question whether we chose the right undergraduate degree.
And that’s okay.
A lot of people realise their true passions late in life, and not all of them have a passion related to a facet of their undergraduate degree. Does that mean they’re doomed? Not necessarily. A family member of mine took up medicine, switched to shoe designing in her third year, and now works for Jimmy Choo! I don’t vouch for the fact that that would be the case for everyone – all it represents is that where there is a will, there is a way.
Some of us, however, have started questioning our degree choices in first year. As a first year BSc Accounting and Finance student, I too questioned my degree choice during my first term. I did not find the modules as interesting as I was hoped to. As a result, I would often space out during classes and procrastinate a lot more than any student should. I could barely see myself getting out of bed to make it to lectures, let alone make a career out of what I was learning. I was not happy with my modules, due to which I began to get anxious about what I planned to do in future and pondered whether choosing Accounting and Finance was a mistake. I chose the degree in the hopes of learning things that I truly find interesting, but sadly, the first term of university completely threw me off track.
I could barely see myself getting out of bed to make it to lectures, let alone make a career out of what I was learning.
Fortunately, as the Spring Term came along, my confusion about my choice of degree slowly started to disappear.
I have recently found modules that actually piqued my interest. The new year brought new modules and some of them, namely ‘Financial Management’ and ‘Business Law’, really captured my interest. I can confidently say that I have attended all the lectures on the two modules so far (if only I could say the same about the rest) and I plan on continuing to do so. The introduction of these two modules really lifted my spirits because now I genuinely find myself interested in at least some aspect of my degree. There is something to keep me going and prevent me from procrastinating.
In addition to this, I slowly started to do more research and explore the various areas of Finance. I found myself reading up about topics that are beyond the course material. A few activities that I dabbled in are as follows:
- Reading the Financial Times – albeit an activity we were told to do by our lecturer, reading the newspaper online and watching various videos on their website about topics like currencies, stock markets, and even the impact of Brexit on the UK markets really got me hooked onto the subject.
- Free online courses – upon doing some research, I stumbled upon websites that offer free online courses on various topics in several fields – science, history, law, linguistics, e-commerce, and many others. I found this to be a rather informal but useful source to learn about topics that I haven’t yet ventured into and quite possibly discover future career options. Online courses can be accessed through websites such as Coursera and edX, to name a few.
- Playing games related to my course – Since I like playing a good game on my phone every now and then, I thought why not be productive with it? I experimented with games like PIGGYBANK® Fantasy Stock Exchange TM and RePresent (a game for characters who go to court without a lawyer), both of which were informative and fun!
I do not guarantee that these solutions will work for everyone. To be honest, I don’t even know how long they will work for me. Sure, they did temporarily solve my problem but I can’t be certain about the fact that I will never question my degree choice again.
Although I may be interested in certain areas of my degree, I am still uncertain about the exact career path I wish to choose a few years down the line. Will it be related to the subjects I like learning about now? Will it be related to subjects that I will learn about as my degree progresses? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I don’t intend to do pursue a profession in a drastically different field of study, like science. I know that whatever profession I pick will have something to do with either accounting or finance and that’s why I don’t intend to switch degrees anytime soon.
But hey, if you feel like you are stuck in a program that you are 100% sure is not right for you, do not hesitate to talk to a career counsellor about it and, if needed, transfer degrees. At the end of the day, all that matters is you and your happiness.