Why it’s ok to change degrees a year in

There must be more to this provincial life

After my January exams, I got a serious reality check.

I took procrastination to a whole new level during exam season, even resorting to madness like washing up and tidying my room to avoid studying for my law degree. I wish I was able to use the excuse that I was struggling with the subject – that’s an easily fixable problem. It took a conversation after my disappointing results to realise the fact that it’s not that I ‘can’t’ do the course, but that somewhere deep inside me, rather, I had decided that I ‘won’t’ do it.  It’s an intimidating conclusion to come to, as it turns every aspect of life upside down.

Why you shouldn’t be ashamed

So, I was £9,000 in debt trapped on a one-way path to apathy. My first thought was of all the financial and emotional support my parents offered me, only for me to turn around say I was unhappy. Then, there was the awkwardness of me doing the obligatory UCAS confirmation on results day for hundreds of people to see. I had worked so hard over the years to prove I was ‘intelligent’ and capable of being a success despite the odds stacked against me – I would surely be a failure if I dropped out. However, what I have realised through this experience is three things.

  1. The people in your life who value and care about you will be proud of you and support you in whatever you do.
  2. There’s no way you can know exactly where you want your life to go when you’re in the summer of Year 12. Sometimes it takes doing something to realise it isn’t what you wanted.
  3. If some sweaty kid who annoyed you in Year 8 doesn’t approve of your life decisions, the sun will still rise tomorrow. The only person who matters in this situation is you and what you think of yourself.

Passion and purpose

I chose to do a law degree because I wanted a ‘good’ career.  I had always loved English, the media, Philosophy, but it was drummed into me that a ‘Micky Mouse’ course would get you nowhere in life. But what even is this ‘somewhere’ that everyone tells you that you should aim for? A mortgage in 20 years time? A 9-5 office job? A degree is a commitment, it becomes the centre of your life for at least three years.

If you’re going to devote your life to something, it has to be what makes you happy and engaged. You need to enjoy the process of University, and life in general –  not just grit your teeth and bear years and years of boredom because you will one day maybe get financial stability. If you’re willing to put your heart and soul into it, you can live for your passion whilst using that passion as a source to live.

Happiness is the best kind of success out there.