Change Majors?

>> Monday, January 2, 2012




Before I proceed, I just would like to inform that this is a long post.
I’ve been feeling kind of lost and sort of a little bit depressed lately (all this negatives thoughts seems to overwhelm me!). I’ve just ended my first semester of my first year in university and it has not gone too well. I have a feeling that I under perform my exams and I admit that I did not study well enough. Ever since I started school, my concentration in my studies has extremely dropped. Let me lay out 2 major reasons as to why I think this is happening:
1) As my days in school goes by, this one question that keeps popping out is whether the course that I’m currently doing is what I wanted to do in my job field in future. When I was younger, I only thought that I’m only good at this one subject and not others. Thus throughout college and again in uni, I stick to the subject which I thought I do best well in. But now, I really do not know! I really feel lost about myself. This got me to think of whether I should still continue in this course (but there’s a possibility that I may retain although results are not out yet), change to another major (but I don’t what else I can do and i think my marks are not high enough to go to another course!) or even withdraw from school (but I feel it’s kind of a waste to drop out and people keep telling me that it will gives you a better life - better job, higher pay, etc, but is getting a degree all about a better job and higher pay?!!) I no longer know what are my intentions for pursuing a degree!                                                
2) I started realizing ever since I’m in uni, I’ve been skipping my prayers, and thus on Iman low. I’ve been trying to fight against my desires but I guess I’m just not strong enough. Also, you see, I’m not really that happy being a uni student. The reason being is I did not go after in seeking Islamic knowledge as high as how I’ve been seeking knowledge for “dunya courses” (hope you get what I mean). Thus I begin to have this thoughts that why am I studying hard to get dunya knowledge but I’m not improving my Islamic knowledge?! But Alhamdullilah, I’ve just started enrolling myself into an Islamic class to learn more. Then again, my morale is still low.
Thank you for hearing me out, Little Auntie
A Lost Wanderer


Dearest A Lost Wanderer,

awwww, I'm sorry to hear that you've been down, lately. Sometimes, the transition between college and high school isn't as smooth as we expect. It's a different place, with different people, different expectations and rules....You've been used to a system for a long time and suddenly you find yourself in a totally different 'world". It's no surprise then that your grades might not have been as good as they could be...and you admit that you didn't study as well as you should have. 

But alhamdillah, you've done the right thing by analyzing your situation and your feelings.

  Let's try to work on it, together :)

For numero 1 problem:

 I understand that you've kinda always limited yourself to one subject and now you're wondering if you're even in the right major. At the same time, you're not even sure that you have the option to change majors or not....Well, first things first. 

A. Find out what the regulations are at your university/ college to change majors. There's no reason to 'keep wondering if you should change majors' if you're not even allowed to, right. So, go through your university's catalog and by-laws and see what kinds of things are needed in order to change majors. Read also about the possibilities of getting  'a minor'/ 'double major'/ etc .Also, it's very important that you schedule an appointment with your academic advisor and discuss the possibilities of changing majors- seeing what his/her opinion and advice is.  

B. Of course, your academic advisor is probably going to be all "Our major is the BEST. GO US!" So, the next thing you should do is stop by and check your career service center or guidance counselor at your university and see if they can help you decide if you are in the right major. If you do not have such a center in your university (for whatever reason), try taking some online personality tests.

I haven't used these, myself, but I did a quick search and came up with these links:


Analyze those results. Consider the working hours, pay, etc. that are most likely to be the result of working a certain career. Check the current job market. (If you do want to "work" and not stay at home). Think about your long term goals...What is is that you want to be doing 10 years from now? What do you NOT want to be doing? Try to even talk to people who are working at your current chosen career. Like if you know any people who have graduated from the degree that you are currently studying-- what do they think? 

Think about those things and also:

What can be a hobby? What do you need teachers to actually teach you and what can you learn on your own? What would you like to take a course about in your free time and what do you actually want to study and be tested on?

C. Once you've established the list of possible 'careers'/ other majors that might interest you, try seeing the possibility of attending a class or two of the other majors. See how it goes. Get in touch with students who are in the other classes and ask them about their opinions. Look at their textbooks, tuition, etc. 

D. If you find yourself still confused, try to make sure that you finish university requirements ...and take this semester as an opportunity to decide what it is that you want to do. For example, my older sis changed her major twice, but alhamdilllah, because she had worked on university requirements, she ended up graduating only a semester late. (University requirements are the things that ALL students, regardless of their degree, have to finish.) 

For your second problem:

2. Sis, you're stuck in a small cycle. You're wondering why you're caring so much about the dunya and not the deen- you're upset that you didn't pursue Islamic studies- yet, somehow you find yourself delaying and skipping your prayers.

Hunny, a great scholar once said: "The knowledgeable one remains ignorant about what he knows about until he acts upon it." 

Your salah is your connection with Allah subhanoo Wa' TAla. Think about it. There is no excuse for skipping a prayer. Did you know that there is no kafarah (no way to expiate) a skipped prayer that is deliberately missed? You can never make it up again. See here.

I don't usually take the hard approach, but I have to be straight about this. A missed prayer is not acceptable. It means that you are saying something is more important to you than Allah....

Instead, if you're feeling an imaan low, it's even more important to pray....Ask a friend to be a prayer buddy and to help encourage you. Listen to some lectures on salah. Be honest with your parents, too, and tell them you need some help praying on time. 

As for 'feeling bad that you didn't pursue Islamic studies, well, sweetie, you've done the right thing now by joining an Islamic class. You can also read at least 5-10 pages of Quran daily, try to listen to one lecture a week, read an Islamic book once a week, learn a new hadith, etc. You CAN also consider enrolling in an Islamic university online , or think about taking courses once you are done with your degree. 

And remember, that your sincere intentions can turn every day actions into worship to be rewarded for in the Hereafter. When you come to eat, say Bismillah. Thank Allah for the food He has given you. When you wake up, say the daily adkhar. If we sleep early for example so that we can wake up to pray the dawn prayer (fajr), our sleep would be considered worship. The whole time we’re sleeping, we are actually worshipping Him and ‘gaining good deeds’. Once you start implementing these small actions, you'll find that you are making your dunya as a means for your aakhirah. We don't have to totally renounce the dunya, but we should remember that it's a temporary place meant to be 

Please also read these two posts; 

InshaAllah the other sisters can also add their input <3
 


8 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  January 2, 2012 at 5:23 PM  

Assalamu Alaykum sister, May Allah(s.w.t) make things easy on you and all of us inshAllah.Ameen. I myself started off University thinking that I wanted to become a doctor. Becoming A doctor was my dream ever since I was little. But as I approached towards the end of my undergrad. years I felt the path to becoming doctor become hard and hard despite me praying To Allah(s.w.t) to make it easy for me. Through the Mercy of Allah(s.w.t) then I asked him that O Allah guide me towards a career that is best for me and the more I made that dua the more I realized that being a Doctor is not for me. My heart become inclined to become a teacher Alhamdullah. In addition, I also made dua to Allah (s.w.t) to assist me to learning the deen and subhanallah I felt that the more I made that dua the more Allah (s.w.t) open the doors for me and I found different programs online to study the Deen. I also wanted to memorize the Quran and made dua for it. Not only did I find islamic courses but also online Quran Memorization course Alhamdullah.Since, I changed my mind about being a doctor, I took the year off after my undergrad. during this time I found out about the online Quran Memorization course and although it was very competitive program Alhamdullah I was able to get in to it. With in one Month and 1/2 Alhamdullah I memorized Surah Al Baqarah and Surah Al aliImran and I am now in Surah Nisa. I never thought that I would be able to memorize 5 juz in less than 2 months. Subhanallah It is a nimah(blessing from Allah(s.w.t). During this time of memorzing the Quran, my Tajweed was also improved Alhamdullah.So sister make dua to Allah (s.w.t) and what you get will be more than you ask for. Now my dream is not just to become a teacher in the field of my undergrad. but Also a Quran Teacher Inshallah. Subhanllah Never in my dream did I think that I would want to become anything but doctor but Allah(s.w.t) is the one that changes heart and if you ask him to guide you towards a career that will bring you close to him then He (s.w.t) will do it. So dont loose hope in Allah(s.w.t) and restrict yourself to one career but rather make dua to Allah(s.w.t) that he guides you to the best career for you that will bring you close to him.

Here are the online website that I am currently taking classes at:
http://therahmahfoundation.org/------Classes are free and offered by Muslim female scholars
http://seekersguidance.org/---just enrolled in the courses for the winter semester and they are free for the first time.
http://www.meadowsofalmustafa.com/---free classes
http://moderationinstitute.com/---Quran memorization but it has tuition.
Inshallah, All these website help.

sippingchai January 3, 2012 at 4:42 AM  

Great advice as always, Masha'Allah. I also have a very similar story to that of "Anonymous". I started off thinking I wanted to be a lawyer and due to family pressure...ended up not doing very well in my bachelor's program.

The one thing that I strongly suggest you do before making any decisions is to pray Salatul Istikhara throughout with the sincere intention that you are relying on Allah (swt) to guide you towards what is best for you and I promise (IA) Allah (swt) will make that path easier for you. Sometimes we need to stop and remember that we are not self-sufficient and we do need Allah (swt) to help us achieve what is good for us.

After I prayed Salatul Istikhara, I did a Master's degree in a field that I absolutely love and I graduated with a prefect g.p.a! Alhamdulillah. It was only with the help of Allah (swt) that I was able to do that and I firmly believe it was b/c I asked for that help! Alhamdulillah!

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seekingpatience,  January 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM  

SubhanAllah, I have had this same feeling. I started university last year as Chemistry. I had always stuck to science major and that was what I was good at too. However towards my spring semester last year, I felt that Chemistry wasn't for me. Every time I would do homework, it felt like work and I realized that I would not be really great at Chemistry because I just wasn't interested in it. So I prayed to AllahSWT to help me in a major that I would enjoy and that would be khair for me in this world and for the hereafter. Alhamdulilah, everything worked out fine.
Bottom line: there are so many opportunities out there and if you find something you enjoy doing, stick to it even if it may not sound "stable" for the future, because you will be so good at it, it will be stable for you, inshAllah.

Anonymous,  January 4, 2012 at 7:41 AM  

assalam o alykom
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methods and tutors. Alhamdu lillah thousands of muslims have benefited
from this and have learn to read quran and learn quran with tajweed.
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their own schedule and pace. Parents can now watch their children
learning quran in front of their eyes. Alhamdulliah, our new semester
starting and is now offering many more courses with full segregation.
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using our latest virtual classroom technology giving you that real
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basic quran reading lessons

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quran memorization & translation classes

arabic & urdu learning classes

how to pray salaah

advance tajweed courses

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excellent program that enable kids, adults & new muslims to learn
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Anonymous,  January 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM  

Asalaamu Alakyum

Masha Allah everyone has given such good advice.

I just want to add that, you should really try and find a Major through which you can do something beneficial for the Muslim Ummah. It would be a complete waste of time and money if you choose a Major that would not lead you anywhere.
Choose something you know the Muslim Ummah needs. That way, you can make your intention that you are studying *Insert Major name here* so that you can become a *INsert future career here* so that you can benefit other Muslims and make the world a better place. INsha Allah you will be greatly rewarded that way.

It's all about intention at the end of the day.
Purify your intentions as often as possible so that you can maximize reward.

May Allah make all your future decisions easy. Ameen

A Lost Wanderer,  January 9, 2012 at 4:20 AM  

Assalamu'alaikum Sisters.

Masha Allah. Thank you so so much for the lovely advices! Alhamdulilah, I'm feeling better than I was months ago. I'm feeling more at peace and still striving to get closer to HIM.

My new semester just started this week and what a better way to start by reading all your advices.

Thank you to Dear Little Auntie for helping me out & giving me a wake up call. Alhamdulilah, I'm no longer feeling lost. Hopefully I will not have that feeling in the future. Insya Allah.

I'm still taking the same Major but the difference is I've renewed my intention of pursuing that major. I'm studying Bio sciences because I wanted to bring myself closer to ALLAH as I'm always mesmerized by HIS creations. SubhanAllah.
This was the reason why I pursued science during college, but the intention seems to have lost along the way!

Insya Allah, like one Sister commented above, I would love to put the knowledge to good use for the community and Muslims.

Keep me in your prayers' sisters.

May Allah bless each and everyone of you and make us a better Muslimah. Amin.

Jazakum Allah khairan sisters. *hugs*

forthemuslimyouth February 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM  

Assalaamu alakum,

Sister I just wanted to tell you that we're on the same page. I am a new University student, just transferred from a two year community college and the transition was not a smooth one especially the first three weeks of school. I actually sort of fell into depression....my dilemma wasn't about my major---it was about the whole transitioning process. I was so depressed I constantly cried for weeks! My family was concerned, I lost hope, my imaan dropped so low I wondered if I had Allah in my heart anymore. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that you're not alone. What you're suffering from is stress! Stress causes one to feel low, distressed and energy less. One thing that helped was starting again---little by little start praying your salah on time. Listen to Qur'an, you will probably lose a lot of tears, but thats the point. Finally, start talking to the sisters---just a salaam to a sister you don't know can lead to an amazing sisterhood relationship. Stay close with your family, do not hold this in---for it may lead to clinical depression which is a very serious mental illness, so beware! Thats all I wanted to say, don't feel lonely or feel like you're the only one experiencing this---you are not alone and will never be. Keep Allaah close to your heart and finally we're here for you and hope the best!
love,
--yoursisterinIslam :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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