Change my major?

>> Monday, April 8, 2013

Assalamalikum dear Aunties!I loveee you guys. I wish I can be precise and eloquent while typing this but I have manyy thoughts on my mind. Insha Allah will work though it. The first thing on my mind is, my education. I used to be particularly good at Computer Science in high school. That made me opt for the same in college, with the intention of somehow benefiting the Ummah and making my parents happy. (I prayed Salatul Istikaarah, alhamdulillah) However, it's not what I expected it to be. It's extremely dry, boring and awful. I exist in a zombie like state when attending classes. It's that horrible. I am sure I'll flunk all my classes. And the weird part is, I really don't care if I do. I am that miserable with this course. There is no way out of it too. My parents have invested alott of money so that I can study, and If I wanted to stop studying or switch, the fees for the entire duration of the course still goes to the college. Pleasee aunties, don't tell me to try studying! You haven't seen the textbooks! I don't have the heart to tell my parents that I want to drop out. It's not like they forced me to take the course or anything! What I'd really like to do is be an Islamic studies teacher. I just realized that a tad bit too late. Can you guys give me your perspective on how Allah is trying to make things better for me and how my Istikaarah is working? Thanks a million, guys. Will make Dua for you. JazakAllahu Khairan. Assalamalikum Wa Rahmatullah.

Salaam sis!

Picking a career choice can be tricky and sometimes you might find the career you had in mind is not the one for you after all, or the course you had chosen isn’t how you imagined it would be. But, don’t be discouraged – you still have options!

Education is something a lot of people can’t afford and something so many take for granted, and so I can understand why you feel reluctant to chuck in all that hard earned money your parents have put towards your schooling. However, here’s something important to remember: it’s not the school or the course your parents are investing in. It’s You!!!

Your growth, your knowledge, your development and your experiences - not just what you’re learning in the classroom! Your parents would want you to get the most out of your education and benefit from everything it has to offer. 

But, if you really don’t want to leave your course, it doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself down to just one career choice. You might not see a future in Computer Science anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch to other career paths. Consider the skills you’re learning (for example: communication skills, organisational skills etc.) and the knowledge you’re gaining from your course and try to determine whether these will be transferable to other careers. If your school has a careers advisor then talk to them and discuss what other options might be available to you. 

Exams are on their way but the course is ‘dry, boring and awful’ and you’re lacking in motivation to study. Let’s do something about that!

There are different types of learners. Some people learn best by hearing someone explain a concept to them while some learn better by reading about it themselves and others learn best by ‘doing’. Discover what kind of learner you are and try to come up with different techniques to accommodate that. For instance, if you’re an auditory learner, then maybe you could work with friends or create a study group where you can discuss the topics you need to study.  

Try to change your attitude towards the course - remind yourself of the reasons you liked Computer Science in High School and try to translate that to the content your learning at university. If your current studying techniques aren’t working for you then try to come up with others. Consider learning the material in a different way and you might find that it’s actually not all that bad.

Textbooks can be really unappealing. You know the ones I’m talking about - the super thick, hardback ones filled with hundreds of pages, teeny-tiny writing and not enough pictures!! To make it more appealing try to translate what you’re learning into a much friendlier, easier-to-digest and appealing format such a poster or condense the information to size A5 revision cards. By doing so the information will look a lot less daunting!

For more revision tips you can check out my blog post: ExamRevision – 8 Ways to Get It Right. 

A lot of schools have student counsellors for students who might be struggling or need some advice. Find out if this is available at yours and make an appointment to discuss your situation. It’s not uncommon for people to feel disappointed with the course they’ve selected and talking to someone trained and experienced could perhaps help you find the perfect solution! 

If you’re unhappy with the course and in a ‘zombie-like’ state for the most part then the chances of you failing your exams will be high and you might be forced to repeat the year. If that happens then hasn’t the money gone to waste anyway? Discuss the situation with your parents – explain to them you’re unhappy and struggling with the course but are worried about the fees. 

You’ve said yourself they haven’t forced you to pick Computer Science so I’m sure they’ll be happy with whatever career path you choose as long as it’s one you’re content with. Your desire to be an Islamic studies teacher is admirable, mashAllah! But, it’s not too late! Rather than resigning yourself to a course that makes you unhappy, wouldn’t it be better to redirect your efforts towards something you’re wholeheartedly eager to purse? 

Talk to your parents, your friends, your school and make plenty of dua. In the end only you can decide for yourself what choice to make. 

Whatever you decide – make the best of it and try to give it your all and Insha’Allah everything will work out just right!

Sending you a warm cyber-hug 

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