I’ve been conflicted the past couple days about whether I’m making the right choice about withdrawing from my computer science program and taking 2 terms off of university to work, save money, and build on my creative portfolio.
Everyone I’ve talked to has made it clear that they think my decision is a bad one, and that I should just continue with my program, and so the choice, that had once been very clear to me, started to waver. I started to immediately question my decision and question myself as a person. Should I just tough it out and continue studying courses that I find it hard to focus in? Should I just stick with it and see if it gets better in 4 years? What if it doesn’t? What if this program isn’t right for me again? I need the degree, or so everyone tells me, but what if I’m stuck doing a job later that I don’t really have the passion for? At least I’ll be making lots of money… right?
All of these thoughts were colliding in my head and I couldn’t think straight anymore. Not to mention everyone around me was telling me different things like, “you should do what you enjoy,” or “you should continue in computer science so you can get a good job and not have to worry about money,” or “just stay in your program. You just need to get your degree and you’re good.”
But is it really all about the degree only? I’ve always viewed university as a place to genuinely learn skills and techniques that you will later be able to apply to whatever career you choose. To me, university isn’t just a place where you force yourself to study a bunch of courses you hate, just so that you can get a paper saying you finished this program. Personally, I am always looking to improve and learn new things, but I feel that the only way I can become the best person I can possibly be, is through a little bit of guidance and criticism, and that’s where university comes in. I want to build on skills that I already have, and learn more about the things that interest me; not just drilling facts into my head for the sake of tests, and forgetting it all later.
I’ve always been a person who finds it hard to focus on something that I find uninteresting to me, and if the passion isn’t there, I can’t seem to find the motivation to do it. However, when it comes to the things I love and enjoy, such as graphic design, photography, video editing, and writing, I can spend hours and hours doing it, and I won’t even realize how much time has passed. When I’m learning about things I love, it’s easy for me to put in the hours required to learn it. In fact, sometimes I can’t even control myself.
It’s things like those that really make me feel that I should be pursuing a career that has something to do with my passions.
The program I’m in now does not give me a lot of time to improve my graphic design skills or photography, and so I became afraid that if I stayed in this program, the creative ability that I had worked so hard all my life to acquire, would slowly fade away and be sucked dry by the continuous cramming and studying for subjects, like Chemistry, in which I could never quite understand. I’m already starting to feel like I’m becoming more and more average in my photography and graphic design skills; skills that I had once been greatly complimented on when I was younger. I feel like I need to take a break, to really find myself again, and rebuild the confidence I had in my creative abilities.
So after a lot of time to myself, and thinking about all my past mistakes about make decisions based on the opinions of others and their expectations, I realized that my initial decision, no matter what other people thought, was my decision, and it was the right one. It seemed right before, and now it just seems even more right. Don’t let your decision be swayed by the biased and closed-minded opinions of others, and just stick with it. Remember that this is your life, and you decide what you want to do with it.
Don’t end up being that person with so much regret in their life because they chose the path that someone else laid out for them. Make your own path.