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University uncertainty

I’m no stranger to the uncertainty that many (if not most) students face in university. I spent my fair share of time in my early undergrad years questioning whether my chosen program was the right program for me.

I read the university calendar countless times wondering if my dream program was hiding somewhere within its pages.

My post-secondary doubt kicked in after my first year. I had begun classes at Memorial University wanting to be an English major. I knew that when I graduated I would want to become that person that brings you the national news every day, and so at first, it made sense to me to pursue an English degree.

An elective in my second term introduced me to a subject that was brand new to me. I knew virtually nothing about this unfamiliar field, yet was fascinated by it. I was torn. Should I continue with the original education plan, or leap at the opportunity to further explore this elective that had so suddenly thrown me off course?

In the end, it was the latter. Now in the final year of my undergraduate degree and only one term shy of graduating with a bachelor of arts in linguistics, I am thoroughly pleased that I decided to go down the route that I did.

My post-university goal has not changed, but my path for getting there has. Scouring through the university’s program offerings revealed a diploma program in professional writing that was perfectly suited to a student such as me. I was able to gain access to the writing training that I needed while pursuing my linguistics degree – a win-win situation.

Four years after my entrance into university, and now my brother, Keith, has begun to study at Memorial as a first-year arts student. Barely a month into his first term, and already he admits that he’s beginning to question whether the program that he has signed up for is the right one for him. He’s experiencing the same worry that countless other students have been faced with before him: that he may regret pursuing the program that he has decided to follow.

“I don’t want to stick with the first program that I approach only to find out too far into the game that it isn’t what I want to do,” he told me. This anxiety is only all too familiar.

Keith said there was such an overwhelming amount of new subjects to study at university, that it was a likely factor in bringing on his uncertainty. Now given those options, he wants to be able to gain exposure to a wide range of subjects that interest him before settling into a program. To Keith, becoming a professional student sounds ideal at this point in time (despite what the price tag for that chosen life might be). But it is early in my brother’s university studies, and the course exploration that he wants to do will surely land him in a program that he is passionate about.

And so, to the students who are feeling stressed about making decisions on their university studies (on top of the stress from all the assignments, essays and midterms that are piling up), worry not. We all feel it at some point, and with a bit of dabbling in a variety of courses, you will find the education route that is right for you.

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