I Switched My Major 1 Time & I'm Still Not Sure If I'm Happy

I May Have Only Switched My Major One Time But I'm Still Not Sure If I'm Happy

I'm just really lost about almost everything.

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I've written way too many articles about my major and I have some conflicting things. I also want to mention that I wrote an article titled "I Didn't Pick My Major, It Picked Me", and while this is still true and I still love my major, I'm just not sure or happy with everything. Let me explain, and start out by saying

I have mental illnesses.

I'm not going to go too much into detail about what, but the biggest one is depression. I get depressed about a lot of things, pretty much everything, so it's no surprise that college can be depressing for me as well. A big hit to my depression when it comes to college is that

I do not think I am smart enough to be here.

What do I mean by that, you may ask. In short, I feel really lost. But you're not here to read the short version. The long version is that I'm a junior in college, which means that I'm in my 3000 level and 4000 level courses. I feel incredibly behind my peers. For example, I'm currently in a class called Critical Theory where we study theorists such as Freud and Derrida. My peers and professor have these incredible discussions about ideology, interpolation, phenomenology, and ideas of post-truth. I can't contribute in the slightest because I have no idea what is going on. Obviously, I had classes leading up to this course but I still feel as though I went in blind with zero preparation. Is this the university's fault? Is it my fault? Regardless, I feel this guilt of it being my own fault. Most of my classes this semester are like this. There are references to Derrida in required reading and assignments that need me to use a theorist's eye to assess novels. I still feel so incredibly lost.

This may be the lamest reason for choosing to be an English major, but I picked it because I love books and I love to read. I'm currently reading "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides for a course and it says "English was what people who didn't know what to major in majored in" (pg 21) and I found myself thinking "Am I one of those people? Because I can't do math and science is boring and history is too dry? Am I fooling myself into thinking I am more than that?" Maybe I am, but at this point, I don't really have any other choice. I've been at this university since 2015 with graduation looking like it could be in the summer of 2021. Switching again isn't a viable option because I have spent too much time and money becoming an English major. Even if I could switch, there's nothing else I could even fathom doing.

Sometimes I wonder if I should drop out.

It's not because I'm not motivated; the fact that I'm still here pushing through these thoughts should prove that, but I can't help questioning it. I've questioned it a lot the past year, especially after losing so many people in my life this past year. I think of the people I graduated high school within the sticks, seeing them stuck in a small town with no job opportunities and living awfully, and I try to convince myself that I'm doing this to be better than being stuck and I remind myself how incredibly blessed I am for this opportunity. However, it's really difficult to stay most days.

This may be cheesy or possibly idiotic, but the thing that honestly keeps me going through this doubt is my mom. I watch her sacrifices, her struggles, and how she overcomes the impossible. I see her working her butt off for me and for her. I see her being the most selfless human on this crumbling planet and I keep pushing in college. I want to succeed and get a well-paying job so that I can make sure that she's taken care of since she's always made me her priority. Maybe it's dumb to force something I don't feel is working, but I don't care at this point. I'm too determined for her to give up.

Another thing is that I think about "What in the world am I going to do with this degree?" I'm an English major, what am I going to do? I have no idea, I have zero plan. I keep wondering what my options even are. I keep telling myself "Well, I like my classes so I must be on the right track." This was true, until this semester. My courses this semester are sucking that optimism from me but they're required so I don't really have a choice. I'm just... lost.

You may have guessed it, but I was selfish and wrote this article to vent. That's the purpose of Odyssey: It's a place to share your voice. I know some friends who are in the same mindset, so maybe this will help them feel less alone. Maybe there are others that I don't know/ aren't that close within the same boat. Whatever it may be, I'll keep pushing on.

I know I'm very fortunate to be in college getting a higher education, I know this. I try not to take that for granted, but I know I fail. I know that this is just my path in life, even if I don't understand it right now. I also know that I've worked harder for this degree than most of my peers, due to my mental health. I know that, when I graduate, it'll feel so sweet and so worth it. But for right now, I'm in this mental pit. I'm trying my absolute best through it all and still trying. I still write my papers, complete my homework, and go to class. I allow myself to skip my classes one time a month to keep myself mentally sane and my grades up, and so far it works for me. All will be well one day, I just have to tell myself to take it one day at a time.

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.
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College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University



Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college

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Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

https://picjumbo.com/strawberries-with-yellow-background/

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

https://kaboompics.com/photo/9447/planners-organizers-in-bed-women-s-home-office

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

https://stocksnap.io/photo/JUC6R3PPLE

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

https://pixabay.com/photos/scale-diet-fat-health-tape-weight-403585/

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

https://snap-photos.s3.amazonaws.com/img-thumbs/960w/4JS6X4XCW1.jpg

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

https://cdn.cliqueinc.com/cache/posts/216319/-2084176-1487185433.700x0c.jpg

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

https://unsplash.com/photos/sGSBkfK1hJU

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

https://jimsomerville.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/girl-looking-in-mirror.jpg?w=640

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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