The biggest mistake I made in college and how to avoid it

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As you may know, I am a college student. At this moment. In about 5 months I am not sure if I will be one. Currently I study physics at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. I am in my 4th semester and the Bachelor‘s degree contains 6 semesters, so technically I should have a degree in about 2 semesters. Well, I won‘t.

You are maybe asking: well, why not?

The reason is, that I am going to drop my major. Yeah, you read that right. Yes, in 4th semester. Yes, I am really going to do it. And yes, I thought about it a LOT. You can believe that.

That means, I am going to be someone, who just dropped a major, has no degree and I am not going to get the aid that I am now getting from the state – so I am going to be broke. Like real broke.

Yes, that really makes me anxious. I still decided to do this. In this article I am going to tell you why and how.

You know, as I started to think about what to study at uni, I never really had a clear picture. I had a lot of interests and I was good at almost any subject in school. Also, I had really good grades in english and physics, spanish and music. I was interested in physics, law, something social-oriented, management, finance, economy, art, graphic design, blogging…a lot of stuff. Initially I wanted to be a lawyer, but then the idea got somehow boring. Then I wanted to be a teacher, but I realised I couldn‘t deal with kids every day.

Unfortunately, before I could figure it all out, I had to apply for college. There was no numerus clausus for physics in Berlin, so I knew that I would get in. And because I wanted to study right away I applied and thought if all else fails I would just move to Berlin and study physics. After all, one of my interests was physics.

As you know, I actually landed here in Berlin. I was very motivated to study but somehow it didn‘t feel right. I had no real interest in the topics we learned, I kind of actually hated it, I hated to go to lectures and do the assignments. While I was getting ready at the morning, I would even think to myself: „it would be great if I just get hit by a car on the way to uni, so I can chill in a hospital for a while and didn‘t have to go to the lectures.“ How sick is that? How could I not realise how much I hated my major?

So my biggest mistake was to not drop my major earlier. I was so stubborn and I wanted to definitely get a degree, I wanted to show myself and the world that I could do it. Well, maybe I could have, but I actually didn‘t really wanted. And it is very hard to work on something if subconsciously you want to burn all of your notes and just leave.

I needed 3 semesters to realise it. I could see it as time wasted, but I actually learned a lot. Also, I learned, that it is never too late to change something you don‘t like. In this case, I decided to take on a new direction in my life and leave this major I absolutely hate.

In the title I promised you to tell you how to avoid this mistake. It is not going to be easy. It is going to be really hard. But you have to do what is right for you.

1 Do you have fun?

This is the most important. I don‘t talk about really loving to do boring homework or always enjoying the lectures. Are you actually interested in the stuff you learn and even though it is sometimes overwhelming or boring, are you still eager to find out more about the topic? Do you feel good about knowing more and more about the subject? Can you picture yourself using this knowledge in the future?

I wasn‘t. I hated everything I had to learn. Actually, I found it really useless and I would think that I wouldn‘t want to do this my whole life.

2 Are you staying for the wrong reasons?

I knew, I wouldn‘t want to leave because of my friends. Well, I was new in town and these were the only people I knew. It felt great to be a part of something and I had a lot of fun and that gave me the feeling that everything was okay. I just had to try harder at studying.

Ask yourself the question: if all of your friends would be gone, would you still study the same subject?

3 Be courageous

I know it is hard to decide to drop your major. I know you think you failed, that your parents would think you failed, that everybody would think you failed. You may think that you wasted time. Or you don‘t know what you should study instead and that it would be the best idea to just stay where you are. The moment you know you don‘t want to study what you are studying, there is nothing that should be holding you back. It is not important, what others think, nor if you already know what you are going to do instead. Just make the decision and look for other opportunities.

4 Financial issues

Maybe you know, that you are going to have some financial issues if you drop your major. I know this is a big problem and for some of you maybe the reasons you couldn‘t decide on leaving. It may sound too optimistic, but there is always a way. You may not see it now, but you are going to find a way. Maybe it is not going to be ideal or as good as the life you have now, but you are going to hate your life if you just continue with something you know you wouldn‘t want to do in the future. It is better to suffer now, than to suffer your whole life. And who knows? Maybe a brand new door is going to open, just because you dropped your major and it will lead to your true calling.

Please, don‘t ruin your life by staying in college if you hate your major. Do something else. Study something else. Go and try work and travel. Do something for charity. Just don‘t stay if you hate it.

I hope you learned something from my mistake and think about dropping your major if you really hate it.

What is your major? I am really curious! Tell me in the comments 🙂

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