I hate my degree.

Photo 10At some point, in some way, in some secret crevice of the library or during the darkest of times during finals—every student can admit to uttering these 4 words: “I hate my degree.”

You may not say it aloud, you may not scream it at the top of your lungs but you might just have a soft whisper in your head or the words sketched out all across your lecture notes. Whatever form you’ve stated it, admit it cause you’ve said it.

I personally don’t actually hate my degree; I find it quite enjoyable! I’m learning things I’ve never thought about and coming across new concepts on the daily. Yes, there are many times where I curse at my professors and I contemplate dropping and trying my hand at lottery tickets, but throughout it all, the sheer fact that I’m sticking through with it will make the magic paper at the end of my degree all the more worth it! Yahoo!

Currently, I am in the 4th year of Microbiology. I didn’t start here, though. It wasn’t always easy. I started in sciences at UBC, switched to sociology at Langara College and then to biology at UVic to finally settle into microbiology. Yes, it’s been a long road. Even to this day, I find myself thinking about switching out of my degree all the time because I’ve procrastinated and haven’t put enough time into studying for exams or simply because I just don’t understand the materials.

Never fear, though, there are tons of ways to keep yourself focused when you’ve gone all in on your degree only to lose it all and find yourself turning in to try your hand at something else.

So, you’re freaking out and you don’t think it’s the right degree for you… What do you do?

Step 1. Lose your mind, go crazy and snap all your pencils. No… I’m kidding. Your first step in any of these circumstances is to calm down, breathe and take a step back. Ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. Is it because you’re buried under exams and assignments that you don’t understand or do you genuinely feel that you may be in the wrong area of study?

Photo 7Step 2. Drown your sorrows in cake. I’m kidding.. don’t do that (actually, it depends on what kind of cake)! The freshman 15 is real and it’ll get you, but that story is for another blog post. If at this point you find yourself actually contemplating a new degree, it’s super a-okay! Most students don’t know that they never “waste a year.” In fact, if you transfer or swap your degree, you can use the credits that you’ve already earned as electives or pre-requisites to your new degree of choice. I always recommend going to talk to academic advisors. They have the golden book on everything and help make transitions seamless and fluid. If you feel you’re in the wrong area of study, I encourage you to go chat with an advisor to make heads or tails of what the heck you’re actually doing!

Step 3. Wait, hold on! I think you’ve had too make cake. Okay, so now that you’re so full of sugar and love, purely excited to jump out of your degree into something else you find enjoyable, you need to be super careful! Don’t just drop it like it’s hot and disregard your current exams. You’re a student, the GPA is still real and you have to earn your keep. Hang in there for a little while longer, get through it and don’t forgot to hang onto all your books and notes – you never know if you’ll hop on back to your original degree (as in my case). Once you’ve started your new degree, make sure to hang onto all your old study habits and never give up. You can do it. As Austin Powers would say, “groovy, baby, yeah.”

I hate my degree. You don’t really… you just haven’t found the right one.

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