Finding My Academic Path
For me, I felt unhappy with where I was headed with my degree and was stressed about diving into “general studies” with no real direction. I believe I’ve found my path in second year, but to all those worrying about your academic futures or careers, my experiences exploring a couple different options in general studies concluded with finding an area of study I truly love.
I came to UVic to study business. I originally had ambition to be an investment banker. I’d get my business degree, look into getting my CFA or MBA, and it would be smooth sailing from there. Boy oh boy, was I ever wrong …
In my first semester of first year I was set up to do all the pre-req business “stuff” thinking it would be an enjoyable experience. Math was my favourite subject in high school, and I had an interest in how world markets functioned. Everything seemed to line up, and I was genuinely stoked about learning.
Long story short, it came to the end of the semester and I could not bear sitting through another math/econ/number-related course! The course I would have guessed to be the most pleasurable proved otherwise.
In fact, the course I loved the most was a course I dreaded signing up for, and was disinterested completely by the initial material. That course happened to be English 147. This course, which I would have never otherwise taken, sparked a new interest for me I never thought I had, a new direction, and new goal sets.
Ever since my second semester in first year, I have been pursuing a major in English, and a minor in professional writing. I now take pleasure in reading, and writing, and plan to find a career that allows me to do this every day. I can not say enough positives things about being in the English programme at UVic (potential blog post of its own?). More importantly, and the purpose of this post, is that the one-time stress of finding something I loved has been alleviated, and in a rather unexpected manner.
There was a silver, rather gold, lining in taking a course that I otherwise would have never taken. This obviously goes both ways with courses that do seem to spike interest, but disappoint. But for me, there has been high value in persevering through these courses. As my Dad always told me, “Whether you love or hate the course, there is always something to be learned,” and this has proven to be extremely constructive, and valuable.
So I will leave you with this: never in a million years would I have guessed I’d be studying English, and yet here I am doing exactly that. The sometimes overwhelming stress of landing on a major in your first year, or second, or whatever year, is a misconception in my opinion, and over hyped. This may be easier said than done, I know, but it is so true.
I have learned that academic careers may take some turns, and that is okay. This is something I wish I heard early on, or accepted from the get-go. Pursue what interests you, and you may be surprised at where you end up. I may be registered, and planning on attaining an English degree at this moment, but I am fully aware that this path keep winding and put me on another path.