In Defence Of The Indecisive Uni Student
Don't be afraid of changing your mind.
“So, what do you reckon you’ll do for 75 years on this planet? You have until Monday to decide.”
That’s how the end of high school can feel. The seemingly impossible decision around your uni degree can come with the pressures of figuring out your passions, how those things could possibly be employable, and external pressures from family or friends. It can seem like we constantly need to have our minds made up.
But what if we don’t? What if we have no idea what degree or course we want to do? What if we do choose then completely change our mind?
Uni Student Indecision Anxiety
I was sitting in a 90 minute class being taught on how to click the record button on a handi cam when I realised that my Film and TV degree wasn’t exactly right for me. I was over half way through this degree. Speaking to my friends or teachers about possibly following my love of writing instead, I was met with severe backlash.
“You’ve just wasted SO much time! And money!”
“But does it really matter if you don’t like your course?”
“So, you’re happy to just stay at uni forever? Don’t you want to just get it over with?”
Every time I tried to think about the decision to change courses, I was feeling what I’ve coined Uni Student Indecision Anxiety. The panic that not having your mind made up means you’re a failure; twiddling your thumbs, wasting time and money. The fear you’ll NEVER decide what you want to be.
After chatting to every course coordinator I possibly could — and eventually being politely asked to stop requesting meetings so all staff could continue with their lives – along with grilling students from every possible degree, I realised that changing degrees would be the best idea. And I never looked back. It was the best decision I ever made.
What Do You Want To Get Out Of Uni?
University shouldn’t be a race. Choosing a course may feel like a set in stone decision, but it definitely doesn’t have to be. Switching courses, even multiple times, is a totally valid decision. At the end of the day, your pathway through university should be based on what you want to get out of it, not the expectations placed on you.
Change is never a bad thing, and neither is being indecisive.
If you’re having a gut feeling that your course isn’t the right one for you, it’s worth exploring those feelings. Looking into all the different pathways and chatting to people in those courses can help you gain a better understanding of what might be for you. Changing courses can be way more straightforward than you think, particularly if you’re doing a similar course that can transfer credits for you. Course coordinators can literally brainstorm the possibilities for you in one meeting.
That’s not to say that every change is possible. Going from my film degree to a law/medicine double degree wasn’t really an option (sorry Mum). Changing courses in the same school or stream of study can be helpful, but not the only potential option. Don’t be overwhelmed by the complicated sounding processes. There’s staff there to help you.
Change is never a bad thing, and neither is being indecisive. Being a uni student inherently comes with an element of not having your shit together. If you start off doing a baking undergrad and end up with a Masters in Poetry, all power to you.