Don't like my major anymore- what to do?


#1

I just started my third year in community college yesterday, and over this past summer I’ve come to the realization that I don’t like my major anymore (it’s kinesiology, BTW). I guess you can say that I did a lot of soul searching, and I feel that I went into it for all the wrong reasons. I went into it at the time because my career goal was to become a physical therapist for a professional sports team. Basically, I was just being selfish and wanted to prove to other people how smart I was by majoring in something hard. I also just wanted to be able to have a “cool” job that most people only dream of having. For me, it was all about the status.
After really thinking about it and praying about it, I feel so convicted over my motivation for going into my major. And to be honest, I’ve lost interest in almost all sports except for baseball (that’s my one undying love haha). I feel like God’s really changing my heart and desires to follow him more closely. And for too long, I feel like I let sports become a false god, breaking the first of the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ first commandment. And I was so bent on proving myself to people, when I should’ve been seeking God’s approval first.
I’m maybe 40% into my kinesiology degree, and I think I have either only one or two more semesters until I get my Associate’s degree. I’m so frustrated that I’m this far into my college career, and I now don’t want to do it anymore. It took me a long time just to figure out that I wanted kinesiology. Now I want nothing to do with it. I have a full load of classes this semester, and my heart’s not in it when it’s barely even started. And these classes are hard too!
I’ve hinted to my mom that I’m not really into my degree right now, and am afraid to tell my parents that I may switch majors AGAIN. I don’t want to look so wishy washy. And I feel so crummy for this mess I’m in.
So what should I do? :confused:


#2

I think you should take a semester off and go to work. Figure out what you want to do with your life first, and then go back to school. If you withdraw now, you would probably be able to get most of your money back. If you live with your parents and they are supporting you, and paying for college, you owe them your honesty.


#3

From one student to another, it is normal to be heading into one’s third year and be sick of it. Trust me, the tales I could tell. That said, it just gets to a point, where you just have to pull yourself together and finish it.

Sure you will be fed up and you are probably wanting to use your books as kindling for a nice bonfire. The idea of burning one’s books sounds so wonderful but seriously, I would finish it and then decide what are you going to do next. College is expensive and eventually the money runs out.

If the courses are going to be difficult, perhaps it might be better to take a slightly reduced course load and take an extra semester to complete your degree.

Furthermore if you are having trouble with your courses on a spiritual level or emotional level, perhaps it might be a good idea to seek some spiritual direction or some counselling to help you finish this last leg of your degree. Sometimes, you just need to finish what you started because if you keep stopping, you will end up with a bunch of uncompleted degrees which isn’t a good thing to have on your resume.


#4

Actually, I’m paying my own way. I had my first two years at community college paid for from a scholarship I earned through good HS grades, but now it’s been used up so I have to pay for tuition and books on my own. My parents haven’t paid a dime for my college education.


#5

You could finish your degree and work for a Catholic Hospital, rehab center, or old folks home.

Doesn’t have to be a sports team…

God Bless and may The Lord help you find your path and calling.


#6

That’s a good point–you might be able to leverage the time and money you’ve already invested by continuing in your program despite your hatred for the work.

I’ve been going to school for a long time, and I have experienced a similar kind of burnout. It is very important to maintain your social connections, to have a good time, in addition to doing the work your classes require.

Changing majors in your third year is not the end of the world. Some schools don’t even ask you to declare a major until the beginning of your third year, after your lower division coursework is finished, because they expect that your interests will change as you study new things and spend more time immersed in academic culture.

I would make an appointment to talk to one of the academic counselors at your school and discuss your options–many of your classes may count towards other majors.

Hang in there.


#7

If you are working on an AA degree, I would suggest finishing it up and working in the field. Maybe there is some way you could “shadow” someone for a day who is working in this field so you can see the potential for good and for helping people.

Then you can consider what you would really like to study or do, and go for a Bachelor’s degree in that field.

My family have had great experiences with PT. Both my mother and my daughter broke their arms at different times, and they each went thru PT without which I think they would each have had very limited use of the arms they broke. PT is truly beneficial for so many people!


#8

This is a good possibility: Look at a two year physical therapy assistant program or occupational therapy assistant program, as well as a B.A. or M.A. program in both. You could make good use out of the kinesiology and still do other things. O.T. (Occupational Therapy) covers more than Sports Med and Rehab; it also covers learning issues, hand therapy, pediatrics, autism, psychology, neurology, geriatrics, and mental health, to name a few.

Go do some “informational interviewing” where you look at a profession and go ask someone(s) in that profession for an interview and an observation so you learn more about it from someone who does it.

Also, have you ever taken any career exploration workshops where you do a skills and interest inventory test to find out the kinds of fields that call out to you? Also the U.S.Career Outlook website has a nice website that shows careers, skills needed, job outlook for the next ten to twenty years,

Or volunteer for six months to a year or two with Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corp, Americorp and go where you are needed and see what comes up for you. Going to college is no longer a two to four year formula with perfect outcome. Many people go later, stop in the middle and come back later, or they go to the workforce while taking four to eight units a semester for a longer time, chipping away at a degree.

Sportsmedicine can be a holy pursuit.

Try not to be so self-critical but try to understand yourself more. You seem to be an interesting young person. God may have several plans and roads for you. Be open to different roads utilizing the same path, or different paths altogether.

Be prepared to be financially responsible and impress your parents with your integrity and deep feelings as you find your way. Some parents remember the struggle; others were lucky and found their path immediately; some never had a choice. Be respectful but show gratitude that you are able to choose.

It really is a big world out there and many of us have had multiple careers and jobs that seemed confusing at first but finally led to our true vocation.


#9

Well if you are paying your own way, you can do as you like. But I still think you might want to discuss it with them.


#10

If you are working on an associates, finish it. That is just a two year degree, and it will help you get your foot in the door someplace. After you get some work experience under your belt, you can go get a bachelors in something else. The whole point of the degree is to get your foot in the door.

I had a bachelors in marketing, and when I came out of college, I hated it. I did it because I was told it had the highest potential for earnings… well, it also has one of the lowest potentials too if you consider you might be paid all commissions.

I went back to school, and studied IT and now have a great job in the IT field for a hospital. I eventually earned my MBA too.

The last thing I would do though is GIVE UP. You will regret that for the rest of your life. Possibly you did enter into this degree for selfish reasons, but there are ways that you can turn this around to be about others. Anything in healthcare is about placing others first, so I don’t think that would be compromising the 1st commandment, unless you let it.

Good luck, and God bless!

John


#11

Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions and encouragement! I’m feeling a little better about it now. I’m definitely planning on getting my AA after this semester. It’s just what I plan to do afterwards that has yet to be determined.
When I stop to think about it, my degree could be used in many different ways, like you all pointed out. I guess I need to remind myself how versatile my degree could be. Heck, I could even do med school if I wanted! Guess I just have to go back to the drawing board and pray about it some more.


#12

Hang in there. :slight_smile:


#13

If you are still in the add/drop period that most colleges have (if not all) for a week, I’d suggest dropping your classes and getting your money back. I’ve been in your shoes, many times. I’ve had depression since I was 16 years old and had very little interest in my classes. I had no idea what I wanted to do long-term but I was hellbent on taking class after class even though I’d fail because of non-attendance. I realize now, that it wasn’t my fault - it was the disease. You may have similar problem, or you may not. The best thing, IMHO, for you to do is to drop your classes and re-evaluate what you want to do. Get a part-time job if you’re unemployed and do some serious soul searching. You may consider talking to a licensed counselor or your academic advisor about your options. I nearly lost my financial aid because I had WAY too many classes that I do not need for my major. I was only able to get it back because I promised that I would never change my major again and I am absolutely certain that this is the major for me. Until you are sure you are ready to go for your studies with all that you have, don’t register for classes. Seriously, you don’t want to be where I’ve been. It’s a major headache (literally and figuratively). If you are unfortunately not able to get a refund, you might consider withdrawing but that will leave you with “W” grades on your transcript.

Some serious questions to ask yourself:

[LIST]
*]What was my favorite subject in high school?
*]If I majored in (blank), could I see myself doing it long-term?
*]Is my objective to get a degree because my parents want me to or because I am very interested in the subject matter?
[/LIST]

Hope this helps!


#14

Hello! I’m also a student and I understand your struggles as a student. I got my 3-year degree in mathematics and am doing one more year to upgrade to the 4th year but have to take really hard courses that seem over my head! But it’s not like I don’t like it, I really enjoy it. The problem is that there aren’t many (or any) jobs out there for math majors.

I would finish off my associate’s degree because it could help you do other things. Maybe you would like to do missionary work with that (though probably not in the area of practicing what you know, at least you have credentials - even teaching English somewhere out there might ask for a degree, and they might accept a kinesiology degree!), at least you’ll have qualifications that could somewhat help you. Or you could work with that degree while earning money to try to figure out what you want. If your parents are kind enough to let you live with them still while you work; that money you earn could be put towards your next degree.

At the same time, you are 40% into your kinesiology degree which might not be too far in. Is it too late to change majors if you really wanted to? Or could you just count the kinesiology courses as electives and take the required courses for the other major you want so you can still finish on time? At my university, we have 120 credit hours (30 credit hours per year, so it’s a 4 year degree). 40% of that degree translates to 60 credit hours. Many of the degrees require 50% of the credit hours to be in the major subject. So for example, somebody who already did 40% kinesiology could potentially switch majors (but the timing might get skewed due to pre-requisites, but if that is not a problem, it could work with a lot of dedication). If this is the case for you, you could major in something else and minor in kinesiology, or double major, there may be many options!

Just some ideas. Good luck!


#15

Haha. buddy it’s like you read my mind! That’s exactly the reason why I’m thinking about leaving kinesiology. I’ve been thinking about switching over into missionary/ministry work. There’s a small, private Christian college near where I live, and I’m thinking of maybe getting my Associate’s Degree after this semester and transferring there to go into the Biblical Studies/Theology program.
I’d have to talk to an advisor, but it sounds like a lot of what I’ve taken will transfer over. My community college has a transfer agreement with them, basically saying that any courses taken at my CC are legitimate to them. But like I said I’m not 100% sure.


#16

I minored in mind reading. Biblical Studies and Theology sounds cool! If I had come back to our faith sooner, I would have minored in Catholic studies (we don’t have theology in our two universities). As for the missionary work, that sounds awesome! I’ve been looking at Dominican Volunteers International or the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I’m hoping knowing math will come in handy. Since you seem to be interested in the theological side of things, maybe the Dominicans will be worth considering for missionary work since they might share the same charism as you (I’ve been looking at the Dominicans more. But both seem really good to me! Both have things you might like.). Who knows, you might learn more about yourself in their traditions. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck with working things out! Please let us know what happens after.


#17

I can’t help but think about how great it would be to be a missionary with a physical therapy background. Or some kind of healthcare/first aid/rehab background. What a great missionary that would be!


closed #18

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