Paralyzed By Academic Decisions

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

I’m in the first year in university, my story started when I finished high school with high grades but due to money problems I couldn’t attend medicine faculty and now I’m studying pharm.d. But since I started to study this all people keep asking me why I’m not studying medicine and they feel sorry about me, now I can change my major to dentistry and I’m thinking about attending it because anyway it’s higher than my current major, simply I can just throw off all the people’s talking about me if I do that, actually I’m more interested in practical studying offered in dentistry but I will lose a semester and I will be late, actually I don’t know what I want!
PS: sorry for my language being bad because I’m not a native speaker

A: Young adulthood and the huge decisions that come along with it can be overwhelming. You are not alone. Your struggle to find your academic and career path are shared by many I’ve seen in clinical practice.  There are so many factors to consider and so many people influencing major life decisions that it can be hard to find yourself in the process.

I know it’s difficult, but try to remember that most of the people who are giving you input aren’t going to be in your life forever.  The most important person to please in your academic decision is you! You are the one who’s going to be doing the graduate work. You are the one who is going to be going to your job and finding fulfillment or regret, not them.

Have you spoken with a counselor at the university to help guide you through this decision-making process? If you haven’t, I suggest that you do. An academic counselor can help you sort through which educational and career path will be the best fit for you and can help you identify possible financial resources that you may not have considered.

I also recommend talking with professional pharmacists, dentists, and physicians and doing some job shadowing to get a feel for what they do. If you are really having a difficult time deciding, it’s all right to take time off from school to decide, or to switch majors if you find that what you’re doing doesn’t suit you. Yes, you will have lost some credits and it will take longer to graduate, but doing something that you enjoy will be worth it.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks LCSW

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Hanks, J. (2011). Paralyzed By Academic Decisions. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/28/paralyzed-by-academic-decisions/

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