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Changing my major/career (help please)

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Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I played school instead of house, and I loved helping my friends with their homework so I could practice for the future. So many of my classmates hated being quizzed about life after high school, but it never bothered me because I had a plan. I'm very indecisive about many aspects of my life, but this is one area I never had to worry about until now.

 

Last summer, I finally began my teaching classes after two years of general education and I was optimistic at first but have slowly realized that it isn't for me. The more I learn about it, I'm discovering that it isn't what I thought it would be at all and I want nothing to do with it anymore. It almost feels like a divorce in a way, because I've wanted to do this for so long and I've completely fallen out of love with it and don't see myself ever getting back to that honeymoon phase. I had this unrealistic image of teaching in my head where I would stroll into the classroom like Mary Poppins and have an intellectually-stimulating conversation with my students, and everything I've been learning lately completely goes against that. I've discovered that I hate being in front of a room, and I'm not equipped to deal with all of the issues that students, schools, and teachers face. It's 90% babysitting demon spawn and preparing for testing, which is completely different than I thought it would be and I don't have a passion for that. I also don't want to have a job that I have to keep thinking about after hours. I want to have time for myself and not be constantly stressed out.

 

What once made me hopeful now makes me physically sick, and it's scary because this was my life plan and now I don't know where to go from here. However, in some ways it's liberating to admit that I'm over it because I'm finally allowed to imagine other possibilities. I'm not mentally, socially, or emotionally prepared for the job requirements of teaching, and it's not even something I'm willing to work on over time because I have zero interest in the profession anymore. Even if I had what it takes, I still wouldn't want to do it. It doesn't matter what school, age group, or subject, I just want to get out of the field entirely ASAP. It's actually astounding how quickly I went from being fully invested to trying to fake it to blatantly not caring in my classes. If I weren't locked into classes that I'm paying a fortune for, I would have ghosted months ago. Right now I'm just sticking it out until the semester is over.

 

Ideally I would do something with writing because I'm good at it and I enjoy it, but I don't know if I could realistically provide for myself that way. I don't plan on building a family so I'll only need to worry about taking care of myself, but still. I haven't told many people about my change of heart because I know they're going to think I'm crazy if I drop education and go for English only, even though it would make me far happier than what I'm doing right now. I see the way people react every time my sister changes her major (she's on number 4) and it would be huge fodder for gossip especially since everyone who knows me knows that I've always wanted to be a teacher. I feel like people won't accept that I've changed my mind, and will try to convince me to keep doing something I don't care about anymore just because it fits the image of me they have in their heads. Everyone is going to be completely blindsided because I've never shared any of this out loud, and they're going to assume it's a rash impulse and not something I've thought about in depth. They're going to try to convince me I'm still in love with my spouse even though there's no feeling anymore and I'm ready to start seeing other people.

 

I recently transferred to a private college after graduating from community college and I like it here but the main reason I chose it is because of its reputation among schools. When principals hire teachers, alumni from my current college go to the top of the pile. But if I don't want to teach anymore, it doesn't make sense for me to keep going here with how much it costs. I'll be sad to leave especially since I enjoy the campus culture and I've made a good amount of friends, but my heart says I should go. I can study English only at a public school for a fraction of the cost I'm paying right now for English and education at a private school. I just don't know how to bring it up with my family since preparing for the spring semester isn't very far away at all and I don't know if there's still time, and something tells me they're not going to respect my feelings. I think it's better for me to realize this now than to go through grad school and get locked into student teaching. I have an appointment to make my spring schedule at my current school literally any day now, and I have no idea what I'm going to tell them. "Hey, I'm dipping because I don't care about my major anymore and I can study something cheaper elsewhere" probably won't go over very well.

 

I don't know why I decided to post this, especially since I barely come here anymore, but I guess I just wanted to hear people's opinions. If anyone has ever decided to change their major or career after thinking it's what they wanted to do all their life, I'd love to hear how it worked out for them or what they're doing now. I need as much insight as I can get. For those of you who have interacted with me, what career fields could you envision me in? Serious answers only, please.



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I actually went through the same phase ( which I am sure is not the phase in your case ) after two years studying medicine. It also went smoothly, including building friendships, studying was exhausting, but I managed myself and didn't have any major problems finishing exams. But then, everything started to slow down, I was feeling over-saturated and my confidence took sharp turn down. It was then when I finally started to question myself even on a more serious note if I would be the good candidate for someone who will have to look after other people. Like, will I do that job like it should be done? I always wanted it for myself, but I guess things strike you out of nowhere, doubts start rising even though you saw progress while doing it before. So, I didn't want to definitely change university and instead, I took a year off to clear my mind and find that one anchor point I was holding to before. I talked to many people, including my family and friends. They actually managed to help me see that I would be doing sever mistake if I decide to lose potential on something else. But I was too occupied with the image I created for myself. And this is the aspect of your story I understand mostly. I always asked myself how will people around me see this and what picture will that paint in their head. But then again, I understood that if I continue doing this with the passion I showed in the early beginning, nothing else doesn't matter and everyone will see.

But, your situation is more complicated, since you definitely want to abandon being teacher. And what you need to realize is that you are not making mistake, because you actually was in the position to work. The most important thing is that you are completely positive about changing your major and accepting it is the most important step. At first, I guess that your close family members and friends won't be sure about this decision, but you just have to give them time, like you gave yourself, so they can realize you are not feeling it ( or not anymore ) and that you want to pursue something else. If it doesn't make you fulfilled and happy, it isn't worth it and they will understand when put in your shoes. I don't have any suggestions for your other major in particular, since we never discussed, but some of your posts ( like in that one thread about naming your favorite book ) shows you have nice way with words ( not surprised you study English :) ) and that you know how to put them down on paper ( and this post also proves that ). Since you have mentioned you are interested in writing, maybe you can go for journalism, maybe even psychology. 

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same thing happened to me (and basically most people I know in college!). i came in dead set on being a lawyer. joined every pre-law organization on campus, rose to leadership positions, joined the pre-law honor society, did legal internships. i was preparing for the LSAT even when i realized...i didn't want to become a lawyer. it was too much academia, too much grunt work, too much investment into a field where i wasn't even that passionate...i just thought it made sense with what i was good at as well as being a well-paying career. i did a complete 180 and dove headfirst into journalism instead.

i started my 4 years at a private school and now im 3 years in, so about the same place that you are. the only advice i can really give is that no matter what you do you'll be behind people who wanted this their entire life. no matter what you switch into, you'll be behind the curve of people already deeply invested into the field. the best thing to do then is hit the ground running and go to as many club meetings as you can related to the event, join as many clubs as you can, and become deeply invested as soon as possible into the field you decide to go into. 

i would say honestly the worst thing you can be right now is indecisive, which you evidently are. if you have decided you for sure do not want to go into teaching, you need to look forward as to what career you actually do want. and once you decide (or think you have), lazer in on it and immediately start applying to internships, looking for experience in the field, and preparing for graduate school if the field requires it.

if you like writing, there are opportunities within the arts and fields such as journalism as well. english majors don't typically lead into lucrative careers so if that's what you're searching for (which, since you wanted to be a teacher, i guess you're not) that's fine with you; you could go into academia and prepare for a PhD, or you could go into creative writing (which is usually waay different from english major classes) and go into a field such as screenwriting. it all depends on what you want to do, but once you do decide, commit 100%.

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On 10/21/2018 at 6:30 PM, Ghostface said:

I actually went through the same phase ( which I am sure is not the phase in your case ) after two years studying medicine. It also went smoothly, including building friendships, studying was exhausting, but I managed myself and didn't have any major problems finishing exams. But then, everything started to slow down, I was feeling over-saturated and my confidence took sharp turn down. It was then when I finally started to question myself even on a more serious note if I would be the good candidate for someone who will have to look after other people. Like, will I do that job like it should be done? I always wanted it for myself, but I guess things strike you out of nowhere, doubts start rising even though you saw progress while doing it before. So, I didn't want to definitely change university and instead, I took a year off to clear my mind and find that one anchor point I was holding to before. I talked to many people, including my family and friends. They actually managed to help me see that I would be doing sever mistake if I decide to lose potential on something else. But I was too occupied with the image I created for myself. And this is the aspect of your story I understand mostly. I always asked myself how will people around me see this and what picture will that paint in their head. But then again, I understood that if I continue doing this with the passion I showed in the early beginning, nothing else doesn't matter and everyone will see.

But, your situation is more complicated, since you definitely want to abandon being teacher. And what you need to realize is that you are not making mistake, because you actually was in the position to work. The most important thing is that you are completely positive about changing your major and accepting it is the most important step. At first, I guess that your close family members and friends won't be sure about this decision, but you just have to give them time, like you gave yourself, so they can realize you are not feeling it ( or not anymore ) and that you want to pursue something else. If it doesn't make you fulfilled and happy, it isn't worth it and they will understand when put in your shoes. I don't have any suggestions for your other major in particular, since we never discussed, but some of your posts ( like in that one thread about naming your favorite book ) shows you have nice way with words ( not surprised you study English :) ) and that you know how to put them down on paper ( and this post also proves that ). Since you have mentioned you are interested in writing, maybe you can go for journalism, maybe even psychology. 

 

22 hours ago, Merryem said:

same thing happened to me (and basically most people I know in college!). i came in dead set on being a lawyer. joined every pre-law organization on campus, rose to leadership positions, joined the pre-law honor society, did legal internships. i was preparing for the LSAT even when i realized...i didn't want to become a lawyer. it was too much academia, too much grunt work, too much investment into a field where i wasn't even that passionate...i just thought it made sense with what i was good at as well as being a well-paying career. i did a complete 180 and dove headfirst into journalism instead.

i started my 4 years at a private school and now im 3 years in, so about the same place that you are. the only advice i can really give is that no matter what you do you'll be behind people who wanted this their entire life. no matter what you switch into, you'll be behind the curve of people already deeply invested into the field. the best thing to do then is hit the ground running and go to as many club meetings as you can related to the event, join as many clubs as you can, and become deeply invested as soon as possible into the field you decide to go into. 

i would say honestly the worst thing you can be right now is indecisive, which you evidently are. if you have decided you for sure do not want to go into teaching, you need to look forward as to what career you actually do want. and once you decide (or think you have), lazer in on it and immediately start applying to internships, looking for experience in the field, and preparing for graduate school if the field requires it.

if you like writing, there are opportunities within the arts and fields such as journalism as well. english majors don't typically lead into lucrative careers so if that's what you're searching for (which, since you wanted to be a teacher, i guess you're not) that's fine with you; you could go into academia and prepare for a PhD, or you could go into creative writing (which is usually waay different from english major classes) and go into a field such as screenwriting. it all depends on what you want to do, but once you do decide, commit 100%.

Thanks to both of you so much. Sorry for the late reply, I forgot that I posted this until now.

Last night I finally broke down and wrote my parents a three-page letter explaining everything, because I knew I wouldn't be able to say it out loud without crying and I would forget something if I delivered the message verbally. It went so well and they aren't mad at me at all and fully support me. I think they're almost relieved in a way, because my current school is so expensive and a teaching degree here means 6+ years of studies. They told me they they never said anything until now because they always thought teaching was my dream, but that they can see me doing so many other things on a larger scale and they're excited to see me explore other possibilities instead of limiting myself to one path.

The main area of interest that keeps popping up is journalism/media. I love to write about and stay in touch with the latest news/trends/fashions, and people seem to value my taste and opinions on those things. In high school I had a moderately popular Tumblr page, I did a few well-received movie and music reviews for my school paper last year, and before I got busy this summer I almost started a YouTube channel or podcast where I'd give the rundown on pop culture and celebrity gossip because there was demand for it among my friends. Social media seems like the easiest way to become visible and build a following, but I'd want to be respected and taken seriously even though I inject humor into my observations. Now that I think of it, I can ultimately see myself working for a media outlet like Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, or Rolling Stone. If I were to work on my public speaking anxiety and stage fright, perhaps I could even be a Wendy Williams or Andy Cohen type figure. Maybe I'll be the first male co-host of The View/Talk/Real someday, LOL. It's like the obvious answer that's been in front of me all this time but I felt locked into being a teacher and felt guilty about pursuing it. Not that writing or talking about the entertainment industry means you'll gain notoriety yourself, but people have always said stuff to me like "Remember me when you're famous" and maybe this is what they mean. I think this could be a promising journey considering my interests and strengths.

For now I'm going to keep researching the next step, finish the semester on a high note, and then dip my toes into all of my new options,and discover what I like best. Yesterday I was scared and confused, but today I'm relieved and hopeful. Both of your kind words meant so much to me and I can't believe I've found this much clarity in such a short amount of time!

"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change."

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9 hours ago, Hermione said:

 

Thanks to both of you so much. Sorry for the late reply, I forgot that I posted this until now.

Last night I finally broke down and wrote my parents a three-page letter explaining everything, because I knew I wouldn't be able to say it out loud without crying and I would forget something if I delivered the message verbally. It went so well and they aren't mad at me at all and fully support me. I think they're almost relieved in a way, because my current school is so expensive and a teaching degree here means 6+ years of studies. They told me they they never said anything until now because they always thought teaching was my dream, but that they can see me doing so many other things on a larger scale and they're excited to see me explore other possibilities instead of limiting myself to one path.

The main area of interest that keeps popping up is journalism/media. I love to write about and stay in touch with the latest news/trends/fashions, and people seem to value my taste and opinions on those things. In high school I had a moderately popular Tumblr page, I did a few well-received movie and music reviews for my school paper last year, and before I got busy this summer I almost started a YouTube channel or podcast where I'd give the rundown on pop culture and celebrity gossip because there was demand for it among my friends. Social media seems like the easiest way to become visible and build a following, but I'd want to be respected and taken seriously even though I inject humor into my observations. Now that I think of it, I can ultimately see myself working for a media outlet like Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, or Rolling Stone. If I were to work on my public speaking anxiety and stage fright, perhaps I could even be a Wendy Williams or Andy Cohen type figure. Maybe I'll be the first male co-host of The View/Talk/Real someday, LOL. It's like the obvious answer that's been in front of me all this time but I felt locked into being a teacher and felt guilty about pursuing it. Not that writing or talking about the entertainment industry means you'll gain notoriety yourself, but people have always said stuff to me like "Remember me when you're famous" and maybe this is what they mean. I think this could be a promising journey considering my interests and strengths.

For now I'm going to keep researching the next step, finish the semester on a high note, and then dip my toes into all of my new options,and discover what I like best. Yesterday I was scared and confused, but today I'm relieved and hopeful. Both of your kind words meant so much to me and I can't believe I've found this much clarity in such a short amount of time!

"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change."

This is so common thing actually, but I never learn. We are always anxious and worried about how will things turn out and could we have done something better and what reactions we can get for it. The result is the same: everything goes smoothly and people wouldn't even understand why you acted like lunatic, over-worrying, but at the end of the day, you are doing good thing and something that you truly feel, so it is not that surprising calmer and acceptable reaction from dear ones. 

 

Nice to see that you already know where would you like to be career-wise and I am glad it is journalism since you clearly have passion for it and I also have a friend of mine who also studies it, so I am pretty sure you can handle it and end up being satisfied. Fingers crossed for that co-host debut position. :D

 

Now, I do understand, journalism is not 100 % confirmed, but what matters is that you feel much better about this and that you realized you want something else. And even if you choose journalism/media, aspects of teaching profession ( at least, some tips ) can help you develop certain, good and positive attitude towards what you will writing and people will definitely feel it. 

 

Change is a powerful thing. :)

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Sorry to read about your struggles...

I'm going to give you an anecdotal story of my cousin and what she discovered during her teaching career. Like you, she did the schooling to get her Teacher's Certificate and began to teach in a small town Primary School. Well, after about 2 years, she quit. It wasn't for her. She had done her undergraduate degree in Languages (French/Spanish) and still loved them enough to go out on a limb and accept a job teaching English in Asia. She loved it. It totally changed her perspective about teaching. She now lives in Europe and still teaches English to Business Professionals.

Advice: Take a year off and teach English abroad. It may help you assess things. 

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