The frenetic rush to get into the university and other tertiary institutions of learning is often fueled by uninformed desires and unchecked impatience and has landed many students in courses which they did not actually apply for, and as a result, they find themselves studying courses they never dreamt of and slowly treading a career path they never planned for. In most cases, such students are left distraught at the crossroad of continuing in the course fate has dropped on their laps or to abandon such a course, hark back to ground zero of seeking admission afresh or better still, to opt for a change of course halfway into their university stay.
Whichever the case is, we wish to state right from the outset that students should not allow themselves, for whatever reasons, be forced to study courses that do not interest them. The decision of what course to study, therefore, must be preceded by adequate guidance and counselling on the demands, competitiveness, employability or marketability of the course in question, and this is where school counsellors, teachers as well as informed parents and guardians come in. Applying for courses so as to fulfil the self-serving wishes of parents or guardians or simply to continue the family line of business or profession as the case may be should be entirely discouraged since these reasons form a larger part of why students study courses they do not want to.
On the other hand, however, we must reconcile with the actuality of a changed course of study upon admission despite having done the needful. In such cases, it is not always advisable that students make jettison of such opportunities and start again. Life realities testify that this decision does not always favour the students. Some unlucky diehard aspirants find themselves going through the admission process without success for many trying years particularly when they are aspiring for very competitive courses in competitive schools. More so, before making such a decision, students may assess the situation with questions such as;“Is it impossible to develop interest in this course as I progress in it?”, “Who says my course of interest is the only route to success?”, “What are the prospects of the given course?”
Against this backdrop, if you find yourself in such a quagmire, rather than drop out, you may consider the following options:
- SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
It is insufficient to base your decision solely on hearsay information about a particular course. You must be willing to seek enough professional advice. Visit careers advisers and discuss your ambitions with them. Be open as much as possible. In this process, you would be convinced of the suitability or unsuitability of the course in question with your goals.
- CONSULT OTHER STUDENTS
To know the actual nature and content of the course you have been admitted to study, it is advisable to discuss with other students of the course, particularly those in their penultimate or final years. From their backlog of experience, they could possibly clear your doubts and clarify misconceptions about the course.
- EXPLORE ALL AVAILABLE ALTERNATIVES
Rather than start afresh, you may choose to continue with the given course and concurrently enrol for professional or online courses that relate to your course of interest. This will prove a worthwhile venture in the long run.
- OPT FOR A CHANGE OF COURSE
After considering all options and you are yet not convinced, it does no harm to apply for a change of course but this must be done with an adequate knowledge of the prospect of the course you wish to switch to, as well as at least 60% assurance that you will be granted. Many students find themselves applying for change of course several times without success rather than concentrate on their given course and thereafter fail in both options.
If eventually, all efforts prove abortive, you may simply stick to the given course and make the best of it!