I cannot choose a major and I hate my life

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 4:50 AM GMT
    Ok, so I am pretty much a miserable person right now. I am in my third year of college, and I'm having a really difficult time deciding what I want to do with my life.

    Originally, I wanted to be a Pharmacist, but I found out that the sciences and maths were very difficult for me. I definitely consider myself smart, I'm just not good with science and upper-level math courses like Calculus.

    I tried taking these classes one semester and failed miserably, even with tutoring. But now looking back, I do feel like I could have tried harder.

    So my question is...do I try it one more time next semester, and risk failing again and wasting thousands of dollars on tuition? I'm already $40,000+ in debt from student loans, and if it takes me 6 years to become a Pharmacist, that's pretty heavy debt. I'm just not sure if it's worth the risk.

    Maybe Pharmacy just isn't realistic for me...plus, I'm not even guaranteed entry into Pharmacy school. But if I'm not going to do Pharmacy, I'm just not sure what else I would like to do. I don't really have any strong interests that would lead me down a specific career path.

    I'm interested in music business, but I know it's hard to get into that industry...at this point, I feel like dropping out of college, although I know that is a big mistake. And it would be sad too, because I feel like I have a lot of potential. I just need to figure myself out.

    Help. icon_sad.gif
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Dec 02, 2010 5:00 AM GMT
    Surely there is something that you have had a "love" for in your life...for me it was music...piano specifically....which is why I became an electrician icon_eek.gif
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:03 AM GMT
    I don't know what to tell you really. I personally never declared a major and instead took a bunch of different courses in a community college, such as science, math, business, and some history classes. I actually planned on either going for nursing or pharmacy as well, but while I enjoyed the science courses and did pretty well on them, I realized that it would get even harder as I go on. When I took business courses, I ended up liking it. Now am studying accounting which tends to bore me during the lectures but I hope it wont be so when I enter the professional field.

    Btw, this put me one and half years behind my peers. I spent 3yrs at community college and ended up transferring to a different school that did not accept many of the credits.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:07 AM GMT
    I completely understand where you are coming from. I doubt my choice of a major too. (Not to mention I have no idea what I'm going to do once I'm done) However, I think that it is something that I will enjoy and I just have to push through the frustrations.
    I took some time off myself. I know that going back to school is one of the best decisions I have made. And this time I went for myself, and because I felt it was expected of me.
    Don't give up on yourself or school. Trust me you will find that silver lining.
    I think pharmaceutical science sounds really interesting.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:09 AM GMT
    I know the feeling man. I am also in my third year of college, not really decided on a major. Most of my classes are psych classes, but a bachelors in psych, or for that matter, MOST social science or humanities, is basically useless in the real world icon_sad.gif. I thought about maybe going for grad school for social work but they work really hard, the job is really stressful, and the pay is shit.

    I'm thinking of maybe picking up a business major or some other second major, since I really only need one my psych class to complete my major. Two majors are always better than one I guess. I'm not sure what I would do with that even then.

    I see this in a lot of people actually. Some just get a degree and then go to work in a job they could have got without it, some just drop out all together, then there are those few that actually succeed in working in the field they studied. I know a degree gives you extra consideration in some higher end jobs, but a person may not always get hired because of it. It's the medical and engineering field that has the good jobs, so you being pre-pharm maybe good. Can you not retake the classes?
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Dec 02, 2010 5:13 AM GMT
    I note that you said "third year of college" and not "in my junior year." Therefore I assume you have, in effect, not made much progress on any major.

    Many folks, engineers like myself especially, tend to blow through math, science, and skills such as programming without much effort. Some find this curriculum more demanding but can achieve. Others just simply will never be successful in math and science. You must decide whether you can complete an undergrad pre-pharmacy degree and be accepted to a pharmacy school.

    It's up to you.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:15 AM GMT
    Get your degree. You've already gone this far, at least do that. No matter what it's in. Even if it's just a general degree.

    I got my degree in Psychology and it was extremely marketable. Everything depends on how you market YOURSELF.

    I would recommend talking to a guidance counselor (gawd not your advisor. They're worthless!) and see if they can help you pinpoint something.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:22 AM GMT
    Cowboycasanova-
    My advice to you is more on the practical level, yet staying-close-to-heart.

    I struggled with my major in year 2 b/c I didn't know what to do with my life. And, I ultimately picked what I was good at and also so that I could finish as soon as possible, figuring that I would determine my career later - which did in fact occur.

    For what it's worth from one stranger to the next, I feel you should do whatever it takes to get outta school with a degree in hand as soon as possible.

    The conversation about how you ended up in this major is probably better suited for another discussion thread, and not in this one, since you didn't ask.

    However, given that you have such a high debt and that it's causing you some pain, might you consider just the shortest route to resistance and the degree?

    What I'm asking is, can you get down in front of the school catalog and/or an academic advisor, and figure out the quickest route to that BA/BS in some major that you get As and Bs in, typically?

    I ask this because if you do well in a particular type of class, you'll get through all of the requirements quicker...and then, you can start to match your academic skills with that of your peers who are out in the workforce...and then start networking...

    I'm just saying, back to the practical side of things closer to the heart...
    Get 'er done (the BA/BS), and the job thing will follow suit later on...right now, I sense the stress is financial and the most assured way to minimize that while maximizing profit down the road is to finish ASAP.

    Hang in there!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:23 AM GMT
    Hey man.....all I can say is if you are unsure of what you want to do, stick with the Pharmacy......6 years from now it won't be so bad if you are making 100,000 a year working 40 hours a week. Who cares if you are 150k in debt at that point you can live modestly and knock it out in 5 years. My friend is a pharmacist and loves it (not sure the job but def the money/work/life balance), also you can pretty much work anywhere, the demand is great.

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    Dec 02, 2010 5:25 AM GMT
    I know how you feel, right now im deciding if I want to major in nursing or be a pharmacist. I say go for nursing, its an easier route and you will make good money in the end. Its quicker and you still in the medical field. Im majoring nursing though its not my passion in life, Im doing it just for the degree and back up plan just in case. I want to be a chef or graphic artist, but those fields are too competitive.

    If you want to be in the music industry, I suggest moving out to LA, Atlanta, or Manhattan. Major in something else for a backup plan, and get a minor in music. Also, start getting more "connects" and hanging around people in the music industry. Go to clubs, get to know the Djs, and go to music events such as warped tour, coachella, EDC and etc. Music industry is hard to get into if you dont hang around with people in that scene.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:25 AM GMT
    You can't give up on something just because it's hard. You have to give it your ALL. Have you done that for whatever you've tried?
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:36 AM GMT
    Man I completely understand where your coming from...Ive transfered several times...looking for the place that was right for me...turns out, it wasn't the scenery..it was me. Im graduating late..which is depressing.and im gonna have to take out a loan for next semester(which wouldn't have happend if i wasn't transfering schools so damn much..because i'd be graduating on time!)..and im sick of college, to the point where I seldomnly show up to class (always hand my assignments in though)...however you must remember that its extremely hard to make it in today's society without a degree, so stick it out...it will pay off
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:38 AM GMT
    Don't even envy my major. I'm a music major. I probably won't get rich doing that, but you know what? Screw it. I'm doing what I love.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:43 AM GMT
    You don't need a BS to get into pharmacy school. Do the prereq's and apply if you want to go. If you've been taking classes for 3 years, you should be fairly close to satisfying the majority of the requirements.

    Put your all into it or don't bother doing it half-ass. You'll just be miserable and unsatisfied.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:52 AM GMT
    cowboycasanova saidOriginally, I wanted to be a Pharmacist, but I found out that the sciences and maths were very difficult for me. I definitely consider myself smart, I'm just not good with science and upper-level math courses like Calculus.

    I tried taking these classes one semester and failed miserably, even with tutoring. But now looking back, I do feel like I could have tried harder.


    If you suck at math and science, and admittedly feel as though you could have tried harder, what interests you in being a pharmacist? You'll definitely be doing a lot of math...

    I decided to wait a bit before going to college, to make sure I had a strong idea of what I really wanted to do after school. I went and got a degree in computer software / hardware engineering, and math / science / computer courses were a breeze because I was / am very interested in these fields. I sucked at history courses, and got by with B's and a C or two in those. Sure, I could have tried harder and done better, but I didn't care. That lets me know I don't want to be a historian. If you're not passionate about what you're studying now, why would you want to do this for the rest of your life?

    Do you have the option of leaving school for a bit and working for a year or so? Or are you on any type of scholarship or anything that would prohibit you from doing this? I know what you mean about being in a shit-load of debt. I'm glad I'm doing what I love now and paying off the heaps of student loans rather than trying an entry-level job in a field I know little about because I hated my degree.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 5:53 AM GMT
    I think it's almost impossible to know what you will want to do for a living when you're 19-22, but you know for sure you don't want to be slammed by debt. Your 20's will be much more fun if your income goes farther without big loan payments.

    I'd recommend any undecided person go into a very safe BS degree, like Business. You can always get into a more interesting Masters program for almost any career later. Trust me; your chosen field will switch several times in your 20's and with a business degree, you'll either have the know-how to start your own thing, or be very hire-able if you just want to have fun and have an office job during the day.

    Just don't prolong school longer than 5 years, no matter what; you'll be really limited by debt for a long time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 7:14 AM GMT
    Go study abroad for a year. Take some business courses or something. Go find yourself. Seek and you shall find. What is your passion? Answer that question and you will find a clue to your path.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 7:53 AM GMT
    go into a construction related discipline, Architecture/Project management or something like that, hugely satisfying career and never short of work :-)
    Good luck
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    Dec 02, 2010 8:09 AM GMT
    i'm doing my degree in "Respiratory Therapist", i'm not doing it because i love it. but because it easy to find a job with this degree and it pays good. It's also my back-up plan/my safety net.......... but my passion is making films.

    one day I want to move to Vancouver, study film and become a director. i know how competitive that field is, but i'm willing to chase my dream someday, and if i fail, at least i will have my RT degree waiting for me.

    I'm 21 and i know exactly how you feel.
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    Dec 02, 2010 8:20 AM GMT
    Not sure if you have explored this avenue and maybe you already did and you explored this with your Career Counselor office or Academic Advisor. On my first year of college, I was paired with an Academic Advisor as well as a Career Counselor at my University.

    I was advised to take the Briggs Myers Test as an aid to see what my personality and skills seem to better fit a profession. It narrow down some careers choice and help aid on a major and how I could apply that major in different profession. It is just a tool, like any other, but at least it helped me figure out that I was good in analysis, and end up getting a degree in Business Mgt. which helped me in my present career. So, sometimes, it helps to look at things from the 100,000 foot level, rather that at the micro-level.

    Just some thought and whatever you decide, an education and degree never go to waste.
  • SFGeoNinja

    Posts: 510

    Dec 02, 2010 8:28 AM GMT
    It sounds like Pharmacy may not be your calling. To test yourself on whether it is, in fact, something you're interested in, try doing an "elevator speech."

    Can you, at the drop of a hat, speak articulately for 60-90 seconds about exactly why you want to be a pharmacist? If you hesitate or having trouble filling the space, then this path may not be for you.

    Since you are already so far along in your schooling, you might as well finish the degree to make your loans a good investment and to have real value to your education.

    You are still an undergrad, your future is not totally decided just yet - you still have some flexibility. Think back to the courses you have done really well in. Were they in the sciences, or some other field? Try to specialize in a field you have already been interested in.

    I graduated this past year with a double major in Geography and Urban Planning because I wanted to be a city planner. I found out very quickly that this is definitely NOT something you can attempt to do right out of school - you need a masters, plus years of experience to compete for those kinds of jobs.

    So what did I do? I focused my energies into project management and developed a kick-ass senior thesis working with real clients. I had to bust my ass and work outside the traditional bounds of the university to do it but it was my most rewarding experience in college. This was something I could market with my degree, even if the degree itself sounds liberal artsy and strange at first. If you work hard at a tangible project with real deliverables (you will hear that word a lot in project management), then there lies the value of your degree, whether it is in pharmacy or in something else.

    Tap into your passions and plug plug away, the rest will sort itself out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 02, 2010 11:47 AM GMT
    I'm sorry you've had such a hard time.. sheesh.. I couldn't sleep at night with all that debt and bad feelings about your career at the same time. I was very fortunate in loving my first career/educational choice and went on to get a few post grad degrees and retired early. Some of it was white male privilege, some sheer luck but a lot of good hard work in there also.

    I know this is going to sound weird but my suggestion is two simple steps..for now.

    1. Start keeping a daily journal. Things you like and things you don't. You can include not only things that happen to you, but your thoughts about anything that comes to mind. Just a few minutes a day.

    2. Start meditating. Learning to sit with no outside noise can help you on your journey.

    Good luck. You are young and bright.. go get em
  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Dec 02, 2010 12:05 PM GMT
    Do what you love. I made the mistake of doing the sensible thing and studying science rather graphic design in marketing.

    I work in pharmacology and let me say that even though the study of maths is a tough one, you'd only need basic arithmetic as a pharamcist, so if you can get through the course I doubt you'll be troubled with the complex aspects on a regular basis.
  • jocksmooth

    Posts: 12

    Dec 02, 2010 12:14 PM GMT
    Go to your school job placement office. Tell them you would like an internship in a pharmacy or a part time job at a rite aid, cvs pharmacy.

    Work in a real life pharmacy, preferably one with a drive in window. Spend some time talking to the pharmacist and get to know him. This will either motivate you to study harder or give you a much needed real world view of the profession. Good luck man

    I dated a pharmacist. He made $110,000 base salary plus at least 20 hrs overtime per week at Rite Aid. But he was standing all day, and the liability issues are pretty scary. Also you will have cpe requirements.

    regarding your massive debt, about 10 years one of my fraternity brothers had a dog who received an unsolicited credit card. After a couple years the dog had like a 700 credit score. He used the dogs cc to pay off his school loans. Good Boy, Boingo!

    So far so good. Im not recommending this but...
  • mynyun

    Posts: 1346

    Dec 02, 2010 12:17 PM GMT

    Don't feel to bad. I am in my 30's and went back to school and decided on going to be a Pharmacy Technician. I went for practical rather than what I love. But I can't make money working in a comic book store. Because I LOVE comics.