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Philipp

Advice considering my plans for the future NEEDED

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Hey,
I'm having trouble with university and at times university gets me really upset. I've been considering to quit for some time now, but the few subjects that made me start studying kept me from quitting. But I feel like going crazy more often than usual. So I started thinking about my options and I've no idea what to do and as long as that's the case I'll just try to keep going but that usually doesn't work. So I'm asking for advice of you guys. --> last journal entry:

"Day #87 #37 #11 #11,

Feels like I'm going crazy. Had to ditch homework today - couldn't make it in time because I don't understand it, will go through the homework tomorrow with a friend so I can finish it (even if I don't get any points I'll at least get a bit of understanding).

At the same time I'm more and more considering giving up studying because I realize that 90 % of the study-subject don't interest me and that 10 % aren't worth the time I spend for all the other stuff (and then don't have the necessary time I need for that 10 %). My alternatives would be taking up a part-time job and focus my free time on learning animation from online-courses, or switch to study sports and movement therapy (not sure if it's called that way in english but I guess you can understand what I mean) or take the leap and pursue a career in the military either as MP or infantry --> because the more I think about it, the more it seems perfect for me, now that I don't care about not having access to a computer (which was the reason why I did civil service instead of going to the military) anymore, I love sports and movement - I could still use my freetime for learning animation - to pursue a career later or just stick to it as a hobby."

Any advice - insight from outsight-perspective - would be appreciated………

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I personally struggled with this a lot. I studied chemical engineering because I liked the sciences and thought a mixture out of chemistry/biology/some physics and math sounded interesting. But as someone who never struggled at school without making too much effort university was a other kind of deal. I failed 4/4 exams in my fourth semester and thought of quitting. I felt like I had invested to much all ready and sticked with it until I made a mediocre bachelors degree. I hated this time and my self esteem was never so low as I was desperately trying to grasp difficult concepts and to somehow catch up with topics I should have learned a few semester ago. Instead I gamed compulsively Because it was hard to find a masters degree in another subject with this bad degree I continued and focused more on simulation and computer topics. that is where I found that I really like the world of It and started to program more and read a lot about c/c++/Linux etc. This is where I wanted to work in so I accepted a relatively low wage offer in a cross entry job in the IT-World (Service Desk/Consultant for a special kind of software).

I feel like everything worked out but ok but I lately also feel like this new "passion" for IT was more of an escape from me failing in the old topic I have chosen. After I read the book "So good they can't ignore you" I started slowly to realize that I didn't needed to find a new interest I needed the discipline to become good at what I was all ready doing. I could just as good be more disciplined with my old study subjects and learned a lot more interesting stuff and would be financial more successful today.

To sum up my experiences and thoughts in a short paragraph:

Everything becomes uninteresting if you spent enough time with it and don't really understand it. That is the time when you develop new passions and alternative plans or passions. Usually the main difference to your current situation is that they are hypothetical. If you would like to switch your career path you should switch to something where you can use your past experiences. Maybe you can find something which focuses more on the 10% of your study subject you find interesting and which allows you to also use your adjacent knowledge. This way you "become so good that they can't ignore you" and build valuable skills. This skills will give you leverage to dictate you working environment after your liking. If you become really good at something you start to like it more and think of it as more interesting. It also increases your self-esteem and your level of happiness

What you do isn't as important as how you do it. I would advice you to stick to it or change to an adjacent study subject and then focus on becoming the best fucking student!

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@WorkInProgress thx for the advice

One of the main problems is that in the country I live there're only 2 universities that even offer those 10% subjects --> the one I'm in right now and one other that focuses more on those but I've heard a lot of negative critique about it.

Sounds plausible that becoming good at something makes it more enjoyable - got a bit of a mood-boost when finishing yesterday's homework and I even understood it. I'll probably stick to it, try my best to get through this last month of the semester and then use the three months of holidays to do some online courses on both - those cool 10 % and the shittier subjects, so that I get a bit of a headstart for next semester.

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I went to uni to study Conservation Biology, after a few months I was really struggling with the maths and statistics, but rather than drop out completely (I had no-where to go having left behind an abusive relationship to go to uni) I decided to switch to Fine Art. I spent the rest of my degree working my fucking ass off in a subject I enjoyed but knew I'd never use, suffering immense guilt and shame over dropping out of Biology. I am still struggling with that decision. I graduated with a First, but it feels like such an empty achievement. Do I regret switching? Honestly, I don't know. Perhaps if I'd stayed I would have failed, perhaps I would have had the nervous breakdown I suffered at the end of my studies earlier, maybe I'd have pulled through and I'd have a Biology degree right now. Life is full of if's and but's, but ultimately I have to live with my decision now, and the debt that came with it. I don't know if my story offers you any perspective, but there it is. I think it's really common for students to consider dropping out at some point or another. Uni is a big commitment, and it's really really challenging. If you do drop out, I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but it is important to be sure that is what you want, and that's a tough one to work out I know.

How far through your course are you? What will you gain by staying VS what will you lose if you drop out and what is there to gain if you do drop out? The things you are thinking of pursuing instead of uni, is it possible to complete your studies and then explore these avenues after? 

One thing I did to cope with the knowledge I'd never use my degree was to complete a range of extra curricular activities. I won awards and gained a load of experience for my CV (and experiences that - as cheesy as it sounds - shaped me into who I am today). It can be hard to find the extra time, although with giving up games that might offer you some, maybe it would be worth seeing what else your uni or local community can offer you alongside your studies, that may offer you some more enjoyment/fulfillment? 

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