Is This Programme For Me?

Find yourself doubting the programme you’ve chosen? Ask yourselves these 3 questions if you have.

A student’s true potential and skills are vital when stepping into the world of opportunities — that’s why universities act as a stepping stone to learn and unlearn valuable lessons. The knowledge gained through a student’s chosen programme aids them in self-growth.

However, as doubts and stresses settle in, we may think,

“Yea I can’t really do (insert stressful subject name here)”, “I just need to go through 2 more years. It’ll be okay”, or “Will studying this even lead me to success in the future?”

First, it’s essential to note that students often neglect to recognise if their programme is right for them. Why? Because many feel guilty to acknowledge the difference between their passion and chosen programme, especially when factors, like financial challenges, add itself into the equation. But remember that no matter what the programme is or how long you’ve been studying it for, your journey towards success begins when you identify your direction. 

So, if you’re pondering whether you’ve picked the right programme or are wondering how to choose one suitable for you, here are some factors that may ease your doubts!

Q: Money vs passion: Which one am I following? Which should I be following?

A: As you venture into your programme, you may wonder if what you’re doing would eventually result in you doing what you love and would it even bring you money. And if you’ve decided the importance of the different factors, others may cause you to doubt whether you’ve chosen the right one. 

So who’s the real winner of this debate — following your passion or reaching financial stability faster? The short answer: It’s a tie.

The similarities both money and passion carry is an individual’s motivation. While money extrinsically motivates you, passion intrinsically motivates you.

Is This Programme For Me?

The source of this motivation varies according to the needs of each student. It’s no lie that passion often brings more motivation than money and it’s quite impossible to diminish your intrinsic motivation, but it’s crucial to acknowledge that not everyone has equal opportunities. 

Therefore, the key to identifying what motivates you the most is by evaluating your needs. What factors play a part in your growth? What do you consider essential? How does the programme you’re in, or wanting to pursue, help achieve this goal? 

Secondly, keeping yourself updated on the current jobs you could go into after graduation could help you achieve your goals based on your motivations.

Finding out the different financial aids available in an institution can be helpful in determining if a programme for you. Check out the available financial aids at Taylor's here.

Q: I’m really good at this but I’ve absolutely no interest in it. Should I continue/pursue it?

A: I’m sure many of us place our decision to pursue a particular programme based on how well we’ve done something in the past. But when we’re caught in a stressful moment, we often see ourselves trapped in this bubble of doubt on whether we made the right decision. 

While taking a module that aligns with your strengths definitely has its benefits when you’re chasing a 4.0 GPA, the real question is, can you imagine being satisfied in the future if you were to pursue a job without desires nor motives but rely on strength alone? Would you want to be defined by what you can do or the reason you’re doing something?

When choosing a programme that aligns with your motives and satisfies your needs, oftentimes your stress and failure would turn into learning. Therefore, push yourself towards a programme that’s achievable and satisfactory by reflecting on your needs in point 1. If you haven’t already identified your needs, here’s another reason you’d need to start that list.

Remember, while you can acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, do make sure it aligns with your motives and goals as an individual.

Q: Well, I get it, but X told me that this is the best for me and I’m really doubting myself.

A: As students, we’re bound to meet social pressure when it comes to choosing our programme. Intentional or not, we often see our surroundings placing pressure on us to pursue a practical, employable degree while keeping our passion as a hobby since it could pose difficulty in obtaining a job.

To put it simply, expectations set upon us could sometimes prevent us from expressing our most authentic desires as we’re fearful of going against or disappointing the beliefs and expectations of our family and culture.

It’s vital to understand and learn that you’re the main part of this process.

Is This Programme For Me?

Many may suggest alternate paths towards success but it all comes down to how YOU measure success. Acknowledge your opportunity and aim, do you have the courage to take the risk and follow your heart? Beliefs and values do play a big role in an individual’s life, so making a list of values and traditions that you resonate with could help in your decision-making. 

Secondly, communicate with your parents in regard to the programme you’ve chosen. This conversation may not be very easy but it’s vital for you to voice out your true desires to the people closest to you!

Having difficulty in choosing a programme that's aligned with your goals? Perhaps you're looking for next steps in changing to a programme you're truly passionate about? Get clarifications on all your questions by enquring now.

Q: After taking all the self-reflection steps, I know for sure this isn’t right for me. So how do I find the right one and what should I do next? 

A: There are two ways you can go about searching for the right programme. 

1. Create a goal to create your direction

As mentioned earlier, our motives as an individual tie with our goals and we can identify them by evaluating our needs and wants. You can identify your goals by evaluating your past work and experiences with different subjects while you were in college or in high school. Were you able to tackle the challenges? Did you enjoy the overall experience? What factors demotivated you the most? 

Ultimately, you’d want to study something that aids you towards your end goal. If you’re having trouble identifying this, start by imagining a future you’d want to have. Then, work with the necessary experience or knowledge required.

2. Talk to an expert in the field

If you’re not sure if the programme aligns with your goal/motives, you can always contact recent graduates using platforms like LinkedIn.

Asking about the working conditions, opportunities, and contentment after graduation would also be beneficial in understanding whether this fits your goals. 

Then, evaluate if your current programme does, in fact, meet the needs you’re heading towards too. More often than not, you could be jaded by the current situation you’re in and not looking at the bigger picture and opportunities your situation could present you.

If you’re looking to change your current programme with one that aligns more with your goals, consult your education counsellor or lecturer to find out about the different programmes available and if a switch to a different programme is possible.

Is This Programme For Me?

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us is that our directions or plans could change. Therefore, when in doubt on whether the programme you’re currently pursuing is right for you, revert back to your goals and direction, seek help, and place yourself out there to identify your motives. 

It’s critical to analyse your strengths and abilities and select a path where both your passions and strengths interlink. Universities provide us with various opportunities — there’s no better and safer place that could aid you towards your goals. Once you’ve identified what suits you best, take the shot, and trust the process!

Ishaanaah Ravi is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Taylor's University. She is also a member of the Taylor’s Leo Club and the Dia/Them Taylor’s Inclusivity Project. She enjoys reading and creative writing during her free time but also relishes conducting volunteering work, believing that we make a living not by what we get, but by what we give.