Hello, my friend, have you ever thought that you needed to change your degree? Well, I have, and it was a massive decision!
I was studying Biomedical Sciences at Strathclyde University. I was very excited at first, but I realised very quickly that I didn’t enjoy the degree. I was scared and thought that maybe I wasn’t making enough of an effort to love it, so I kept pushing on… I kept going until the third year!
I was so scared of the idea of “failing” and “giving up”, I thought of myself as a coward if I did that. The other big problem is that I had no clue what degree I would move to, if I ever decided to make the change. I was stuck; it was so utterly overwhelming! It’s funny now looking back and realising that all those fears and feelings of being an absolute loser, for not knowing what to do, are so far from reality. I thought I was alone, and that everybody else had their lives together.
Take note of this: Stress and negativity does not help to clear your mind. Those negative thoughts of you being a loser, feeling less than everybody else… all of that just hinders your thought process and does not help at all in making a wise and worth-while decision. Stress, my friend, …is not your friend.
I decided that I would not change degree unless I had another option. I learned that all degrees build up your skills and character and that is a big part of the learning process, rather than just the theories learnt. Most technical knowledge comes from further studies and doing the actual job. It is not all “set in stone” once you graduate. This truth helped me have more peace of mind while looking at my options.
“Stress, my friend, …is not your friend.”
In the meantime, as I was living for the first time away from my parents, and outside my comfort zone, I faced another big challenge: the ability to keep myself alive. I wanted to take control of my weight and start to eat healthier. I had no clue what to cook though, so I went to a cooking show on Netflix, as I just wanted to find some inspiration. I found one that was all about tasty and healthy meals, which I thought looked interesting. Oh boy, it changed everything! The program was all about cooking tasty meals without being unkind to your body. The ability to use healthy ingredients, being able to know why the stuff you eat is good for you and challenging the mind-set of “treating” yourself with unhealthy food was wild. I realised how little I knew. I was like “man, everybody should know about this!” and then I thought that I would potentially love to be the one helping people to get to know all of this.
I started enjoying healthy eating and plant-based diets, I spiced things up and enjoyed the process. I was definitely more aware of my health and the consequences of my poor diet decisions. I didn’t want people to miss out on this, so I started telling whoever I could. I just wanted to know more and more… and then I realised that I wanted to make a career out of it! I researched and found the degree of Nutrition and Dietetics at Caledonian University. It was so thrilling and terrifying finding that option. Thrilling because, there it was, something I would not just tolerate doing but rather love doing! Yet, also utterly terrifying, because now I had to make a move and there was a possibility that I might not even get in.
The idea of disappointing people because of my “late” desire to change and that they would try to talk me out of it was scary. The fears came and it was tempting to ignore this new option and to carry on with my life as it was. I tried to talk myself out of it, but I couldn’t. However, regardless of all this, it was almost summer, and it was too late for applications anyway, so I thought I’d better finish this degree as best as I can and then we will see. Yet, just halfway through the summer, I found that I could not stop thinking about it. I had no clue what to do and found it very unlikely that they would consider my application. It was a very competitive degree, why would they choose me?
“…I gave everything to explore this new opportunity.”
I sent them an email, just explaining my interest in the degree and asking for advice. They got back to me asking for a personal statement within the next couple of days. I was petrified! It all seemed quite crazy and fast. How on earth was I going to write something that would define my future in such a short time? Surprisingly, a couple of hours of writing were enough to put all my thoughts together as I found it the easiest thing to write about. My heart was all in. I knocked all the possible doors, now it was up to them. Weeks later they got back to me saying: “We are sorry, the course is full”. My heart did not sink, but rather I was so proud I tried and now I felt I could keep carrying on with my studies knowing that I gave everything to explore this new opportunity.
I accepted it and was ready for my final year. Until… the week before starting, I got an email telling me someone had dropped out and asking if I wanted to come for an interview! I was in the middle of my work and I ran out to call my mom to tell her the news. I had the interview the next day and guess what…. Yes, I got in!
I learned SO much from this experience, but this is what I would tell my little stressed self of last year: You are not a loser for not knowing what to do, some people take some time to find out what they love doing and that is FINE. It is never “too late” to try and it is WORTH IT trying, even if it looks so unusual (because it literally seemed impossible back in the day). Stress and negativity are your WORST enemy and it is so unproductive – so kiss stress bye-bye. THANKFULNESS is your best friend, realising that no matter what happens, you have the opportunity to study and that no matter what you do, if you do it from a loving heart wanting to serve others… it will all be fine.
I am so thankful to God and the people who supported me and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I LOVE what I am doing now, and I know everything happened just at the right time.
My dear friend, you got this!