What do I do with my life? What next?

2 years, 2 months ago

Hey guys, I am fairly new to HE and this is actually my first post. So when I was 16 years old I was faced with the challenge of deciding what I wanted to apply for at University, and I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I chose Computing, since that is what I liked at the time and I knew that I was taking a year out to go travelling so it wasn’t an immediate problem if it wasnt quite right for me.

I then took the 2 most amazing years (1 turned into 2) of my life travelling in South America, South-East Asia and Australia. I had so many amazing experiences and met some amazing people and built some relationships with some people that will be friends for life.

Of course, I returned to Scotland and by default went to study Computing at the University of Dundee, one of the best computing courses in the UK. Immediately I made great friends, settled in and was enjoying myself in the social side of things but the course right away did not really interest me. Travelling had changed me, had given me this new curiosity and fascination for everything in this world, and so I thought that I would find the world of computing fascinating too. But it bores me. I began to miss classes and assignments, which caused me to fall behind in the course and inevitably into a downwards spiral of demotivation.

I am now at the end of the first semester of the second year having scraped by. This morning I slept through an important presentation that I had to give to the rest of the class and so I thought it was about time I did something about this. The only problem is, because of the rising entry requirements in the UK for getting into University, I will not have the grades to change course, or apply for a new one if I give this one up.

I am terrified of throwing away this opportunity to get a degree and terrified of what comes next, because I would not know where to start. Maybe University isn’t for me at all right now, but what is? Any help would be much appreciated.


December 4, 2012 at 4:11 am

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Profile photo of Alex Alex (@staylucky) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@swalsh92, Hey mate, I would have personally opted away from picking a degree at 16 but the fact is that you committed to it, you have done what sounds like a lot of great stuff before you started it, and now you’re (I’m guessing if it’s 3 years) almost half way through?

Computing is not my gig either so I can understand why you’re feeling frustrated, but I would honestly recommend that you stick it out (and I will do my best to explain why).

I turned 25 this weekend and am only 2 terms into my first year of my degree (graphic design). I had spent a lot of time before this farting around, going on holidays and I also started another degree when I was 20 (audio engineering). Luckily for me I bombed out of that course very early because I knew it was destroying my love for music (very confusing when something like that does the complete opposite of what you expect it to do). Anyway, enough about me. You have made it this far and guess what, you may never use that piece of paper in your life. But as someone who has farted around a fair bit since leaving highschool, I can tell you that you will learn a fair bit from committing to something you don’t want to do for just another little while longer.

It would be a bigger waste of the past 1+ year to turn away now with nothing, and there is no proof that you may find a use for this degree later in your life, whether it be to simply have the tools to start up your own project you’re passionate about, land citizenship by getting a job in another country you so love (I live in Sydney and went to the beach from after uni today until 7pm and it was boiling fyi ;) ). Guess what! That retarded piece of paper would make you having beers with me a lot more likely than “I realised I had to go find myself so I did one year and bailed, but I’d still like to work for you please”.

In my honest opinion, finish the course, save up some cash and keep going with your adventure. There is nothing that says you can only have one degree, finish it, find a job, get a mortgage etc etc etc. I am 25, starting my 2nd and plan on doing a fuckload of travel once I am done. Will that look great on my resume? Nope. But I figure that if I am going to compromise having a solid employment history then it will at least be for a degree that can allow me some leverage as well.

I hope this helps a bit. Let me know when you’re next in Oz!

Profile photo of CaoimheS CaoimheS (@caoimhesweeney) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

Remember, your life is yours to take control of! If you’re not happy, don’t do it. I’m also just finishing up the first semester of second year but I’m doing a course I love.
Would it be possible to come back to university as a mature student and take those years to figure out what you want to do? How long is your course? Could you see yourself struggling through to the end?
Instead, sit down with yourself and think what you do want to do. What do you see yourself happily doing with your life? Remember, you don’t have to have a conventional job. Get a bit creative if you want! As long as you’re happy and comfortable, that’s what matters.
Get a small job, save up, travel some more to other countries (places no-one really thinks to go to) and get your life experience if that’s what you feel you want and need to do! Start meditating, take up a completely new hobby, learn a new skill and you never know what will come to your mind.
Your life is what you make it so it’s entirely up to you what you do with and how you approach your life!

Profile photo of Alex Alex (@staylucky) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@caoimhesweeney, also makes the most important point. Ultimately, it is your choice!

Profile photo of Lover Of Understanding Lover Of Understanding (@professorx15) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@staylucky, very well said!

Profile photo of Lover Of Understanding Lover Of Understanding (@professorx15) 2 years, 2 months ago ago
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