Why I Chose My Major (and Why I Quit)
This blog space here is relatively new and if you don’t personally know me you won’t know that despite all my hardships in my young life that I attended both a community college and a University. I honestly haven’t written a whole lot about my college days in a very long time and mostly it was only ‘I’m doing this paper’ or ‘working on that project’. I enjoyed school growing up very much. I loved most of my teachers through the years however school became difficult for me. But as I grew up I started to get the hang of it and worked smarter not harder. I put more effort in and aside from having a pretty hard senior year I slipped through- not my highest GPA but also not my lowest. I graduated and moved out on my own. Portland State accepted me and I chose to go to start my Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree.
There’s a lot of reasons why I picked a psychology degree. My first reason being that I grew up as a child of divorce and I was moved around like a rag doll between parents for years. It was a scary time and I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to and was then taught to keep secrets and not to tell anyone what was going on. Later on down the line after moving a bunch and doubling back to high school I took beginner to psychology class. I loved the content and teachers I had. I loved how the lessons in the class related directly to my life. The idols and great fathers of psychology in every tier was so fascinating to me. It was one of the only classes I liked and enjoyed, asked questions and readily was interested in. I remember wishing at the end of the semester that there was just more lessons. My teachers as a junior in high school then urged me to look into thinking about doing psychology as a major.
A big reason why I initially wanted to study psychology had a lot to do with what I went through as a young teen. I lost my father at a young age to suicide-it was sudden and tragic. Anyway, I felt like I had a lot of people trying to support me and counsel me but they did a bad job. Years later and I don’t think I’ll ever recover from it. It’s something that just lives with you no matter what you do to cope daily. I know I am not the totality of what happened but of course it affected my life in a huge way. I also acknowledge that I am not the only one this has happened to and I know there are better parts of life coming.
I always wanted to help kids thrown into bad situations like me, helpless and hopeless kids who needed to be supported. I felt like I could relate to kids who’ve been through similar losses with immediate family members. I went to a child’s counseling group center called “Dougy Center” I don’t know if it’s state or nationwide but I loved it all the same. It was truly a safe place where you can physically and mentally release whatever emotions you are struggling with.(sidenote: there was an arson and although it was destroyed they were able to relocate and rebuild again even better than before)
I think it’s especially important to take your pre-requisites very seriously. I was great doing my undergrad studies and then when it came time to have my nose to the grindstone, I was already like, worn out. School is tedious and monotonous. I am no longer a believer in “college is the only way” because now we have mediums like YouTube and companies who hire and train on site. Although positions like in an office secretary type setting used to be entry level is now not enough experience for an post grad. Changes in times surrounding school are one of two ideas; you MUST go to school and now these days go for longer/word harder OR you have to create your own skillset, sell or be unique enough that you can somehow make a living and live unhappily in middle to low class forever.
When I met my husband- things changed. Priorities just shifted. Although it really had nothing to do with him I wasn’t invested anymore. I hit my wall after 5 years of school and still puttering along without any real progress or final stand, I was done. I was struggling through every class and trying desperately to get help in my math arena. I got tutoring and after school help and office hours but nothing was working out… I felt defeated and that at the end of it all was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had 7 more math classes to finish when I called it quits. I was so close and yet so far and at that point I don’t think anyone could blame me. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I just couldn’t reinvest either. Now my financial situation has changed and I cannot afford to go back to school. So I’m going to encourage you to continue to strive, if you’ve hit your wall keep pushing because in the end it’s so important. I’m thankful that I learned as much as I did in the amazing courses with the people and educators that I did but I wish I could’ve finished.
Did you choose to go to community college or a university? Did you go straight to work from high school? What has been your experiences and what lead you to that path? I’d really love to hear why and how you’d do it different (if you could or want to)?