Skip to main content
Arts + Social Sciences › Psychology, Arts + Social Sciences › Linguistics
SFU Student

empty
person thinking
By capitalizing on your strengths and being passionate about what you do, you stand to gain a lot more from your post-secondary experience and open the door to untold opportunities along the way!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself facing some tough questions when considering your post-secondary education. What should you study? What level of degree should you get? And most importantly, what careers could that degree lead to? It often feels like you are expected to know all the right answers from the start, so admitting that you may not have made the best decision can be difficult. The idea of leaving behind something in progress to start again in a different direction can be very daunting, so what do you do when it seems that what you have chosen initially just isn’t right for you?

At one point, I found myself in this position during my studies. I started in a program more related to what I thought I should be doing, as opposed to what I would actually enjoy doing. Thanks to this, I resented my classes, and frankly the whole university experience. Luckily, I was able to move past that and get to a better place by asking myself a few key questions that I would like to share with you, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

What led you to choose this area of study in the first place?

If your answer is “because somebody told me to,” or “because I felt pressured to head in that direction,” do yourself a favour and reclaim your education. Regardless of what other people in your life think, it won’t make your days any better if you are struggling to find purpose in what you are doing. This is your life and your future; don’t do yourself a disservice by being cheated out of pursuing your own interests.

What’s keeping you in this program?

Do you enjoy what you are doing? Do you find meaning in your academic pursuits and future goals? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then what is keeping you tied down to this area? Maybe it is a fear of the unknown, or maybe you are hoping things will get better. However, if you continue to feel dissatisfied, perhaps you might be more fulfilled pursuing something else.

What would you like to gain from your post-secondary experience?

Are your studies just a means to an end, or is it about the journey? Some people just want to get a degree so they can land whatever job they qualify for. I may have felt similarly in the past, but eventually realized that I hoped to look back on my education with a feeling of sentimental nostalgia for what I studied. So ask yourself: what is it that you are seeking?

After asking myself these questions, I realized that I no longer had an interest in what I was studying, and wanted more from my education. It was time for a change! Looking for some guidance, I went to visit an SFU career advisor who, with the help of Johnny Bunko, opened my eyes to the idea of focusing on my strengths instead of sticking to a linear plan. I decided that it was better to take a detour than risk being unhappy for any longer, and I have never looked back.

Now I enjoy my studies and have been offered great experiences due to my interest in the field. By capitalizing on your strengths and being passionate about what you do, you stand to gain a lot more from your post-secondary experience and open the door to untold opportunities along the way!

SFU Student
Claudia Mesteru is a Career Peer Educator with SFU Career Services, a 3rd year student working towards a BA with a major in Psychology and a minor in Linguistics, and an aspiring future speech pathologist. An avid volunteer, Claudia's learned that it's never too late to do what makes you happy, and hopes to share that realization with her peers.

You Might Like These... International, Career Exploration, Academic Success, Personal Development, Professional Associations, Seeking

picture of a bunch of hand-painted bowls
International Studies: Experiences Abroad Set Students Apart

International Studies (IS) is a fairly new faculty at SFU. How can students in IS market their unique perspectives and skill set to potential employers? Read on for advice from Jan Bérubé, Manager of Academic & Administrative Services for the School for International Studies, and for some upcoming events with international-focused employers.

Suzanne smiling at her desk
Suzanne Young: A Co-op Student's Success Story

For Suzanne Young, SFUs Co-op program was an immense part of her undergraduate experience. As a graduate in Linguistics and French, she reflects back on her experiences as a Co-op student.

Monica smiling on the sands of a beach
Studying Down Under

Monica Hartanto spent a semester studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  Read about here experience here, and get tips on how you can study abroad too!

You Might Like These... Academic Success

blank notebook with a pen on top
3 Resources to Ace Your Next Paper

Having trouble researching for your next paper? Here are some tips on how to use the Internet to its fullest to help ace your next essay.

Aerial view of students walking across pond in the Academic Quadrangle during convocation
Applying to Grad School? I Wish You Had Come Sooner

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” This Chinese proverb inspired Kandice, a Public Health Graduate student, to share her tips on applying to grad school. Read Kandice's article to learn why you should start the process today!

Cartoon illustration of remote working
10 Things Students Wished Instructors Knew About Remote Learning

The Health Peer Educators, in conjunction with SFU Health and Counselling Services, did an informal Instagram poll a few weeks ago to learn more about students’ experiences with remote learning. Check out the resulting recommendations suggested by students for how instructors can improve students’ experience in remote classes.