Being Open to Career Changes

Screen-Shot-2015-04-07-at-1.07.33-PMWhen I first came to McGill, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do. When you come to a university that is as prestigious as ours, there is a good amount of pressure on knowing what you want to do right away in order to be the most competitive candidate as soon as possible. The thing is, I don’t think anyone is truly prepared for college until they’re thrown into it. Everything that you plan is always incredibly susceptible to change. What is in your power is your receptivity to those changes.

Are you prepared to take classes you don’t like? 

Are you prepared to receive a lower mark than you expected?

Can you handle job rejection? 

These are all questions that you should be asking yourself, not only in regards to University but also in regards to the next (and bigger) step: real life.

One of the biggest concerns for McGill students is suffering a hit to their GPA. And guess what? Sometimes this is bound to happen. You’ll hear stories all over campus of people getting an unexpected C, D, or F. Now, if you’re getting several of these and you’re feeling frustrated then there should be a couple things to consider. Firstly, do you enjoy what you’re learning? Many times if you are passionate about what you’re doing, it becomes slightly easier to do the work for it. It becomes less of a chore essentially. Secondly, is there any other major/minor that would make you feel better about yourself as an academic student? My advisor asked me this question once. It came as quite a shock but it made me realize that I’m really not as constrained to my program as I think. There are a million opportunities out there. Instead of seeing it as rejection, see it as something kind of exciting.

This semester, I completely switched gears when it came to my Grad School plan. While before I felt pressured in my studies, I can’t help but look forward now to what this new grad plan will become. Stress and competition are not my things. In fact, I’m pretty sure most McGill kids would agree. Sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers and impressions that we forget to remember that these big school traits (competition, rivalry) were instilled in us but are not engrained in us. I know that for most of you this sounds incredibly ridiculous; “it’s too late to think like that, I can’t afford it.”

I understand that. Sometimes we can’t help but continue in this path of competition for financial reasons, career reasons, parental pressures etc. But the point here is that you should never feel afraid to switch gears if you have to. Nothing is set in stone at all. Sometimes we think our university path is laid out for us and that we have no other option but to follow it. But use google, use the resources that McGill gives us. Find out that there are more grad programs and career opportunities than you can even imagine. And…switch gears if you want to.

I did. And it’s the best decision I’ve made yet.


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