8 Signs You Picked The Wrong College Course

Photo by Dom Fou from Unsplash

Picking the wrong college course is a common mistake among students. In every student’s life, having to choose which degree program to study is one of the hardest decisions one has to make (especially if your options are limited). Since high school, we are asked about our plans in college and the same people passively pressure us about the likelihood of us failing and shifting if we continue to ignore their questions. 

We are told about the possible hardships and lessons we’ll take when we mention a degree program of our choice and leave us discouraged. In return, they suggest a different one they think is best for us.

While studying in high school, we face an enormous amount of pressure venturing our interests and dislikes, what works for us and what doesn’t, and leaves us feeling lost. We are often influenced by a lot of factors, mostly from the advice given by our parents or from the pressure coming from our friends. Even more when we see our batch mates having finally decided the path they’re going to walk into and being a perfect fit for them.

Thus, we hold onto nothing but our insecurities and eventually end up drowning in self-pity because we realize our average minds will never allow us to excel and be a master of one field.




Aside from happiness and finding yourself, a few of the realistic factors that you should consider are the following: 


1. Cost. Can you afford it? 


2. Time. How long will it take until you graduate?


3. Skill. Are you good at it? Can you make a living out of it?


4. Opportunity. Will you be stuck in one place in your whole life? 


5. Passion. Do you find yourself doing it despite the bad days?  



It’s the best time to shift a course when you’re still in your freshman years. Why? Because you still have less specialized subjects and you wouldn’t have to learn more from the other course. In terms of money, you wouldn’t have to use up all that money for years worth nothing.

It’s okay to shift to another degree program. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, but you do need to work extra hard if you don’t want to shift again.

Since Senior High School, I knew right away that I didn’t want to become an accountant. But since I used up one year, I guess at that time, the abovementioned stupid and selfish reasons were worth it. I consider myself an artistic and creative (in a way) type of person leaning to literature and speaking, unfortunately, I don’t think accountancy is the right outlet for me to hone and express my artistic juice.

Often, I felt jealous about how my batchmates were doing — happy and dedicated to studying their respective courses. Although they were stressed, they looked happy while doing it (like they found the worth in all the pain). I wanted something like that. In my first year of college, I picked a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy as my major. I knew right away it wasn’t for me but I pursued it for a year because:  


1. It’s one of the best pre-Law courses.


2. It’s my parents’ dream.


3. I wanted to try and see if I can handle it.


4. I have a lot of friends there. 


5. It uplifts my ego to be included in one of the hardest college courses ever.


6. I can challenge my analytic, memorization, and sound judgment skills.  

If you’re having doubts or drawbacks about your course even before the school year opens, those are probably just jitters and first-day tension. However, if it continues to evolve as you go along, that’s more or less a manifestation that it’s not the right fit for you. You can feel it not once, but every moment you enter the classroom as a tsunami of emotions accumulates and overwhelms you. 


  1. “Will I be able to understand the lessons, the harder they get?”

  2. “Am I still happy about this?”

  3. “Is this a healthy competitive environment for me?”

  4. “Do I see a future in this college course?”

  5. “Is my time and money worth this?”





Whether you’re an achiever in high school, you don’t think the effort and time you put in is worth it. You dread every class meeting, lecture, exam. You’re mostly miserable when you think about your college course. A few reasons may be because you’re not happy when you do it or it doesn’t give any value to you. You don’t think the set of skills you have don’t match the course’s requirements or what type of students they’re looking for. As a result, you tend to resort to mediocrity and don’t even try to give effort. You don’t do research and perform well as you used to in high school.

As a way of finding yourself, you think of taking a break for a year or more. You believe that forcing yourself to adapt into this course will only make you even less productive and less interested. Because you don’t think it’s worth any of your resources, you spend your time looking for courses that you think suit you. 




No matter how much you convince yourself this is all simply a trial or a temptation to lose your drive, sometimes, you have to accept reality and think about your plans. If you have drastically a different plan after you graduate, you would feel unmotivated and dreaded when you have to study for a course that you don’t even want to become.



You see other people and feel jealous about how happy they are. You feel like you’re stuck in a place without any viable way to get out of. You compare almost anything about your life to theirs and usually end up saying all the ugly things to yourself. You have so many things to criticize, and that includes yourself. You crawl in self-pity and impostor’s syndrome. As a result, you spend more time destroying your confidence in your college course and even your personal choices. Time will come that jealousy will overwhelm you and your studies will be left neglected. 




Your to-do list doesn’t seem to bother you at all anymore. Regardless of the urgency of the task, you find yourself giving excuses you can’t do them. when the truth is, you don’t want that feeling of not being good enough to do the assignment. A lot of people deny it but it’s true that we don’t do the things that are either difficult or things that make us feel dumb or stupid when we do them. Eventually, you end up asking answers from your classmates or not doing them at all. You don’t see the point of trying because you know that you won’t be happy anyway should you succeed. 




Instead of learning more about your course, you spend time talking about other degree courses. You feel drawn to their degree programs more than the one you have. You find yourself jealous of the job opportunities that are in store for them. You constantly think about how your life would be different if you’ve chosen their field. Interest plays a huge factor in picking a college course. If you’re not at least the slightest bit interested, there’s no guarantee you can make it through. It isn’t only a sign that you’re discontented with what you’re studying but also a reality check if you’re able to endure this course mentally and emotionally. 




At one point, you decide to shrug off all the negative thoughts and be a good student anyway. You show up in class, participate in lectures, increase your competence by collaborating with your classmates, and so on, but you still get bad results. Despite giving it your best and enduring late nights, you fail anyway. Although figures don’t accurately measure your intelligence, it can measure a bunch of other things like your attitude and willingness to pass. Your bad grades may not necessarily reflect on your skills but on pressure, on your decisions, on your treatment towards your professor and your classmates, etc. You will turn out  miserable and dissatisfied with your progress and tend to overwork which will lead to even more decline in your physical and mental health. 




Whenever you do homework or school requirements, you’re always demotivated by the red marks you see on your paper. You’re constantly reminded by the negative feedback given by your professor. Although you keep lifting up your confidence, somehow the pressure of opting to fail sounds better to you (so that the terrible feeling will end). As a result, you set conditions on your progress. For instance, “If I pass on the next exam, I will give this course another chance,” or “If I fail this time, this is a bad sign.”

Thinking like this reflects on the willpower you have to finish this course. If you were truly happy about the choice you made, you wouldn’t tie it to a figure or to a possibility. You would be determined to finish it even with failing marks. You would recharge your mind and body when there’s an upcoming test and see yourself graduating in 4 years. 



This is one of the most frustrating feelings ever; the fact that you want to study another course but you can’t so you just wait for time to pass by. Not only do you feel unmotivated, but you’re likely to demotivate other people along with you. During recess or lunch break, you open your textbooks apathetically and release a sigh after every page. You open up conversations about your plans for the semester break (because the idea of a vacation brings you comfort from what you’re feeling now). 



If you’re stuck at the crossroads, listen to what your gut is telling you. If the only thing that’s keeping you from shifting is your ego because you wouldn’t want anybody to think you’re not smart or good enough for your current course, that is an awful reason to stay.

If you’re worried about expenses and school debt, then you would have to talk about it with your parents or to anyone who’s paying for you. Although money is a very important factor to consider in your schooling, it shouldn’t be the primary reason to base your decisions on. Your future potential work depends on how much you take from your college course so it has to be one that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Now, I’m a 1st year Journalism student, and I’ve never felt more right to be in it. It’s just as much as important as any ideal pre-law course, and I believe I can be more of myself as I traipse on the road to becoming a public lawyer.

Your college course does not determine the course of your future, but it will serve as the bedrock of your professional set of knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary in the future. If you’re not transformed holistically by the time you graduate, it’s either you’ve chosen the wrong course or you’ve been taking it for granted. 


“Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.”

Mark Twain 

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

11 thoughts on “8 Signs You Picked The Wrong College Course

  1. Such an interesting read. I know some courses are vocational but I agree with you about college being a bedrock of your future attitudes, skills, and knowledge. 🙂


  2. This is absolutely true. You don’t have to trap yourself for something that’s no longer making you happy. But the sad thing is, the choice is not available for everyone..


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