Just like any relationship, it’s all about compromise.
When my parents chose my college degree, I didn’t know what I was in for. My dad finished a business degree in college, and my mom, a high school graduate, has entrepreneurial tendencies. And being an only child, I was expected to be like them.
Being an indifferent 16-year-old froshie (that’s what they called freshmen in my university), I just powered through my everyday school activities: balancing spreadsheets, reading business theories, understanding statistics, etcetera. I didn’t love what I was doing, but I didn’t hate it either. I was just there. Seeing my classmates spend hours poring over one balance sheet after another, and preparing the best business pitches made me feel jealous. Why wasn’t I as fascinated with Warren Buffett and the Blue Ocean Strategy as they were?
Back then, I thought of college as a place to find myself and to figure out what I wanted to do in the long run. At that time, I felt that my course wasn’t it. I couldn’t do anything about it because that was what my parents wanted, and disappointing them was never (and will never be) an option.
If you’re experiencing the same thing, you might feel panicked or out of place. You can always fake it until you make it (always a wise choice), but sometimes it will not be enough. There will be moments when the option of shifting out will haunt you during the worst of times (see: graded recitations and extremely tough tests), but if you must power through, then just do you.
While college education is a right, not everyone is given that entitlement. For me, just dropping everything didn’t feel right because it seemed like everything I have worked on would be put to waste. Staying in love with the course you didn’t pick in the first place is like trying to keep a relationship with a Tinder match you once considered ghosting. It’s not going to happen. But like any kind of relationship, a compromise is possible, especially if you want to finish what you started. After all, when all’s said and done, that’s still one finished degree that you can display proudly on your shelf.