Dear Sallie: Tired-Of-This
Updated: Feb 22
All your life’s questions answered by Sallie, The Saint’s delightfully mysterious Agony Aunt. Submit your questions anonymously to Sallie on our Instagram or our website!
I really hate my subject...I picked it because I wanted something challenging, but now I'm halfway through and I hate it so much!!! Everything is very confusing, and sometimes I think about dropping out and starting again somewhere else…
I’m so sorry you’re struggling. Everyone (you, me and Hilary Duff) knows how awful it is to start something we think will be exciting, but actually turns out to be like waiting for rain in this drought: useless and disappointing.
I think it was really impressive that you picked a subject you knew you’d find challenging. In many ways, you’re exactly like Hilary Duff in seminal film A Cinderella Story, when she makes Princeton her dream school even though she’s penniless and has an evil stepmother telling her that she’s not very pretty and not very bright. I get it though, when an exciting challenge becomes a painful burden, there’s a case to be made for letting it go… But remember, this isn’t Sallie Says (I wish!), so try not to go about telling everyone that Sallie told you to drop out.
In fact, I think you should stay. There’s plenty more to university than your subject, despite what your parents or guardians might lead you to believe. It’s not all about books, labs, and revision. The primary purpose of your university time, I truly believe, is to transition into your adult life. Make friends, learn to budget, care for yourself, and find out who you are when you are away from your inherited support system. Focus on simply passing your modules (nobody actually cares about classification once you’ve secured your diploma). You will make it through the next half of your course, and then you can reevaluate what you want to do. After that, who knows? You might find you want to redo your undergraduate years following a different subject, or you might find that the career or project you next embark on does not care about what you studied at uni at all. Lots of places don’t! In the immortal words of Miley Cyrus: we can’t stop (and we won’t stop).
Stick it out a little longer, you’ve made it halfway through already! If you’re truly miserable however, (like Hilary Duff-as-Sam was when she read that false rejection letter from Princeton) then maybe you do need to take a break and re-evaluate where you’d like to be. BUT, at this point it makes more sense to keep facing this challenge you’ve set yourself. The light is visible at the end of the tunnel, and conquering this subject will feel all the more sweeter the harder you work now.
All my love,
Illustration: Kate Lau