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I dont like my major but my parents refuse to let me change it.

so, I'm inthe middle of my first year at medical school. Last semester i realized that maybe this isnt the path for me. I'm really bad at some of the subjects and I ended up failing one of my major classes. I started to look for another career alternatives . One of them was foreign languages or international relations (I love learning new languages and the thought of working as an embassador or smth like that really resonates with me) so, I told my mom (she is paying most of my college fees) and told me that i was confused and that no other degree would get me the job oppotunities that a medical degree gives, but i dont feel the same passion all my friends feel towards medicine and i feel lost right now, i really dont know what to do. #medicine #major #h #college-major

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Kim’s Answer


This is a difficult predicament to be in. My first question for you is, did you think you wanted to be in medicine prior to it getting tough? That is, you need to really decide if this is a case of you wanting to quit because the going is a little harder than you expected, or, is this really something that's not for you? This is a very important question. You will always have adversities to face in life. Running from a difficulty is not the way to learn to deal with it. You have to learn to tackle these things, head-on.

If you've already had that conversation with yourself, and you think medicine REALLY isn't for you, then there are family/cultural issues to face. If you quit, is it simply a matter that your mom will no longer fund your education, or, will you be forever shunned by the family? While we might think, "oh, I don't need them," it gets mighty lonely during the holidays with no place to call home.

Is there some aspect of medicine that you can go into, rather than being a doctor? Perhaps Radiology, pathology, etc? I know some sales people with medical backgrounds - they sell things like neurostimulators, medications, etc, and are very successful. Perhaps finding a related field will keep both your family and you happy?

I do NOT advocate taking a career that you do not want, simply to keep peace in the family. But, you need to understand the potential consequences, including financial, and be prepared to address them. I recommend you seek out a school counselor and discuss this with them.

I wish you the best as you try to sort through this!


thank you so much for replying! and no, I don't think this is for me. While I do enjoy helping people, I feel like doing it like this doesn't give me the personal satisfaction that other people in my field have. What's funny is that I took those career test at the university I'm currently at and my results were towards social sciences and arts. I'm going to talk to a counselor next week I think. Again, thank you for taking the time to reply:) Ana R.

Ana, You are welcome! Professionally, will you be in Ecuador, the US, or ? I may have some additional comments, but want to make sure they are relevant first. Kim Igleheart

Personally, I'd like to work where I can be useful. If its the US then I'd go, my country isn't very good economically unless you have a high position job so... but I like to travel, so anywhere! Feel free to give your comments they're much appreciated. (also sorry for any typos, as you can probably tell English isn't my first language) Ana R.

Ana, your English is fine!! Before you start down a path, any path, I recommend you talk to people in that field, perhaps on this site! Ask them what they like and dislike about their jobs! Social Sciences is a broad field with lots of opportunities. I have been in one small piece of it. What I did not like about the workforce center was its emphasis on numbers: how many job contacts I gave someone was much more important than making sure they had a good resume and solid interview skills. Every job has a downside. Find it and decide if you can accept it. Best! Kim Kim Igleheart

thank you! and yes i probably should do that, I’m going to start asking and see how it goes:) I’m very anxious about all this but i hope it’ll go well. again, thank you for your comments:) Ana R.

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Hwal’s Answer


This must be really difficult for you. Getting into a medical school is no easy task, so I hope you give yourself lots of credit! I personally believe that enjoyment should be one of the biggest priorities when deciding your major, or a career path, for that matter. I wonder if speaking with a faculty member or program director at your school/program is an option, because chances are that they've experienced a similar situation with at least one of their students previously. If not, speaking with a school counsellor confidentially about your difficulties could help you put your thoughts in perspective. They might also be able to help you figure out which major or career choices would be the best fit for you. Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck!


Thank you for your reply, and yes I’m not enjoying much this career I think the part I enjoy the most are the not related subjects I take. I have a few ideas of the career path I’d like to take but sadly in my city there are not many universities with those majors or even in my country:( Ana R.

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G. Mark’s Answer

I would recommend this. Find a career counselor, someone in your college, perhaps and employment advisor, and get hold of a Personality Assessment Survey. This is a general term for a test that asks a whole bunch of normal and weird questions, possibly multiple-choice, that will analyze your personality and preferences for matching those of people who are happy and successful in various careers. You will end up with a list of occupations you're probably well-suited for. I'd say a lot of people are tired of me repeating this, but I always tell my students that you'll likely be good at what you enjoy, and you'll likely enjoy what you're good at. And happy and competent workers make everyone happier and better.

Take these results and this list of occupations and see if any of them look like something your parents would be happy with. Or you may even be surprised that the list includes some things you never thought of, or even that overlap with what your current major is, but seems like a lot more well-suited to you.

This is a practical and effective way of making everyone happy. You have nothing to lose by taking this test (one example is called "RIASEC"), and it will likely be fun and informative.

sorry for the late reply! also, I think I took this kind of test before at my uni and my results showed I was leaning towards an art related career, of course my mom wasn’t too happy with this and disregarded the result hehe but I think talking with a counselor is the best thing to do, thank you for replying! Ana R.