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what should i do? i hate my major, i dont want to be a teacher

Im 22 years old girl and im in my third year of Preschool Education (it takes 5 years) , im gonna be a teacher and i hate t i dont know why did i choose that major, i hate to see myself in the mirror, and i hate to think in my future because im gonna become the person i always fear i fear to be, someone who doesnt have insterest in their job and being mad all the time, sometimes when people figure it out this they say... hey but you are going to have a good salary, but its not my case, i hate the major and teachers in latin america get paid very poorly, im lost and feel unmotivated in every class in every school i see. Ive discovered that i like to write and learn languages, i speak spanish, english and im learning french so i thought of being a translator, its not easy to be a translator but i feel motivated about it ... the problem is im already 22 years old, and i dont know what to do ...
#school #college #major #lost #


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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Diana,

I'm sorry you're feeling like this and are having this problem! No one should be pursuing a career they don't love. I would recommend taking a semester off to re-assess your options and get a break. Sometimes the best thing to do if take a step back and talk to someone about your situation.

If you love languages take a class next semester on a language you are interested in. It is never too late to change majors no matter how far along in the program you are. I know people who have switched majors in their senior year of college and just graduated later in life. There is no shame in graduating later than your classmates. If you don't have a passion for it, it's better to find out while you're young when you have time to change your path!

I hope you find this helpful,
Good Luck in your journey!

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Fabíola’s Answer

Hello Diana!
In my 20 years of experience in Higher Education, I saw many students hit what I call the "academic mid-life crisis". Halfway through the degree and students start doubting why did they choose that path. It happened to me too (my degree is in Architecture). Funny fact is that I wanted to be a teacher so I finished my Architecture degree, did a specialization in Psychology and combine the two topics for my Master's degree.
I am also from latin-america, so I can relate to the context of the low-salary. But I also know that given the competition in work market inlatin-american countries, you can go further if you get a Master's Degree. My advice? Finish your degree (you are almost there) and do a Master's in a related career such as School Administration (you could be a Principal) or Psychology (you could be a school counselor).
Buena Suerte!

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Kristen’s Answer

Hi Diana- First of all, you're doing great. Don't be so hard on yourself, you can always change your course. But I can relate, I have had the same feelings. Your working career will be long and you do not want to do something that makes you unhappy. There is a great need for medical translators at hospitals and I believe you just need to get a certificate which is only a couple of credits. You can start by volunteering and see how you like it. Those careers typically pay well although I cannot speak for the pay in Latin America. I would finish your degree since you're almost done and once your graduate pursue the career you want. Plenty of people graduate with degrees in subjects they don't end up pursuing. It is totally okay! Congrats on almost graduating, that is a major accomplishment!

Kristen recommends the following next steps:

volunteer as a translator
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Sanober’s Answer

Hi Diana!

I want you to know that your feelings are valid regarding your future. We live in a society that thrives on always having a plan and we feel shame when we may start to dislike a plan we set out for ourselves years ago. It seems like you have answered your own question by stating your unhappiness with your current career path, and I urge you to listen to your gut feeling. While it may seem weird at first, eventually you will learn to trust your inner voice after it is no longer crowded out by outer opinions.

Best of luck on your journey!

Sanober

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Ashley’s Answer

Hi Diana,

As many other answers have stated, it is never too late to change your major. Additionally, it is never too late to change your path in life, no matter how far in you are, or how old you are! If you pursue a career path that doesn't bring you some sort of joy, you are doing yourself AND your potential students a disservice. You owe it to yourself to give yourself the highest probability of success - loving what you do will make you much more successful, and hard work will be more tolerable, or even fun in the long run. Personally, I discovered in my last year of a music education degree that I loved music, but hated teaching. I ended up finishing the degree, but focused mostly on the music and now I'm a professional musician.

I do not know your financial situation, but if you can afford to take a semester off of school to work and re-evaluate, do. Take classes (at university, or in your community) in subjects that interest you, or find volunteer opportunities that bring you joy.

Finally, don't ever feel like you have to have it all figured out by 22, or 25, or even 30. Finding your passion in life is a constantly changing journey. Be honest with yourself every day and you will find what you are supposed to do.

Good luck!

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Fabíola’s Answer

Hello Diana!
In my 20 years of experience in Higher Education, I saw many students hit what I call the "academic mid-life crisis". Halfway through the degree and students start doubting why did they choose that path. It happened to me too (my degree is in Architecture). Funny fact is that I wanted to be a teacher so I finished my Architecture degree, did a specialization in Psychology and combine the two topics for my Master's degree.
I am also from latin-america, so I can relate to the context of the low-salary. But I also know that given the competition in work market inlatin-american countries, you can go further if you get a Master's Degree. My advice? Finish your degree (you are almost there) and do a Master's in a related career such as School Administration (you could be a Principal) or Psychology (you could be a school counselor).
Buena Suerte!

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Faez’s Answer

Hi Diana,

Are you not interested in being a teacher only or does that include the field of teaching? By that I mean, you could leverage your degree in education to make a switch to learning and development in the corporate world. I know a few people and peers who have made the switch and they love it.

All the best and don't worry too much as you will be able to figure out what it is that you enjoy and head down that path for your career.

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Steve’s Answer

Hey Diana,

I started my career as a classroom educator... I have two degrees in teaching, and went through a transition toward the tail end of my teaching career that my passion for the work started to change. It was hard to admit to myself, but the job wasn't a good fit for me for many reasons.

So many others gave great advice here, but I wanted to chime in and say that career paths are a journey, and if you're feeling drawn to something new, it may be worth exploring. But everything you learned along the way will always be relevant, and honestly helpful. You'll come to find with a lot of professionals, the title of their degree, and the title of their current job don't often match.

I currently work in technology sales, and a lot of the things I learned in my years as an educator and earning my degrees in teaching still help me to succeed to this day.

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Diana,

I'm very sorry to hear this, but you're not alone! I found myself in the same boat and I'll tell you what I did... I changed majors. It might be more expensive, take more time, etc but you have your whole life to work. It's definitely worth the investment to do something you enjoy, or at least don't hate. You'll make it through this!

Thanks,
Blake

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Simeon’s Answer

I think the quickest fix would be to get training in a trade like plumbing, welding, or electrical work since you're 22. That would give you the time and flexibility to complete schooling at your own pace if you can locate schools that will allow you to complete your translator training in the meantime.

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Karen’s Answer

Hello Diana,

I went through the same feeling at your age and it's dreadful to feel so lost. I had just finished my psychology degree and was filling out the paperwork for my masters when it hit me: I can't do this the rest of my life! I felt awful that I wasted 4 years of my life and didn't know what to do next. As fate would have it, I started working in an office until I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I then decided to go back to school for business and eventually specialized in Human Resources. I ended up loving this field and I specialized in Talent Acquisition over time. The best part is, my Psychology degree was not wasted as it helps me in working with people all the time. Please don't give up, you will find your path, and it will never be too late. All the best!

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Todd’s Answer

Your feelings about your choice of career path are all too common, so while that may provide some sense of relief, it doesn't solve your issue. I can't speak to life or careers in Latin America, but as far as starting on one path in college and finding another that speaks to you is a good thing. I know too many people who went 100% in on their college degree (and graduate degree) only to realize it's not what they wanted.

Just a quick example, I worked for a short time at a K-12 school many years ago and the librarian had a law degree but decided she had no interest in using it, so she became a librarian. Not a high paying job and she had student loans for her undergraduate and graduate degrees to pay off, but she was now doing what she loved.

You're discovering your career interests relatively early, so it's a step in the right direction. I would recommend speaking with an academic advisor at your university to see how you might pivot from Preschool Education to becoming a Foreign Language teacher. You may find that many of your completed courses can be used towards that degree. Then you can explore becoming a translator, as I would think that someone capable of speaking and teaching foreign languages could cross over into translation work.

I changed career paths while in college and then changed careers at 28, so while I was jealous of the people who always knew what they wanted to do (and did it), I realized that those of us who made a career switch were the majority. (Actually, I would guess that the real majority are the people who stuck with their original career path and are unhappy, but afraid or unable to make a change.)

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.

Todd recommends the following next steps:

Speak with an academic advisor at your university
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Look at your school's requirements for becoming a Foreign Language teacher
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Explore on-line what it takes to become a Translator
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Diana!

You've already been given some great advice, but I'm moved to speak to you too. Your message makes my heart break: no person should hate themselves for decisions they made at such a young age! As some others have mentioned, this is a time in your life when it can be very hard to know what you truly want vs. what others want for you. Truly speaking, I don't know enough about education and job prospects in Peru/LatAm to give you advice on your future path. (Others with more knowledge have spoken up on this.) But I would suggest you try the following:

1) Every time you think "I'm ALREADY 22 :("...instead think "I'm ONLY 22! :D" You're message suggests that you feel that you are "behind," but you are not. You are on your own journey.

2) Be aware of the "sunk cost fallacy." In other words, "don't keep making a mistake just because you spent a long time making it." When making a decision about your future, do you feel differently if you DON'T let yourself think things like, "but I've put so much time/money into this degree"? You can't get that time and money back; it is "sunk cost" and shouldn't factor into your future decisions. You may still feel conflicted, and that's okay, but freeing yourself from the burden of sunk cost may make your decision more clear.

Best of luck to you!

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