During the 8-9 years i have been blogging i have had countless messages from people feeling worried, anxious, hopeless about what they are studying or what they want to be in when they grow up. So many people messaging me wondering, “How did i know that i wanted to study nutrition?” How did i figure out what i wanted to do with my life or what i wanted to work with in the future.
There are so many people who begin studying something only to realise half way through, even when they have finished their program that it was the wrong direction. So many people studying things they don’t want to just because they think they have to. If you are one of them, you aren’t alone.
So many people don’t know what they want to study or what they want to be when they grow up, and that is ok. There are people in my university program who have already studied a bachelors and worked with in the area they studied, only to realise it wasn’t right for them and began studying a new bachelors. There are people in my class who after 1,5 years still aren’t sure it is the right program for them. It is not easy to know what you want to study or do when you are older. I personally haven’t been in the situation where i have doubted what i am studying – or well, i have at times felt like certain courses in my program aren’t so beneficial and i rather take a course that would benefit me more, but in whole i feel like the program is right. Even if i do plan to study extra courses such as in psychology, business and maybe even stress and coaching to help me even more.
It is ok to not know what you want to do. Every situation is individual and i know in the UK and US where you have to pay for your education (in Sweden you don’t really pay for your education, however the majority of students have to take a student loan which will take xx years to pay off.) it is not as easy to just quit your program and start a new one. Not to mention some courses or programs it can be extremely hard to get in.
But i personally don’t think you should be studying something you hate, or studying a program for someone elses sake (i.e maybe your parents want you to study something?). It is not a failure to stop studying, it is not a failure to quit your university program…. there is NO POINT doing something you hate and gives you anxiety. If your gut feeling is telling you that it is wrong, then listen to it…. If you go to school with anxiety and a feeling of “I really really don’t want to do this” then maybe you should listen to that feeling.
Of course sometimes you have to study things you aren’t so interested in or you have to do things you would prefer not to, but if you constantly feeling anxious and hate what you are studying then maybe you should listen to that. It is your life and your future after all…. the feeling won’t go away when you have finished your education and you have a degree in something you don’t even want to work with.
It is ok to change paths in life.
I know it is easy for me to sit behind my computer screen and write this when i am not and haven’t been in this situation. I haven’t always known what i want to study or work with in the future, and even now i don’t fully know what and how i will work in the future. I know i want to work with nutrition and health – but how i do that, whether i work for another company, or start my own business i really don’t know… there are pro’s and con’s to both. I have no idea what i will be working with or how i will be working in 10 years time….
When i was younger i was set on being an engineer or an author and then when i got sick with my eating disorder i lost all interest in those areas. Infact i lost interest in everything apart from food….. and then in recovery when i began learning more about health, reading about nutrition and wanting to take care of my body i sort of found my “calling in life”. Usually i tell people in recovery to make sure they are feeling mentally healthy and free from obsession around food before studying nutrition – because i know alot of people who have begun studying nutrition while they are recovering from their eating disorder because they are so focused on food, and then when they recover they realise that they aren’t even passionate or interested in nutrition or food, instead it was just their eating disorder.
However, learning more about nutrition in recovery can also help aid recovery because you learn the importance of nutrition and learn to take care of your body. And in cases like myself, you find you are truly passionate about health and nutrition and it is not an obsession or just your eating disorder.
Of course my passion has gone from dietitian and writing meal plans to being more of a health coach and working with healthy people instead of sick people. And now i am rather interested in stress and stress coaching as well…. so paths change. Interests change and that is ok.
It can be tough to admit that you are studying something that isn’t right for you, but it is even worse to go through life hating what you are doing.
You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life. Most people don’t know…. interests change and people change jobs over time when they find new areas they want to work with or areas that interest them.
My suggestion is to do different things in life. Example if you decide to not study, then work… or travel – do something. Because even if you don’t find what you want to do, you will find out what you don’t want to do. Not to mention it will give you experience whether you travel or work. Don’t stress yourself or worry about having your life together or knowing what you want to do.
Do things that interest you. Try new things. Read, travel, work, take extra courses…. someday you will figure out what you want to do. Maybe you can combine interest and hobbies with work…. Making money while doing something you love is the best feeling in the world.
I may not make alot (or any!) money from social media and blogging or helping people online, but it is something i love and am passionate about and i know that as long as i love it i want to keep doing it, and that i will start earning money through doing what i love!
If you don’t know what to study or what you want to work with, don’t feel sad or worried… you are not alone in those feelings. And hating what you are doing or studying is not worth it in the long-term. You only have one life, do you really want to spend it hating what you do and feeling unhappy?