Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Difficult Decisions

When I first applied for University, I wanted to do a year in Industry as I thought this would help improve my employability prospects and make me stand out. I'm now in my second year and have been preparing to send applications to companies etc. However, no matter hard I try, I can't quite find it in me to send them. It has been overwhelming (and not in a good way).

In the last few days, something has dawned on me. I'm not cut out for this and it's just not for me. This has knocked me sideways as I've always been the kind of student who has 'succeeded' at everything and given things a try even if I didn't really want to because I knew it would be good for me in the long run. Now this has come along and a multitude of factors is making me dread my year in Industry. Recently my mental health hasn't been tip-top so I'm really worried about spending a year alone in a random place with no one to go home to cry to (really). Also, I've realised that I actually kind of don't want to do this. It's an entire year of my life that I will be spending doing research and development or some other activity. A year is a long time and seeing as I'm unsure whether I want to do it right now, what happens if I have to spend an entire year there and I hate it? 

I'm still really confused as to whether I should move 'down' on to the straight MChem course and so I've written some lists of pros and cons:

Pros of staying on the Industry course

  • Return to Uni in fourth year with more lab experience
  • Be more employable
  • A year free of exams 
  • It looks good on my CV
Cons of staying on the Industry course
  • I don't really want to do it
  • My mental health isn't that great at the moment
  • The stress of actually applying
  • Having to complete uni modules whilst working 9-5 at a company
Looking at these lists it's almost clear to me what decision to make, however being told I can 'move down' to the straight MChem course is something that I don't like to hear. People treat it like I would be taking a step backwards and be less of a successful scientist and I don't know if I can take that idea, as I've always been the kind of student who has been good. I've always been the best, and I don't quite know how to cope with not being the best and not succeeding at something. I can't quite grasp the idea that maybe this course is not for me, because I've never experienced that before and I suppose I'd feel a bit like a failure.

Any advice is appreciated, as I'm sure you'll guess, I'm a little clueless.
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