Why I Didn’t Waste 4 Years Pursuing the Wrong Degree

I sat in a crowd of black robes with a square hat on my head and a tassle fluttering in the wind. I knew what was on everyone’s mind: the next phase of their carefully planned journey.  But for me, I just knew exactly what I DID NOT want to do. I was not going to use my degree at all. Back to square one for me and I couldn’t be more excited!


I spent four years pursuing a degree in Health Science. I did it because it was expected of me. I did it because I thought it would make my parents happy. I did it for everyone, but me. I know a lot of people would think it was a waste of time. But the truth is it wasn’t.


People aren’t built to execute plans. We’re not computers in that way. You don’t set a human program, run it, and die. Nope. We are meant to learn on our journey. And the most important and exciting thing to learn is about ourselves. I made a mistake in choosing health science. But the reality is, for a long time, I thought it was for me. Those four years helped me realize that although I was smart, although I could do it, I did not want to become a doctor.


Embrace Experimentation


Through those four years, my escape was the world of the internets. I dabbled her and there, quite everywhere. I actually learned a lot about myself through that time. What type of person I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted time with the people I loved and to do the things I’ve always, which mainly includes learning languages, meeting people, archery, and riding horses, but we’ll leave that to another medium.


We all need to experiment with who we are and what we love. We won’t know what we will really like until we try it out. There’s no other way around it. You really need those years of, what some people call, being lost. When in actuality you’re just manifesting who you really are in that time. All the greatest people took the time to find what they were meant to do.


Here’s a great quote to leave your mind teeming:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

-Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
So what about you? Have you manifested yet? Do you know what your great work is? Or are you still searching?

  • Ali

    I graduated 11 credits – two 4-credit labs, and one 3-credit gen-ed – short of a dual major in biopsychology. I took all the difficult science classes, but skipped out on the introductory labs and prob-stat class because I wanted to take calc, chem, bio, etc. instead. I’m not sure what I could’ve done with the dual major, and I’ve considered going back but the tuition at my college is 3x what it was when I graduated. I considered a biochem major too. And med school. It was all too much stress.

    The way they work medical residents, those 18-hour shifts, is inhumane, not just for the neophyte doctors, but for the patients, too. Every time it happens, it’s a malpractice lawsuit waiting to happen. And even when it isn’t, the bedside manner of some of these students are atrocious. I was verbally abused by an attending resident when I sought help for a bleed, for example. Totally unnecessary. maybe this person was psycho, but I bet the 18-hour workdays had a lot to do with the attitude. I don’t understand why it’s necessary, but it certainly explains the severe and growing physician shortage in the United States. Talented youths with great math and science grades, like me, my husband, and our siblings, have never considered medicine as an option because the costs are too high for payoffs that are far too low.

    • http://www.nadiachaudhry.com Nadia

      It’s definitely no easy thing to become a physician. You really have to have a love for it. I admire people so much for taking on that challenge.

  • http://linestrandvik.no Line Strandvik

    Congratulations! I did the same. I have a master in Science and knew at the end I would not use it. That is 12 years ago and I am still pursuing to find my dream job. Have you heard of Christina Morassi? She helps people bring together all their gifts to make a unique and personal brand. Check it out: http://yourecstaticbrand.com/myth/video1/

    • http://www.nadiachaudhry.com Nadia


      Kudos to us, eh? I’m glad I didn’t waste my whole like on something that didn’t take my excitement over the edge every day, as it does now, Alhumdulilah (Arabic for “thank god”). I feel like I have heard of Christina Morassi, I’ll check her out!

      <3 Nadia

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