What to do if you've chosen the wrong course

What to do if you've chosen the wrong course

You’re a couple of weeks into your course, so it’s likely you’ve formed your first impressions. You might love what you’re studying, feel a little unsure or completely hate it. So what steps should you take if realise you’ve enrolled into the wrong course? Keep reading to find out!

Assess your course choice

First up, have a think about why (and if) your course is the wrong choice. Have you enrolled into an arts course when your true passion is science? Or are you worried that the course isn’t suited to your career path? It’s important that you can pinpoint exactly why your course isn’t suitable — this will help when you’re changing your enrolment or researching new courses. If your reasons are less drastic (you hate early morning lectures or essay writing), keep in mind that these are standard features of any tertiary course so might just have to grin and bear it!

Seek assistance from your institution

Your second step is to speak to your course coordinator or a student adviser — they have plenty of experience in helping students in your situation and will be able to offer advice and set you up with an action plan. Use the reasons you’ve come up with in our first step to describe why you want to amend your enrolment or change your course. At this point, you will need to enquire about the application process, including transfer policies. For example, you may need to have studied for a semester in order to transfer within your institution. If you are thinking about moving to another institution, you will need to contact them for details. You will also need to ensure you adjust your enrolment before your institution’s census date (typically towards the end of March), as you will otherwise be charged for subjects you’ve dropped.

Start your research

Once you’ve sorted out your action plan, it’s time to start researching your options. If you’re changing your subjects, be sure to research alternatives carefully. Look at the overall focus of each subject, its assessments and outcomes, and speak to subject coordinators and lecturers if you need more information. If you’re choosing a new course altogether, research is especially crucial. Think about what you want to get out a course and whether suitable alternative are available. Most importantly, look for courses that match your interests and career aspirations. If you’ve begun a journalism course only to realise you hate talking to people, researching and writing, there’s little use heading in the same direction at another university. In the same way, if you think your course was too theoretical, you should make sure that the new course is more hands-on.

Submit your applications

You’ve thought about your options, you’ve sought advice and you’ve trawled through course information. Once you’re done, it’s finally time to apply. The application process will vary depending on whether you’re staying at your institution or moving elsewhere. The best bet it to contact institutions to confirm application details, as the process can get a little complicated outside of standard application periods. Once you’ve applied, remember to be realistic about your new course or adjusted enrolment. Studying at tertiary level can be tough and won’t always be a breeze. There will be times when you have assessments piling up quicker than you can complete them or when you’re struggling to juggle work and study, but the rewards are fortunately well worth your trouble!

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