My experience changing programs

During the pandemic, there were a lot of thoughts going through my mind. What career do you want to pursue? What would your degree give you? Are you happy with your program? I was not sure of where I was at or what I wanted to do after I graduated. It took a lot of thought and self-reflection before I made my final decision. I had to think about my interests, do a ton of research, seek support and understand who I was as a person.

November 14, 2023

By: Destiny (5th year, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour)

Where did I start?

Figuring out what career you want to pursue is difficult, especially when you probably do not know what your interests are or where you fit in the world. When I was a second-year student in the Hons. BASc Human Behaviour program, specializing in Early Childhood and Education, I was planning to become a teacher but I questioned this path. I dealt with my worries and questions by writing in a journal. I wrote about my likes, dislikes, research interests and what I enjoyed learning about. From there, I narrowed it down to specific career paths.

What to research?

I chose to continue my passion for cognitive behaviour therapy and counselling. I searched for information about counselling and what a day in the life of a counsellor looks like. During this time, I stumbled on a YouTube video on counselling psychology. There were counselling psychologists who discussed their job and what counselling psychology means to them. My decision to study counselling psychology grew.  

Now what?

Now that I knew my end goal, I had to determine how to get there. Deep down, I wanted to follow my first-year plan to join the Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour (PNB) program. To finalize my decision, I went to see the PNB academic advisor and learned about the PNB program, and job opportunities after graduation. Since my intentions were to go to graduate school, I joined the PNB program to broaden my options. From there, the PNB advisor told me everything I needed to do to switch my program and the deadlines I had to keep in mind when doing so. 

On the day of program selection, I had one choice to make. When the results were released, I got in! I was very excited to be part of PNB, the following semester. Today, I am in my fifth year of PNB with a thesis to complete. I have no regrets and I am happy with where I am right now.  

Are you having thoughts about wanting to switch your program?

I recommend taking time to research. You may be thinking about how this affects your academic plans and feel worried about extending your degree including financial concerns. I had these same thoughts.

Make use of SSC’s academic skills supports to help achieve your goals and reach out to a faculty academic advisors to learn more about program requirements and the best approach for switching programs. SSC’s careers supports are open to students from all faculties.

Final thoughts and advice

I will leave you with something that the PNB advisor told me, which resonated with me as I made my decision, “once you get on that stage and hold that degree, it wouldn’t matter how long it took you to get there. As long as you tried!”