Lost with no direction.

I started university with the thought of expanding my knowledge of Psychology because I thought I was passionate about it. But my results these past two years haven’t been improving and I feel my ‘passion’ is a passing interest. I’m still trying to find out what I’m naturally good at but I only have a year left.  What is the next step? Where do I go from here?

Thank you for this question – it is an important one for many students as well as yourself. It is often difficult to know which path to take academically. Often “trial and error” is a useful strategy but can be difficult to bear. Starting with something you are interested in is motivating and often an essential starting point to finding out what you might continue to study.

People often put pressure on themselves to find a particular career that they are passionate about and good at.  However not everyone finds a ‘calling’ in life. Many people simply find something interesting that they think they will like well enough, and then through time and experience they develop a passion for it.  It’s also important to remember that in many cases, the experience of studying a subject and the experience of working in the field are extremely different, and require different skills. Psychology is a broad topic and  you may not be interested in all aspects of it.

Passion is not always enough to lead to good marks, and you don’t have to be ‘naturally’ good at something in order to develop the skills you need.  Many students are surprised at how difficult it can be to attain high marks at the University of Melbourne. Not achieving high marks need not be the only measure of whether to continue with a subject. There may be other factors that have affected your ability to study and it would be important to explore these. If you think your results may have been affected by life changes or emotional reasons you could speak with one of the counsellors at Counselling and Psychological Services.

Another avenue of exploration would be to consult with your teachers and tutors to help identify the skills you  need to improve  your results.  Academic Skills is another source of help and advice. Seeking help to define and attain your goals and achieve the success you want can be an important personal skill to develop. I hope this response is a helpful to you in your quest to find the direction that suits you.

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