The Nightmare Before Picking a University Major

الأحد 15 آذار 2009

Written by Farah Nimri

For many aspiring high school graduates, the choice of a major can be a hectic, frustrating process. As if graduating with a good average that will get you into a decent university isn’t hard enough, the burden of having to decide what you will be doing for the rest of your life is nothing short of a nightmare, especially when combined with parental or societal pressure.

For Daniel, 19, currently studying filmmaking, it wasn’t the choice of a major that plagued him, but the opposition he faced for his choice, that was deemed “impractical.” That’s what’s often thought of artistic or creative majors: that they’re not good enough. And so giving in to parental pressure, he decided to put his dream on-hold and signed up for engineering, a highly-regarded major by many parents. But the toll this decision was taking on him got too much at one point, and a year after, Daniel quit the university altogether and signed up for Film Making at the brand-new SAE Institute, using his own money from his job working as a graphic designer.

A similar story was that of Hani’s, 22, but his decision was even a harder one to make, with tougher repercussions. His father’s desire to see him become a doctor, the mother of all professions in Jordan, pushed him into studying medicine, which he says “made me miserable.” After 3 whole years, and an agonizing self-struggle, Hani mustered up the courage to quit and study what he always wanted: computer engineering, fully knowing that his decision would get him in a lot of trouble.

But the struggle varies for other students. For some, the difficulty is not in going against the stream, but in deciding what and often where to study. Universities may be many in Jordan, but each comes with a specific reputation, not just academically, but even socially. Such was the case for Basel, 19, who had to switch from Jordan University because he couldn’t adjust. “I just hated it. I hated the professors, hated the people, hated the system. I fell into a major depression.”

Picking a major definitely isn’t an easy decision anywhere, but in Jordan, where titles matter more than actions, it can be exceptionally difficult. So to all soon-to-be university students: good luck, pick what YOU want as it is your life after all, and may it go as smoothly and headache-free as possible!

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