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Should I leave the university that wasn’t my first choice?

The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male freshman enrolled at a university that wasn’t my first choice. The faculty I’m in has nothing to do with the subject I wanted to pursue. I’m wondering if I should leave school to prepare for the entrance exam next year.

I began the course unwillingly because my parents suggested I do so for at least half a year. I asked them if I could join a cram school because I couldn’t give up my original choice of subject. But they wouldn’t agree, saying there’s still no guarantee I’d succeed.

My mother chooses to wear luxury brand clothes from overseas. I think she puts more weight on showing off about her son who goes to a big-name university rather than respecting his inclination, and consequently neglecting his desires.

Would it be a better choice to respect my parents’ wish and find something that would interest me in the current course, or should I go after what I had in mind originally, even though they might stop supporting me financially? I’m seeking your advice.

K, Miyagi Prefecture

Dear Mr. K:

I wanted to tell you that there is also the option of attending cram school while continuing your course at university. But since you didn’t seem to consider it, nor do I know whether you have the strength, or are in a suitable environment to do so, I won’t suggest it this time.

Do you already have plans for the future?

You seem to be uncertain about whether you should continue going to school as your parents wish, or make the move to a different course, no matter how difficult it could be.

I must tell you that whatever advice anyone gives you, nobody else can take responsiblity for the consequences. This is your business. It is for you to decide.

But don’t simply draw your conclusions based on the merits of the options. The only way to get through this is to step forward after envisioning the worst-case scenarios, then stay on track while compromising with the people around you.

You see, people tend to acknowledge their course of life as fulfilling, even if it wasn’t what they sought in the beginning.

Putting that aside, I think you should first determine what you want to do in the future. Then, you should seriously consider whether you want to let things continue, or if you want to do things your own way, put every effort into convincing people how serious you are.

Taku Mayumura, writer

(from June 29, 2016, issue)Speech

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