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Pre-midlife crisis: have I chosen the right study?

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Many of us are pressured to choose a career path while we're still teenagers, so it's not uncommon for students about to graduate to enter a sort of "quarter life crisis", wondering whether they made the right choice. Our blogger Eirini is going through just that. 

I am looking for the right word to describe the crisis I am going through and I came up with the term pre-midlife crisis. It could be a combination of anxiety and the winter that is slowly making its way through. However, I am in the final year of my Bachelor’s degree and I am still debating if the study and career path I have chosen are the right ones for me.

I study English Language and Culture, with a minor in Gender Studies. So far, my degree is theoretical and analytical. My goal is to proceed with a career in education and more specifically in teaching. A theory/analysis-based Bachelor's does not offer me an opportunity to develop my skills on more practical methods of teaching, communicating, perceptualising etc.

That's something of which I was already aware. My anxiety arises from the idea that I will have to follow a Master’s degree in education to proceed with my goal. Doing the Master's is not the problem, but rather finding the right one.

As an international student in the Netherlands, I will learn the methods that are being used in the country, and most likely in Dutch. I want to be able to teach anywhere in the world. I don't want to study in the United States or the UK for many different reasons.

Besides, if my Bachelor's is theoretical, will I be able to pursue a Master’s degree that requires practical approaches? Many of the Master’s degrees I have seen have require applicants to have followed some social or practical courses before. What do I do then? I keep asking myself this question when I find myself in moments of despair.

One of the few things that managed to calm me down was a conversation I had with one of my professors, who told me that “everything can be connected”. That's a very broad statement and quite a hard one to understand at first, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Whatever study I choose to do, there will always be ways to connect it with something else that might interest me more, either by taking more courses or even doing another Bachelor's.

The mentality I try to adopt is that there is time to do many things. Spending a few years to find what you want to do is okay, spending a few extra years on changing your career path is okay, spending even more years on education that you simply enjoy is okay. There are always ways to do what we love.

I am still fighting the demons of society’s pressure to find out what I want to be for the rest of my life. However, I truly enjoy what I do now. I focus on making myself better, developing my skills and learning from my experiences. There will be many times that I will doubt myself, but I hope that this will never stop me from creating my path further.

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