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Making the right choice

Making the right decision regarding your choice of studies and career doesn't happen overnight with a sudden burst of inspiration. It's a process that takes time and requires your active participation. Arriving at a decision is often a gradual journey, during which you may undergo significant personal changes. Take your time and don't panic if you're unsure about your future shortly before or after graduation!

At the heart of important decisions lies not the information about available alternatives, but yourself! Who are you? What do you value in life? What are your meaningful life goals? Then consider your abilities and interests: What comes naturally to you? What activities captivate your attention? What brings you joy?

Once you've answered these fundamental questions for yourself, you can start exploring different career fields and study programs that might suit you. Do research (e.g. via the Internet) and actively participate in hands-on experiences. Seize every opportunity to observe specific professions up close, do internships, and visit workplaces of relatives or acquaintances. Explore the universities you're interested in, attend lectures, talk to students in your desired fields, and utilize the Online Study Choice Assistants at Goethe University for the subjects you're considering.

Maintaining a study-choice journal to record your activities will help you stay focused on your goals and celebrate small milestones along the way. Don't wait for sudden inspiration—take action!

Make the wrong choice?

Did you realize during your first semester that you picked the wrong major? That the program just isn't right for you and your interests? Don't despair - your initial choice of major is not a lifelong commitment! Instead, you should be glad that this experience has brought you closer to what you're truly interested in.

But first, let's look at the symptoms of choosing the wrong major: Everyone else seems to be doing well, and you're the only one struggling with the exercises, papers, exams, homework, etc.? And you can't find enough motivation to study harder in order to keep up? While your classmates thrive in their studies and effortlessly grasp the material, you find everything dull and uninteresting? Do you avoid social events related to your studies, such as departmental parties or casual gatherings with your peers, because you don't feel a sense of connection? Do you increasingly struggle to get up in the morning and go to university? And when you do manage it, do you have a sinking feeling in your stomach?

Take these feelings seriously! It could be a temporary dip in motivation, but if these feelings persist, it's important to take action.

Don't stay at university just because others—family, acquaintances, friends—expect you to! Recognize these external expectations and compare them with your own desires. Then, create a plan of action: You can still use the current semester to explore classes in other majors. Visit the open office hours of the Central Academic Advising Office to discuss changing your major for the next semester. Additionally, consider exploring other universities. You may find a better fit in smaller class sizes and a more hands-on approach offered by a technical college. It's also worth considering alternatives to studying, such as an apprenticeship offered by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Industrie- und Handelskammer) or the Chamber of Crafts (Handwerkskammer).

So don't bury your head in the sand. Instead, open yourself up to new perspectives and look forward to the new path you're about to embark on. Take control of your future!

For information and assistance, please visit our "Zweifel am Studium" (doubts about studying) portal

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