What to Do If Your Program Isn't Right for You

By Wilfrid Laurier University Modified on January 16, 2023
Tags : Academics | Student POV

Read how one student changed his academic journey at Laurier and found the perfect program.

 What to Do If Your Program Isn’t Right for You

It’s so exciting when you accept your offer to university and start planning for the next stage of your academic journey. But what happens if you start the program and realize it’s not the right one for you?

Jaimin Shah is a fourth-year student in Biology and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University but his first year was much different. He began his studies at Laurier in the Data Science program but soon realized that, while the university was the right fit for him, the program wasn’t. Read more about Jaimin and how he found the right academic path at Laurier.

 Jaimin Shah

Selecting my program

It’s a Sunday morning and my mum wakes me up at 9 a.m. to go to a university fair. A university fair! How boring. Little did I know that going to that university fair would play such an important role in shaping my future.

Data Science was the next big thing. I went to the university fair and visited a few different university booths and wandered around thinking about what I want to do in life. Then I came across the Wilfrid Laurier University booth. My parents and I went over and sat down to learn about the university and the Data Science program. I was really intrigued by data science, but I wasn’t fully sure if that’s really what I wanted to do because I liked biology and geography.

The representative from the university assured my parents and I that even if I apply to the Data Science program and don’t like it, I could switch if I met the requirements. I immediately felt very reassured as I knew that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I disliked data science and wanted to try something new.

What happened when I realized the program wasn’t for me?

A year later, here I was at Laurier. A 19-year-old international student from Kenya studying data science. A few weeks after I began my program, I realized that data science wasn’t for me. My instinct was panic! What happens now? I was extremely confused even though I knew I could switch programs. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be easy to switch programs.

I immediately reached out to my academic advisor. We had a one-on-one meeting and I explained to him my situation. He showed me the different options I had. I immediately felt relieved and knew that I wasn’t doomed. I learned that I had the option to do a double major. I also reached out to the Career Centre as I wanted to learn all the different career pathways I would have if I decided to switch programs. I also did some research on my own and finally decided that I would do a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies. It was the best decision in my life.

Switching programs was the best decision I made

Here I am now, a fourth-year student studying a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies. I have enjoyed my time here so far. The different hands-on experience I have received in various courses is beyond amazing. Some of my favourites were field courses which included elements like flying UAVs, mapping, species interactions, toxicology, and environmental impact assessments. I have made friends and had experiences that will last a lifetime.

I was also given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant (TA) for a first-year physics course. It was a wonderful experience. I got to share my knowledge and culture, while I learned a lot and understood different cultures.

Overall, all the support I have received from everyone at Laurier has been nothing but incredible. It’s true that Laurier is all about inspiring lives.

Find your future at Wilfrid Laurier University

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