What can I do if I hate my course?

I'm in my first year of a nursing degree but feel so unmotivated and down that I cannot get into my assignments. I also feel unhealthy and fat but can’t face going to the gym. How can I help motivate myself and figure out if nursing’s really what I want to do?

Feeling down about one area of your life can make others seem harder to deal with. Addressing some of the areas in your life that you’re concerned about might help to boost your motivation levels again.

It isn’t uncommon to question study decisions. Many people find the course that they’ve enrolled on is not right for them. Before you make any rash decisions it’s important, however, that you evaluate your options. Is the course holding you back from something else that you would rather be doing? Do you just feel generally unmotivated and haven’t given the course or people on your course a real chance? Or maybe you just decided to take the wrong course for you.

Ultimately it’s your decision whether you continue with your course or take a new direction. It might be advisable to look into your options first rather than just quitting your course. If there’s something you’d rather be doing, speaking with your college tutor or your careers advisor may help open up some new avenues for you.

You could discuss your concerns about your course and they will be able to look into ways of supporting you. They may help you take a step back and think about your options from here. Is there anything else that you would like to do? Could you do with a break from education, like a gap year or work experience? You may even find volunteering for charities and organisations may help you to define which area you really want to work in. Or you might feel that a different area of healthcare is suited to you.

You mention that you feel too ‘unhealthy and fat’ to go to the gym, and it sounds like this is affecting your motivation and self-esteem. Most people at some point will suffer from low self-esteem and at times this can have a real effect on our daily lives.

It’s worth remembering that we rarely see ourselves in the same way that everyone else does, if you have recently put on some weight, it may seem more to you than everyone else.

You may be surprised at how much exercise you can do without even visiting the gym. You could try walking more, rather than getting a bus or taking the car, or take up jogging, brisk walks, resistance exercises or invest in an exercise video at home. Remember that any exercise will boost your mood and energy levels and should help you to feel more motivated in yourself.

There are also certain foods that can boost your energy levels, so eating a healthy balanced diet will also help with your mood and energy levels.

It might help to talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. Talking to people close can be a great source of support and encouragement. This support may help to lighten your mood, put things into more perspective and also motivate you. If you find it difficult to talk to those closest to you then you may wish to speak to your doctor (GP) about this. Alternatively, Support Line has information and referrals on their website for anyone feeling down. It also has a helpline you can call on 020 8554 9004 if you want to discuss your feelings further.

Being proactive now should help you to clear your mind and feel better about the whole situation. Remember, you always have a choice, and if nursing is not the right career choice for you, then taking steps now will help to ensure that you end up in a career you feel suited to.

Answered by bss on 25-Sep-2012

Next Steps