So, this is sort of a long story, but I am going to try to make it as short as possible. I’m posting this one more time in hopes of actually getting responses.
I come from a low-income background. My parents are immigrants and neither attended college. I had to do the entire college process on my own. I am an upcoming Sophomore majoring in Elementary Education. My problem is, though, is I never really wanted to major in education and become a teacher. I am only doing it because my mom told me that I needed to partake in a career path that could guarantee me a job after graduation, that was stable, safe, had little competition, good benefits, and little employee exploitation (that one is debatable). All of these are true, of course. I will not be in the financial position to experiment with job hopping. The stability of teaching and the clear-cut, linear path of the program is what convinced me to follow what my mom said and go into education.
I remember freaking out, though, back when I was a junior in high school, when my mom told me I should go into teaching. In no way did I ever see myself as a teacher. I have a very introverted, reserved, and serious personality, and I feel it just doesn’t suit teaching. But I still tried to convince myself. That changed a bit after I worked at the YMCA for a few months. After only a few days of working there I instantly had doubts about my major–the same doubts I initially had going into it. Honestly, I’m not very fond of children. Don’t get me wrong, some kids are sweet, but why should I go into a field where I have to endure such stress and disrespect constantly? Especially when I’m not truly passionate about it? I never believed it was for me, and I still don’t.
My mom was actually about to go to school for psychology. She ended up self-learning about the field out of interest, and shares her knowledge + life experience with mental illness she endured and saw in family members with me all the time. I also had a roommate majoring in sociology and I always found myself engaging in interesting psychology/human behavior related conversations with her. I, myself, struggle with anxiety and mild depression, my mother suffered several mental illnesses, and so on. It is a subject that comes naturally to me, and after my research, I’ve discovered an interest in the field of mental health counseling.
The thing is, I am using the TEACH Grant. If I do not fulfill the obligations of this grant (that is, agree to teach in a high-need field for 4 of the 8 years after graduation), my grant will turn into a loan with interest. That would be $4,000 as of now, on top of the $6,000 stipend loans I’ve already used. I really didn’t want to accrue much debt after graduation given my financial background. So, would it be worth it for me to switch to psychology? I would honestly love advice from fellow psychology majors and grads. Or should I just stay in education and try to make the best out of it?