Hate my major as a rising senior, parents paying out-of-state tuition, life is a mess

Hi all,

I am new to this forum so if my post seems a bit messy please do not blame me as I am also going through a lot right now.

I am majoring in Business Management as an out-of-state, technically international student (I am a U.S. citizen, was born in D.C., but lived abroad for 12 years). I am in my junior year of college and have encountered and continue to encounter many obstacles in terms of completing my degree.

The first one is, that I applied to several universities in the states in this particular state I am in (Virginia) and did not get accepted into 99% of them but was offered in-state tuition rates by them. The only university I got accepted into forced me to pay out-of-state. i wanted to go to community college at first to save costs, but my father wanted me to go straight to an actual university to get the “college experience”. Which was extremely nice of him, and I appreciate all that he has done, but it has lead to my detriment.

I have been fighting for in-state the past three years but to no avail. I pay VA taxes, I have worked throughout my college career in an on-campus job, and am even registered to vote. Apparently, however, this is not enough for my school to grant me in-state, and since my parents live abroad, and we do not have a domicile residence, it is so much more difficult to obtain it.

So this financial situation is a huge burden on my parents. The second thing is that I decided I wanted to switch my major to CS my sophomore year but decided I don’t like it and this pushed me back a semester. This along with failing a few classes in my current major because I found them too difficult.

I am now in my junior year and have failed last semester’a intro accounting class. I was on track to graduate next spring albeit with an extremely tough course load as I am cramming all my major, upper-level classes into the next two semesters. I have signed up to re-take the accounting class this summer but I am not in the mindset to retake it as of now. I have been through many emotional problems this past year yet despite all of this I still managed to persevere and tried my absolute best and still failed the class.

Another problem is, this intro accounting class is a prerequisite to two other difficult fiance and accounting classes I still must take. I do not know what to do. I do not want to take this accounting class now and have to cram in those two classes (which I must, as this is my only way to graduate on time- and I have absolutely 0 motivation to do so because of all I’ve been through this year) but want to do it next semester and take an extra third semester with a more spread-out course load. Of course, the problem is, I am not paying for any of this.

There are so many problems with all of this and my life right now I am not even able to describe it properly. I am doing all this at my parent’s expense; they have already paid almost up to $100K on my tuition since my parents paying out-of-state. It just so much pressure that I am not able to handle anymore. In addition, my life is a mess, as described in the title I am discovering that I do not like my major and do not want to spend the rest of my life in the business world. And I do not want to have to suffer through these remaining classes and semesters at a risk of failing them once again.

My true passion is English, but I was discouraged from majoring in it in the first place since it is not an “employable” major. But I truly love it. I wish I could switch to it; but every time I bring it up to my family they say that I have screwed up too many times and that they own’t pay for me to change majors; they tell me I will never be able to find a job with it and that they won’t support me (financially, emotionally etc) to take it.

Oh, and if this is helpful to know, I am 82% of the way exactly through my business degree and have about

TL;DR: I’m in a complete mess right now in a major I hate, as a rising senior, having failed a prerequisite class with a severely tough upcoming course load to be able to graduate on time, all with pressure from family paying for my out-of-state tuition and longing to switch to my true passion, English, as a major. What do I do?

You know that switching and spending the next two or three years as an English major is not in the cards for you but the good news is that the things you love about an English major can be a part of your world for the rest of your life.

You need to finish your degree. The situation you describe is this: your family is pressuring you to graduate to relieve the financial burden. If you screw around and change your major, you believe that your family will cut you off. Meaning you don’t get your English major anyway and you’re left without a degree of any kind. As you are 82% of the way through your business degree (and you are 75% of the way through your time in college), then buckling down and pushing through 8 or 9 more months of school to get your business degree is the way to go.

Now you might not make it to graduate in the spring but assuming you’ve made a genuine try of it, then you’ll probably be just one or two classes away from your degree. If your family recognizes that you buckled down in your last year and really pushed to graduate on time, then they might relent and fund you for the remaining class. If they cut you off, then you’re still within striking range of going the rest of the distance on your own power.

Either way, you must give it a big push this year. Get that business degree and use it to find a job in a community with a thriving literature and theater scene. Your business degree will make it financially possible for you to enjoy the things that you love about the English major: theater tickets, night classes, travel to England, etc.

Hello Otterma,

Thank you greatly for your reasonable and rational response. I think this is so far the best one I have gotten from anyone on this issue.

You are right; I must complete my degree. I wish I weren’t in this situation, but I suppose it is the way life is and I must do my best to handle it.

That gives me so hope, the image you gave me of what I could do once I achieve my degree. It is all I look forward to and all I dream of: the moment I have my degree in hand and am able to go to and participate in theater, begin the writing of my novel, and travel and go to England (one of my secret dreams, actually!).

Thank you so much for the valuable advice and motivation!

Intro to Accounting is an algebra based class – with tutoring and hard work, you can do this. If you are retaking, see if you have a choice of professors (check RateMyProfessor and talk to other students). Get a tutor lined up. Cheaper to pay one than change degrees.

And stop fighting the tuition fight – that is the way it works at US public universities in almost every state. Sorry if you didn’t realize that, but it is no surprise. Expats have no in-state options, although a few states give in-state tuition for high stats. But that is water under the bridge. Pass the last three classes and be done.

Your parents have chosen to pay for your college. All you can do is try to graduate in 4 years to make it worth it.
I agree…the most important thing is to get a degree which is a requirement for most jobs.
BUT…c.an you take English courses as your electives? Can you look for jobs in publishing fields?
Or like the other poster says, use your job as a means to get money to access things you enjoy (theater/travel.etc).

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking MY MAJOR=MY LIFE… but that a degree is a requirement for most jobs

Good luck! As bopper suggested, you can start thinking about jobs in fields that are meaningful to you. Look into the perks that go with jobs at certain companies and in certain industries. My niece works in accounting at a state university campus near a major city. She’s been able to complete her masters while working there plus she gets to enjoy the cultural life of the city. I had a friend who owned a charter air travel business. She booked blocks of seats for flights all over the world. Inevitably, there would be a few unused seats for a given trip which she made available to her friends and employees (those were good times!).

Also, why are you only taking one class over the summer? you should easily be able to do more than that- I got 2 semesters of organic chemistry + labs done over one summer while working full-time- with no pain (could have handled more than that, but only needed the one class).

Yes, finish the degree.

I am not a big fan of the idea that some areas pay so poorly that majoring in that area is foolish. If that were true, we wouldn’t have educators, social workers, police…

Life and work very much depend on how you see yourself and knowing what you want to do. The challenge is finding out where your desired jobs are advertised. Talk to people in your department and English and explain what you hope to do. They may have some good information for you.

In all my professional iterations, I find technical and other manuals need a English major to edit them properly. When users of manuals have something to add, you may find good information located oddly or poorly expressed. Some people work at home on projects. I think combining business with English would be very useful.