A few years ago I was talking to a fellow parent at a school event. He was a professor of medicine. We were talking about our children and the future of study and work. He talked about a student he clearly remembered fondly. She had been an excellent medical student but at a certain point felt she just wasn't sure it was for her. She came to him for advice, after all of her years of study and effort was she mad to go off and study law? How could she justify the "waste" of so many years of study (extremely expensive study). He encouraged her to follow her interest not her "sunk costs", and clearly kept an eye on what she was up to.

The point of this story was that a few years later he was contacted by a company looking for a very rare and very specific skill set. They needed a person who was genuinely qualified in the area of medicine she had been pursuing AND law. He was quite smug about being able to say "Well I can think of only ONE person, I'll give you her name."

It's a painful reality that many people don't have the privilege of these kinds of educational choices. And nor do you want to be flip flopping through education never reaching ANY outcomes. But I could not agree more with AEH nothing is wasted, and diverse study interests and background can produce unique skill sets that make you perfect for something you, or other people, may not have imagined yet.

There is a balance that must be found between fruitlessly chasing "Do what you love" and refusing to accept anything other than the one dream (or being confused because you don't have a clear dream career), vs realising that it is definitely better to do something you can be really invested in and build a life around, and being willing to make a change.