It felt like an eternity just sitting there.

The bright florescence of the dorm room felt out of the place as I stared at my phone awaiting the confidence to call home to break the news to my parents.

After some time I finally gave in and grabbed my cell phone to dial home. The phone felt heavy in my hands and the tears were already set in place in my eyes.

“Kristina! How great to hear from you!” My mom was always ecstatic when I called, but I didn’t always feel the same, especially this time.

“Mom, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t be a nurse.”

The words rushed out of my mouth as I tried to beat the tears that would soon stream down my face as I told my parents that their baby daughter was struggling and how I needed to change my path.

I had always envisioned myself as a nurse. I always took pride in my middle name of Jeanette– named after my aunt a nurse at our local hospital. I always wanted to be like her: intelligent with the utmost kindness for her patients.

Most girls dreamed of being ballerinas and pop stars but I had my eyes set on the sole goal of becoming an Emergency Room nurse. I always enjoyed watching “Trauma: Life in the ER” on television, and I generally can handle pretty gross things.

I set out on my journey to become a nurse when I was 18 and a senior in high school. I got a job working in a doctor’s office, while also taking classes at the local community college to get my Certified Nursing Assistant license. I enjoyed working as a CNA and hoped it would foreshadow a bright future in the medical field. However, getting to college and studying nursing was much more of a challenge than I could ever have imagined.

Between 8 am science labs, and classes like Biological Chemistry and Microbiology, life as a nursing student was tough. It required your entire life to be committed to studying and understanding tough subjects.

I felt so lost in this world of nursing.

It was like everyone in my classes was happy and doing well except for me. I sat in the room during lectures and I felt like the professor was speaking a foreign language.

I was academically drowning and I felt like no one could help me. Every night my textbooks were flooded with tears as I tried to comprehend the material. I was finally given an absolution when a professor bluntly stated:

“If you don’t know what’s going on in my class then you need to choose a new major to study.”

I was easily offended by that and scared to accept it, but I a part of me was also relieved. But now, I was stuck with one big question:

“What do I do with my life now?”

I thought good and hard about what I should do and I even searched for counsel from my peers to tell me their opinions. I knew I wanted to choose a career path where I worked with people, and a career that now allowed me to do things I was passionate about such as writing and talking because I generally have an outspoken personality. My friend suggested communications. Simple, broad, and allowed for my passions to shine through. I looked into it and decided that Public Relations was something I really wanted to get into.

All that was left for me to do was to call my parents and break the news to them. That was by far one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do in my entire life. My parents aren’t strict, but they do put a lot of pressure on me to succeed and be like “golden boy” older brother.

My parents were so proud of me when I went off to college to become a nurse. “You’ll be set for life financially,” my mom would always say. And now I had to call them and tell them I was failing out of nursing school and had to make a complete 180 degree turn in my life halfway through my college career. My biggest fear was disappointing my parents and that’s why it took me an eternity to finally call and tell them.

The phone call wasn’t long, but it was definitely agonizing. I failed to hold back tears as I had to admit my struggle. My parents didn’t understand at first, and kept saying “just try harder,” or “do you want to change schools and try another nursing program?”

I begged them to understand that I couldn’t do it anymore–I was unhappy and had no passion left in me for nursing anymore. Eventually they came around to the idea of my new career path I had chosen. After talking to my brother, who does PR for the United States Air Force, I had decided to major in Media Communications with a minor in Marketing.

I wouldn’t recommend this experience to anyone, but I will say that I’m glad it happened. I love what I do now, and I love my classes. Choosing a different life path has opened up so many opportunities in life that I couldn’t have received from before. I am now a Marketing Event Director for a company and it has been such an exciting experience.

My advice for anyone that’s confused on what to do in college- or is struggling is: do what makes you happy.

If your unhappy now, you will be unhappy for the rest of your life. Our lives are too short for that. Make a change that will make you a better person out there in the real world.