Karolina Gawlik

seeking discomfort



Quitting univeristy is not the end of the world


I want you to close your eyes and imagine an eighteen-year-old student: graduating high school, with straight A’s and starting robotics degree at the best university in Poland. That was me three years ago. At this point everything was perfect.

At university, a lot of things have started to change. My robotics degree didn’t turn out the way I had expected. I became more anxious and unhappy, I stopped studying on a regular basis, during classes I was wondering what I was doing there. The problem was that the idea of quitting was non-existent in my mind. So I kept going.

In may, a lot of things started to happen. My boyfriend dumped me before really difficult exams. It made me unable to focus on anything. I was so unstable that during the physics test I actually started crying in front of my professor.

After two weeks I managed to get my act together. I had to retake tests that I failed or missed. The day before the first test I was walking in a park in order to join my friends in a study group. While I was walking it hit me. I’ve started asking myself all those hard questions that I wasn’t able to answer after high school. Questions like: what am I interested in? Are my studies helping me with becoming the person that I want to become? Is there something else I’d like to pursue?

 When I reached the end of the park, I have made my decision. I decided to quit my degree and move to London for a couple of months. Next day I bought a ticket. Next week I was flying to the UK.

In London, I had to face a lot of difficulties. Working the hardest I’ve ever worked, not having enough money, being constantly tired. But I’ve also experienced some amazing moments: taking part in the happiest festival of life, finding new love, learning not to judge people based on their looks. I was also lucky to have a best friend there who was helping me out every step of the way.

But to be honest I was relieved to come back. In October, last year, I’ve started studying Quantitative Methods in Economy at Warsaw School of Economics and I LOVE IT. I truly enjoy working on projects with other people, especially helping other students with preparing strategies for their products. I am also becoming more and more engaged in the start-up tech community by attending conferences like TechCrunch.

If you are a person, who has been feeling unsatisfied or miserable with their work or studies and I were to give you one advice, I would tell you to get your shit together and do something about it. Start seeking discomfort, start trying new things, learn one new skill, read a book. Anything. Because believe me, that thing that you'll love to pursue is out there.

You just need to find it.


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