So, the moment you’ve been waiting for all this time is finally here. You’ve managed to complete your compulsory education but now what? What will you study? Who will you become? These questions are super daunting to answer but you’ll very quickly learn that most of us still don’t have it all figured out. However, not all is lost as we’ve gathered some tips that may help you in finding some direction.
Did you know that according to a report published by the Institute of Education in 2017, approximately one third of students enrolled in bachelor programmes in the US, changed their major within 3 years of enrollment? While contemplating what you would like to study is a big and important decision that certainly can affect how the next few years play out, it is important to remember that if you aren’t totally sure, this decision won’t make or break you. You may feel pressured by peers who seem to have a Plan A, B and C lined up, or by parents who have voiced certain opinions but this is YOUR journey.
What do you need to make an informed decision? That’s right, INFORMATION. Before you begin considering some serious options, make sure you have taken the time to present yourself with all the possibilities in the first place. Consider where you would like to study, what programs are offered and how much tuition costs.
You, of all people, will know what things interest you and what don’t. However, taking a free online career test may help you better understand how your interests and character may be suited to certain career paths more than others. Having this understanding and the knowledge of what career paths your course of study may open helps narrow the selection of options you may be considering.
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection on what you’d like to study, be sure to compare, compare & compare the options! Weigh out the pros and cons of each course on a piece of paper if you have to. Another great suggestion is to join or access any relevant online forums or Facebook groups for the relevant Universities and courses and gather some intel there. Who better to ask for opinions on a course, than people who are already taking it? Take that opportunity to ask any other questions you might have.
Remember that whatever you choose to study, you are doing it for you! The only person who will be sitting in classes, taking those tests or writing those papers is you so try to make sure that you are investing your time and passions in the right place! As we’ve all experienced ourselves, reading a prescribed text not only takes ten times longer but is ten times more boring when you don’t have an interest in the subject.
Once you’ve taken enough time to consider all that one must consider when making that first big decision, go for it with confidence! How much you enjoy what you study depends on a lot of factors that are not limited to the course itself. The environment such as the city, professors & peers can also have an impact, so make sure to include that in the bigger picture. Make that decision and look forward to the next chapter in your life.
If all goes well, you’ll love what you’ve chosen to do and your life path will crystalize in front of you. If that doesn’t happen, don’t be discouraged. You may realise early on, that you don’t like what you’re studying at all. Then you will at least know and can take a minute to pause, reflect and readjust until you find something more suiting. At the end of the day, who really knows what any of us will be doing a few years from now.