So, you’ve decided you want to go to University after College or Sixth form and all the people around you are talking enthusiastically about the Uni’s they’ve picked courses they will study. Your friend turns to you and asks “So what are you going to study”… and you’re stuck.
You’re not doomed, don’t panic! You just need to take a bit of time to yourself with a cuppa and a biscuit and think about it. Really think about it and do your research about the subject in its depth and also consider possible career paths.(Also, don’t panic if you don’t know exactly what you want to do after you graduate just focus on one thing at a time!)
Grab some inspiration from the courses you do now and how they might link to other courses. You might study and really enjoy Maths so you can look at similar courses such as Economics. Or you might struggle with Physics and love your History lessons you so you can lean towards History or an essay type subject.
It’s really important to consider if you’ll enjoy the subject you choose. Draw up a list of subjects you like doing. University is all about taking a subject and running with it and exploring the bits you want so if you’re going to find it hard to engage with your subject, rethink your choice. You might do well in Chemistry but the thought of sitting in a lecture or sitting down at your desk to study for it sickens you, so it’s important to consider this. I’ve heard from friends how they have to work so hard at exam season to try and memorise their course because they’ve ignored it the rest of the semester! Remember by committing to a degree you will be studying the subject for at least 3 years.You need to not only enjoy studying it but want to, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time and money and you’ll be less happy.
But, one bit of advice I don’t think is not shared enough, is the importance of picking a good degree at the best possible University- basically getting into debt for a good cause!!! Although it’s scary to think ahead to future employers, you need to consider what your degree will look like to someone reading your CV so they don’t just throw it in the bin like on the TV. Traditional subjects hold the door open for loads of choices in the future and other higher education choices. Maths is a good stepping stone to Banking or accounting and History is a good option when looking at Publishing, Law or even teaching ( or an actual Historian if you want).
Although you may love studying Sociology or Classics now, this is not the best option for employment as statistics show alone the degree is not as impressive and the employment opportunities are more limited. By all means continue reading about it, but look at sturdy degrees in traditional subjects that are good pathways and keep your options open, which is perfect if you’re unsure. My friend studies History and she studied Creative Writing for a semester because she wanted to try it. Degrees can be flexible and you can make it your own, don’t feel constricted!
But what if you’re even more stuck…
What if there are two subjects you enjoy equally, both of which you’re on track for good grades in and you still can’t decide. Like me, I was toying between Law and History for months and actually was accepted for Law at my 3 uni’s, changing to History last minute. One of my friends kept saying how much better Law sounded to History, and I might waste my time with it if I wanted to do a Law Conversion degree afterwards. My Form Tutor on the other hand, sat me down and really grilled me on why I was making the choice I was making. I talked way more enthusiastically about one and went for it. Halfway through my course I have not regretted that conversation or my choice as following the best year and a half of my education, I’m still reading History with a passion. Match your interests to the course you think you want to do and go from there.
If you’re really struggling, go and speak to someone at your Sixth Form or College such as a teacher or a Careers advisor as you’re not alone! They are not at all scary and might even give you some life-saving hints. My History Teacher and Form Tutor gave me so much help and advice. I never regretted talking through my options with them as I have made the right choice as I really enjoy my course and I have a bit of time to root around career options for after my degree. Also, friends and family can be great advisors too, just ask them your questions or just chat to them!
Going to Uni is such a scary but exciting rollercoaster so take your time with choosing the subject you want and imagine yourself studying it. University is quoted as the best days of your lives so don’t overstress about the choice you make, and most importantly remember that it’s YOUR CHOICE, no one else gets to decide your fate so go for it full speed and enjoy the ride.
Good Luck, you’ll figure it out soon!!
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