The last year of high school is probably one of the most challenging times in everyone’s life. You need to make some tough decisions – decisions that can influence your whole future. And you may not feel like you’re ready to make such decisions, but you have to do it anyway. I thought I would share my experience on my blog, hoping that I may help some of you.
Last year, after months of not knowing, I finally figured out what I want to do and became really motivated. I think this has helped me to study as hard as I can, and I got offers from some of the best universities in England. Today I want to tell you how I made my decision on the biggest question, which is definitely this one: WHAT TO STUDY?
For some people it can be quite obvious. If you knew your whole life that you want to be a lawyer or doctor or anything particular, then you are very lucky. But there are so many high school students, who have absolutely no idea what they want to study! If you are one of them, here is some of the advice that I can give you, regarding the course-choice.
Firstly, I think one of the most important things is that you should not let anyone tell you what to choose. YOU will be the one who has to live with this choice, and YOU will be there at the university, expected to study harder that you ever thought you could. So only YOU have the right to make this decision. Of course, you can always ask for advice if you need it – I couldn’t have made my decision without the help of my mentors. However, my parents did not have a word about it, they gave me enough space to think everything through by myself. I didn’t ask for their opinion, because I didn’t want to feel like they tell me what to do. So yes, ask for help if you need it, but don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Trust your instincts – only you will truly know what is best for you.
Secondly, choose something that you’re talented in. If you are able to memorise every single date from your history book, then go for history. It might be obvious, but for me, it was not. In high school I studied maths in advanced level, and I was one of the best in my class. But I also seemed to be talented in languages – I was so much better in English and German than my classmates that I took the exams earlier and didn’t have to attend these classes anymore. So there was more than one subject that came into account at this stage, but at least I was sure that my final choice would be one of them.
My point here is that you should think about what you are talented in, and you can kind of just come up with some possible options. So you already made some steps towards the solution.
Thirdly, my final advice is to think about what you enjoy studying the most. I’ll tell you a little story about how I figured this out, and I hope you can learn from it.
So at the beginning of last summer, I already knew that the course that I would study was either Mathematics or Languages. I decided to explore my options, and went to a science camp. At the camp I was in the Mathematics team, and we attended seminars and kind-of-lectures by university students. I’m going to be honest with you: I hated every minute of it. There was a seminar, where we were given a long paper full of difficult exercises, and I couldn’t solve any of them. The girl who sat next to me, said that she would go home and spend all time necessary to find the solutions. When I went home, I threw out those papers and never thought about them again. And here it is: the big difference. And I knew it was worth going to the camp: at least I was sure that I don’t want to study Mathematics at all. Yes, I was very talented, and yes, I liked it too – but it didn’t seem to be enough. It was not what I wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine myself solving maths problems for three years; it seemed the most boring thing to me in the world.
Before the camp, I was given a small form by my mentors, which I had to fill in. It was questions regarding my motivation, like: motivation in key words, academic achievements, extracurricular, professional hobbies, etc. I was only thinking about maths at that time, and I could only write a few words as answers. After the camp, I found that form again, and this time, thinking about Languages, I filled it out perfectly. I wrote about my passion, my talent, my victories at school competitions, my hobbies… Everything just came together at once. And this was the moment when I knew: I want to study Languages.
So don’t be afraid to explore your options, go to camps, seminars, and you will soon find out what’s the right course for you. You may have some bad experience – at least you will be sure what’s not really for you. Find what keeps you motivated, and don’t give it up! Without motivation, you won’t be able to do what you enjoy. Do what you love, and love what you do!
I hope that my story and my experience help you if you have difficulties choosing the right course. I know that even if you make this decision, the difficulties are far not over yet. So if you would like to hear about the other parts of applying to uni, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below. I would be happy to help!
Thank you for reading and have a great day,
And P.S.: you know you’ve find your course when you look as excited as him, haha: