In my years of conversing with students as young as 15, it has impressed me so much that some of them are already very sure of what they want to do in University. I remember a particular meeting with a student who talked to me for a full hour about his collection of stories of airplane accidents, and concluded that the design and engineering of the airplane mechanics are important factors to prevent such mishaps. His strong interest made him firm that the best program for him would be aerospace engineering.
Of course, he was one of the few exceptions.
In most instances, a large number of you would not have identified your lifelong passion, and that’s okay!
If you are not too sure which programs are good for you, you might like to take these options to explore:
Take up online classes
With the growth of online educational platforms such as Mooc, Udemy and Coursera, there is no excuse to not be able to learn (unless you do not have access to internet). Take some time to explore a variety of online classes and see which ones lit a spark in you. If you found one that makes you curious in going in depth, you might have just hit the nail.
Consider a gap year
Why not take a break? Since you spent a large amount of your time trying to climb the ladder of academic success, taking a gap year can be a good option to reward yourself and explore future plans. Travelling around can allow you to have a bigger perspective about global issues and perhaps you might develop an enthusiasm in solving a particular concern. You can also take this time to take up an internship or a job in a certain field.
Even if you do not find something that you’d like, at least you might be able to discover what you surely do not want to do.
READ! READ! AND READ!
Already have an idea of some programs in University? Think about a reading list of courses you are considering and get them from Universities you are contemplating of entering. Buy books or head to the library to read up on books of particular subjects that have got you interested. Books are great sources of knowledge, so start with them!
Speak to people already out there in the career world
Take some time to speak to people in your community and find out what they do! They can be people close to you such as your parents, older siblings and relatives. Even teachers, counsellors, alumni of your school are great people to have a casual chat with. What is their day to day schedule? What skills do they feel are essential in their workplace? What are the challenges they face? Why did they choose this career paths? These answers may help guide you with your own path.
Choose a University with a flexible system
If you still can’t decide on a course path, look through Universities which allow you the flexibility to explore options for the first year. For example, the University of Western Australia in Perth allows you to do majors from different faculties. You could be doing a Marketing major with Psychology! The good thing too is that you do not have to choose your majors till the second year.
Similarly, the University of Melbourne‘s curriculum is “designed to give you a wider understanding of the world beyond your degree”. Every student has to take Breadth subjects to complement their main discipline with a wider range of knowledge, skills and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Having flexibility in your program will allow you to explore your options if you have yet to decide your niche.
What else do you think will help you in making a more informed choice?