Some adolescents are fortunate enough to know who they want to be before they even have to start thinking about it. They know what steps they need to take to achieve their goals, and they’ve already begun on the path they’ve laid out for themselves. But sadly, not everyone has that kind of privilege.
If you’re like many other high school students that still don’t have a clear idea of what kind of career they want to pursue, then you’ve come to the right place. However, despite the looming deadline of college applications over your head, you should never try to decide your future without weighing your options first.
Understandably, the pressure of picking the right course and school can be overwhelming because your decision can make or break your future career. How does society expect you to make such a big decision when you’re still asking your parents for permission just to leave the house and meet your friends?
But deciding how you’re earning your bachelor’s degree is a rite of passage that almost all adolescents have to go through. So, if it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one worrying about making the wrong choices right now. Thousands of other students across the globe are racking their brains to decide their future as well.
There’s no right or wrong way to find the answer to your question. However, you must be making your decision based on factors that will affect you, not everybody else. If you still don’t know where to start, here are three C’s that may help you arrive at the conclusion that’s right for you:
The course you choose will dictate the trajectory of your undergraduate life. This field of study is what you’ll be learning for the next four years of your life, so you should choose an area of interest that you want to get to know further. You should also consider the career you can have after earning your degree.
Of course, you always have the option to shift to a different course should you change your mind later on, but the course you’ll have in your first year still counts for something. That’s why you shouldn’t just throw darts at vague options; instead, you should try to think about what you want to learn.
Once you’ve found a course that piques your interest, only then should you look for good universities that offer it. This is because it should never be the other way around – as in choosing a school before you even decide what course you want to take. Don’t compromise your learning potential from the start.
After choosing your course, the next thing you should focus on is finding good schools that offer the line of study that you want to take. Try not to limit yourself to colleges or universities that are only within your state, especially if you can afford to attend a school out-of-state or even in a different country.
For instance, if you want to earn a computer science degree, you should focus on looking for schools that offer good programs in that field, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But before you decide to apply, consider taking a look at the applicants’ acceptance rate at MIT, too.
If the odds are in your favor, then go ahead and send in your application. If not, try to see if you still have time to pull your GPA up or take extracurricular to qualify for the spot. But it’s always better to apply to multiple schools so that you can keep your options open. Besides, it won’t hurt to dream.
Finally, after deciding your course and choosing which schools to apply to, the only thing left to do would be to wait until you hear back from admissions. If you’re lucky, you could get accepted into all the schools you’ve applied to. However, that will lead you to another challenge-choosing a campus.
This is the perfect time to go on a road trip to visit the different school grounds and get a feel of what it’s like to live on campus. Keep in mind that this will be your home for the next few years, so it’s vital to get a preview of what your undergraduate life would look like.
But you should never decide where to earn your degree based solely on the fact that it’s where your friends will be attending. College is the best time to discover who you are outside of your comfort zone and apart from the people you’ve known your whole life. Don’t rob yourself of that personal growth.
Remember that there are no right or wrong choices in life because it’s what you do afterward that counts. That’s why you shouldn’t pressure yourself to pick the right course, college, or campus off the bat because all that pressure can lead to having regrets later on. So take your time and weigh your options carefully. You’ll find your answer soon enough.