We all have that period in our lives where we have to take a decision that we will know to transform our lives, and one of them is deciding what you will be studying at uni. And what a big decision that is.
I still remember myself in 5th grade (Belgian grade, my second-last year in secondary school, that is 🙂 ) and completely not knowing what to do. My first intentions were to become a doctor, because I had this childhood dream still living in my head of curing those suffering from cancer disease. By the time the year was over, I had realised that the science world was nothing for me. I just had to work too hard to get my grades.
Inbetween getting to that realisation, there was serious doubt. I thought of doing psychology, philosophy, maybe. Languages or biology? Maybe sociology? Or what if I just saw it all wild and went of to drama school?
To summarize, I was just lost. There seemed to be an endless spectre of things you could do that I felt like I had literally no idea what I would do with my life.
If this situation is recognisable for you, I’d suggest you just take a deep breath and start to explore: what’s out there? Because in Belgium, we have this system of academic and professional bachelors, so there’s a spectre of a billion things to choose from – which doesn’t make the choice easier… So basically, get informed. Go take some open classes, get brochures, ask people who are already at uni what their experiences are, go to teachers / your parents… Make sure you have a complete overview.
Secondly, when you have arranged the rainbow of options, start to reason: think logically. Where am I good at? Like, for example, I basically sucked at math and didn’t want to envolve it anymore in my studies or career, so I could cross mathematics, engineering etc. out.
So when that all was down in the bin, I still had some options left open. I thought about what I was really interested in. Languages (I had always had a thing for English and Italian, now I want to learn Danish, Irish and German too… O:) ), society, people drew my attention and I had (and still have) a rather big general interest. I narrowed my options down to two: studying languages (English & German) or studying law. I chose for the latter, because I thought that choosing for English and German would keep the spots of history, sociology, psychology and communication, plus general knowledge uncoloured. I was so happy I made the choice in January in my senior year. A block of concrete fell off my shoulders. I knew it was going to be tougher than languages (all my teachers were thinking I’d be off to literature studies) and so a lot of people were surprised with me choosing for law. & I’m still a bit one of them, but that’s okay 🙂 .
The most important thing I wanted to say is that if you really don’t know, embrace the fact that you just don’t. Don’t go pick a study programme just because you have to choose something; you will have a fulltime job of studying, attending classes and reading about the field you are exploring, so you must have the right intentions from the start. Trust me, if you don’t like it, you won’t be happy doing it and the results will probably not be as good either. You have to feel comfortable at what you’re doing from 8 AM until 10 PM. If you have the opportunity, pack your bags and go on a gap year to think it over quietly while having new experiences, or go find a job for a year to find where you’re good at / interested in. You might discover aspects of yourself you didn’t notice before 🙂 .
And even if you chose for the thing that you really loved and find yourself thinking sometimes: “what if…” then don’t panic. It is a sign that you simply are not to be categorised in one box, which is, really, a good thing 🙂 .
PS: feel free to comment / correct my grammar or spelling mistakes – I am not an English native speaker you see… O:) Anyway, I am happy to read them!