How to choose what to study at university! (5 STEPS)

How to choose what to study at university! (5 STEPS)

November 11, 2019 12 By Stanley Isaacs


Hi guys! I’m Valeria from MindTheGrad.com
and welcome to my youtube channel! In today’s video I will help you choose
what to study at university. Are you
feeling lost and confused and don’t know what course is best for you? By the end
of my video you will have a clear strategy in
mind on how to decide what to study at university. I went through this challenging
process myself when I was applying for University and choosing my courses and I
remember panicking, changing my mind every day, being confused… Now I have a
bachelor’s degree from University of Nottingham and a master’s degree from
UCL. I have done student ambassador and
advisor jobs at university, I’ve done a graduate job and now I work as an
independent consultant, so I believe I can help you make the right decision! I also created a free printable worksheet
to help you with your decision, so keep on watching till the end to find out how
you can download it. So let’s dive in into the
process of how to choose what to study at the University. First thing you should
do, while deciding what to study at university is to write down all the
course ideas you have, just take a piece of paper and write down all the possible
options for your future. For example you
can take a subject that you’re already good at in school, perhaps certain
subjects you excelled at compared to your peers or compared to other subjects
your studying, maybe you’re enjoying the subject more. Write it down – it could give
you ideas for the course also write down any areas that you’re excelled at
outside the school program. Perhaps you
did some competitions or you do some activities such as music or exploring
that could also lead you to some kind of course at university. Write it down! Also
think about the future career you might have, have you ever envied anyone for
having a certain job, for example you went to see your mum’s friend and a
conference and you find it so exciting the researcher she’s doing in biology, perhaps
it’s one of your passions! Just write down
any career or job opportunity that you found interesting. Final thing you can
ask yourself: “what is my motivation to go into university?”. Is it to earn more money? Is it to excel your knowledge? Is it to
learn more on a certain subject? Is it to become an expert on
something? Just write down this
motivation and perhaps it will also help you in deciding which course to
take. For example if your main motivation
to go to university is to earn more money and you’re choosing a course that
is not very career orientated, then it seems that you need to rethink your
decision, you can also find new ideas for the course, perhaps you didn’t even know
a certain subject is taught at university, perhaps you didn’t even know
it exists, at school usually the subjects are usually very broad and they are
very academic, but at university the subjects could be more related to real
life, they are more relevant to what’s happening everyday so perhaps you could
find something that will interest you. don’t be afraid to research and explore!
the second thing you should do, when choosing a university course is listen
to your heart. I know this sounds a bit
cheesy and cute but this is actually an important exercise as well, sit down and
think about your passion, also write it down and the reason why I asked you to
do it after you have already brainstormed your ideas, is because it
will actually help you understand if your passion is a true desire or it’s
just an interest, for example if you write down your passion and it’s
something completely different from the ideas you already put down on paper such
as.. that relate to your career, and what you already good at, it seems
that perhaps your passion is just some crazy idea that you don’t actually
follow, I hope this makes sense and I’m not confusing you and now I will explain
a bit more what I mean by real passion and an idea that you think you might
have a passion, for example real passion is something that you can’t live without
you always look for information in that field, you already see yourself in that
profession, you are already imagining getting awards in that profession…
not that real passion is something like: people telling you: ‘oh you’re so good at
math’ and you’re like: “YEAH! I am!”
and then you think it’s probably my direction, if you having a hard time
being super honest with yourself try this
exercise, for example write down three different passion areas or even one and
under this passion area for example “Biology”, write down a reason why it’s your
passion and just write down five reasons and these reasons will help you
understand if your passion is your true calling
or it’s just a romantic idea, so if it’s your real passion your reasons could be
something like: “I can’t live without this subject”, “I can’t see myself working
anywhere else, but as a lawyer”,” I can’t imagine stop learning about the subject after
I finish school”, “I really get bored learning about the subject”, “I already
know so much outside the school program in this course because I’m so excited”,
and so on, and so on, and so on… I think the
reasons for studying something that you’re not really passionate about, would sound
something like that: “I’m good at the subject at school”, “my teacher told me I’m
good at the subject in school”, “I think it’s less boring than others”, “it sounds
cool to be a historian”, “it seems like I’ll make lots of money doing it it”,
“it seems easy”, “it seems like I could get into this course easily”, I mean I’m
making this unexcited face, but these reasons are not the reasons that your
heart is telling you, it’s your brain telling you, all these reasons I listed are
actually good reasons but then but just be more careful with what is your actual
motivation perhaps it’s not as passionate as you think it is, and
then you just need to be a bit more careful with making a choice perhaps you
go into something that you will not love! step 3 is to think about your future
career, think about your opportunities, think about your options and again I
sound so robotic or teacher-like, telling you – think about your career,
think about your money, but that’s just my opinion. Yes, passion is a thing, but an
investment into education is a privilege! you are having this great opportunity
to get higher education and it’s a luxury you should think about it as
an investment, an investment in to your future and your employability, so please think
about your career. Yes, nowadays companies
have been so flexible especially in the UK, it’s all about diversity, they want
people from different courses, different backgrounds, different skills and yes you
can become an investment banker if you did Archaeology in university, you can
become a lawyer if you did History at University, but not all careers are that
flexible, for example if you want to do Medicine, you have to study Medicine in
University, second point I want to mention about the career and it’s a bit
controversial and some people might not agree with me but that’s my opinion
based on my experience even working with recruitment is that certain subjects are
still more prestigious than others and it’s because when people are looking at your
CV or talking to you or looking at your profile, they just want to make a quick
decision. Wow,
Law, Medicine, Mathematics, Physics – that’s impressive! That’s probably difficult to study! They
just know it, it’s a quick decisions, you don’t have to think about it..But you
know if you studied something like a “French Studies with Drama”, they probably
don’t know what this course includes, they probably don’t know that it’s very
difficult, but they don’t want to think about it, they just want to make a quick
decision whether something you have studied is hard. And also stereotypes
are still there, people still think in these ideas that Law and Medicine and
Sciences is the most difficult thing to study. I’m sorry but do think about how
you’re going to sell yourself after university, but of course if you have a
certain passion in a specific subject, don’t think about what other people
going to say about you and what they going to think
just follow your direction, but it’s an advice for someone who haven’t really
got that direction. Yes, you should think
about your career on one hand and think about what you love on the other, and
don’t worry you can combine this two there is always a compromise, for example
I told you before I studied Economics, but I
did Joint Honours, that means I did two subjects, I did Economics and
Philosophy, and Economics I did something for my career, I thought about working in
that area and how it will helping me get a job and Philosophy I did it for my
soul! So do consider Joint Honours they can
either be half-half, two subjects or they can be 70%:30%. There are still some
steps for you to do, when deciding on your course at university, next thing you
should follow is to find out the structure of a potential course you’re
going to study, the subject at school and at
university ,even though they have the same name, for example: “Physics”, they can
have a very different structure. From day
one British Universities the subject you go to study is going to be
very specific, you’re not going to study anything else
except Physics, if you chose to study Physics. How to do it? You go to a
university website and click on the potential course you’re going to study,
and click on the structure and there you can find out the modules that will be
included in the course, modules is kind of like sub-subjects of your course. Another thing to consider is what
assessment is there on your course for example perhaps you just hate writing
coursework, you just want to do exams and you don’t see yourself creating pieces
of written work over and over and over, again throughout your 3 or 4
years of education, so check out how your course is
assessed, another thing is the length of the course, perhaps you are only willing
to do 3 years at university – financially that’s the only thing you can afford and
you have chosen a course that it is five years long or a course that requires you
to go abroad and you didn’t even know about it! So please check in advance, just
to summarise check the length of the course, whether you’re required to go
abroad, the structure of your modules or subjects and also they type of assessment
there is for your course. if you still
feel confused go to my website I have lots of services available, I can have a
personal consultation with you and help you decide on what to study at
university. Step five is to get out to real life,
talk to people talk to people in professions, talk to your parents, to
their friends, talk to your older friends, just find out what jobs are at
especially if you’re interested in certain areas find out what’s happening
there. How you can do it? You can either
talk to someone you already know, find out if they know someone who is working
that area, perhaps you could see them in the office, perhaps you can call them,
email them, Skype them, people love talking about themselves, so please ask
them any questions they would love to tell you about what they do at work! you
can also YouTube it, find out what it’s really like to be a consultant what is
really like to be a biologist, Google it, do your research because it seems like a
daunting task but actually if you’re researching your future it’s something
that really will help you because reading about it or thinking you know
about certain career is completely different from actually what’s going to
happen. If you can get work experience I
know you’re probably gonna enjoy your summer in other ways but if you really
can, please do because it will really help you in so many ways, even if you can
do it for free, please do it! because you get out to real life, you’ll
get to see and talk to many people who do different jobs within one company, you
get the skills you need, you get something to talk about in your personal
statement. I really recommend it, the more
you’re out there in real world ,there more there is a chance that you actually
find something you truly enjoy. I hope my
advice was clear but I also have some final thoughts for you, don’t get too
stressed out about your course, to be honest people change their preferences
and future plans every year, so it’s really hard to know at eighteen, nineteen
seventeen, twenty, what your career will look like so it’s it’s okay to do these
steps and help you decide, but don’t think that even if you have done
everything correct that you will actually find the right course, also if
you’re not too sure there are few things you can do, as I mentioned before you can
do Joint Honours – so two subjects at a time, you can also do a
Foundation Program, the Foundation program it’s an extra year before
you choose on your course, but it will help you direct yourself, you’ll do
certain subjects and later you will specialise, another thing you can do is
realise that you there’s always a master’s degree, MBA and a PhD, even
if you have not chosen the correct course now, if you develop a certain
interest later on, you can study that at master’s level another thing is, if
you’re not too sure don’t go too specific, if you choose something like “Criminal
Psychology” and you’re not even sure if you like Psychology, that’s
very specific and you might not enjoy it as much or might not apply it to that
many areas later on in life, so if you’re not too sure and do something very broad. As I mentioned before, interest change
over time, life is very fluid, we get affected by
different things, we get inspired we change our mind, so perhaps very few of
us can make this decision from the start, and decide the career from day one. so if you have chosen a course that is
not your passion or it’s not your career, don’t get stressed out, it’s what you
take from it it’s how you play this experience, as I said before I don’t love
economics, I don’t work in economics now, but I have,
you know, taking the best from it, I met lots of cool people, I read lots of
interesting books, I still taken some skills, it helped me get a job and you
know it’s what you make of it! So as I
said before, you can download a FREE printable worksheet on “How to decide
your course” so it will help you do these exercises, that I’ve talked about in my
video and also it will have a few more advice there, so click on the link below
in the description box to find out how to download this free worksheet, also go
to my website to check out all other useful information and my services and
just to chat and let me know in the comment section below what course are
you considering to study also let me know if you have any other questions I
would really love to know what people are thinking of studying, what their
passions are nowadays. Give me
thumbs up if you liked this video, subscribe to my channel, I’m having a new
video every week and I really enjoyed talking to you today thank you for
watching, best of luck from Mind The Grad – BYYYEE! [Music]