For some people choosing their career path is a simple, straightforward thing to do, they’ve been long waiting for this moment, because they’ve always known what they want to do!
But there are some of us who are not that lucky and that makes choosing the right course a very challenging process which requires a lot of time and resource.
When I applied to study at Coventry University, I remember looking through the long list of available courses thinking: ‘What do I want to do with my life? What would I like to learn? What would I like to be?’ And now I’ve just completed my undergraduate degree and I think I’ve made the best possible decision!
So what could you do to make sure that in three years you’ll say the same thing about your course?
Here are some things that could help you:
1. Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing. Don’t worry if at this stage it is quite generic, whether it’s riding a horse, travelling or writing! The main objective is to write everything down and start working from there.
2. Start narrowing down. Be realistic about it, are you really passionate about those things or are they just hobbies that would bore you after three years of in depth studying? For example, I really like psychology, but I prefer it s an interest rather than a career as I don’t think I’d be able to constantly learn about the psychological process.
According to ‘How to Avoid Work’, a 1949 book about doing what you love, in every business, art, trade or profession, there are four major jobs to be done:
- Creative — inventing, discovering, or developing new ideas
- Administrative — making plans and policies for the conduct and supervision of the entire business or project
- Executive — directing the work of others in actually carrying out plans and policies in one or more departments or sections
- Line — performing some individual routine task involving no responsibility for the work of others
3. Talk to people. Ask others how they see you, what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. This will get you out of your head and expose you to different opinions. You don’t have to take their advice, but this might help you get a clear idea of what’s suitable for you.
4. Talk to the University. Coventry University works closely with students to provide them with the support they need, so it might be worth it to book some sessions in with tutors who could explain more to you about the different courses available.
5. Relax. When I was thinking about which course to choose, I felt under huge pressure because I thought that this decision will affect me for the rest of my life. This is true, to a certain extent, but I wish someone would have told me that the course I graduate from will not necessarily set my whole future in stones. You will find that your degree will have quite a lot of flexibility where skills can be transferred between career paths.
Once you do choose your course, make sure you keep an open mind and try to make the most out of it. Do not expect it to be a piece of cake just because you enjoy it. What I’ve come to learn in the past four years at Coventry University is that you can do anything, as long as you put some effort into it.
BA Media Production Student