What to Consider when Picking Your University Course
Some Things to Hopefully Help You with Your Decision
Right off the bat, I want to say that this post is written based on my experiences at a university in England. While education can work differently depending on the university and where in the world it is, these points should be broad enough that you can hopefully apply them to your situation in some way, shape, or form. This also isn't the end-all or be-all of lists, but these are certain things that helped me in making my own decisions when it came to what degree I wanted to get.
So, when it came to university, I actually went down the more creative route and ended up getting a degree in Creative Writing. That often resulted in people doing double-takes or asking some variation of, "What can you do with that?" whenever I would tell them what I was going to university for. In fact, I still sometimes get that when I tell them what degree I graduated with. Now, don't get me wrong, slowly over the years I've found people who simply looked a little surprised but ultimately intrigued by my choice. However, having people try to dismiss a creative degree can be a little disheartening, especially when you have your heart set on it, but luckily for me, I know that I made the right choice on what to study and there hasn't been a single day that I've regretted it.
So, let's get into some of the things that I personally considered when it came to making my choice.
What career do you want?
The most obvious thing to take into consideration is the career you want to work in. For some people, they know exactly what they want to do and there's no budging them. In that case, the natural route would be to figure out what qualifications you need and then pick the degree that will help you get there.
However, if you're anything like me, you had absolutely no idea when you were 18 (or even younger), and maybe still don't today, of what you want your career to be. That's when you have to take other factors into consideration.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
One factor to take into consideration are the subjects you loved to study when you were in school. What are the natural paths for them? There might not be one obvious route. I personally (based on what I studied when I was picking my university course) loved English Language and English Literature. There were so many degrees I could pick based on that. Ultimately, I did end up going with Creative Writing after looking at as many English Language or English Literature courses as I could (as well as others that could relate to them in some way, such as Journalism for example).
But it doesn't just have to be based on what you loved to study at school or even what your top grades were (although, those things certainly help!).
Consider your talents and interests.
Now, those talents don't have to be at the most amazing level, but they do need to be something you're genuinely interested in and actually do. You don't want to go to university for however many years to study something you end up not liking because you really didn't have much experience with it prior.
Eventually, after lots of searching, I found the Creative Writing course at the University of Bedfordshire. Now the course sounded genuinely good (which it was, I loved every second of it), but it was also one of the few I found that was purely Creative Writing (at least in England where I wanted to study), and the entry requirements were something I could more than easily obtain. The reason I leant more towards studying that at university was because I wrote all the time. Weekends, after school, in my breaks, during study periods, and even while I was in class because I had this constant urge to write stories. My writing could have definitely been better, but it was decent enough, and I genuinely enjoyed doing it, so it simply made sense for me to make that choice to study Creative Writing at university.
Ultimately, take your time, breathe, and pick what works best for you.
I know university is on a time crunch, more so depending on where you live in the world, but there is time. I personally applied and got accepted into university but deferred a year and took a gap year before I actually went. That decision was the best for me because it gave me a much-needed break from education. However, I could have easily taken the year and then applied for university. I've met plenty of people who waited years until they could figure out exactly what they wanted to do. I'm personally glad I went when I did, but each person has a different timeframe, just look into the pros and cons before really making that decision.
And when it comes to picking your degree, if you can, try to pick something you genuinely enjoy or are interested in. If you can, don't let anyone else make the decision for you, and unless you know the career you want to go into (or the general industry), then don't assign yourself to a few years of studying something you might end up struggling with because your heart isn't in it.
With that being said, if you're considering going to university, I hope you find out what works best for you!