Caitlin, one of our new student bloggers, shares ideas on how to decide what you want to do next

Monday, May 19, 2014 12:00 AM

Introducing Caitlin, one of our new student bloggers, who shares her ideas on how to decide what you want to do next.

Having nightmares about your UCAS form because you’ve absolutely no idea...

No idea what you want to study at university? Daunted by the prospect of choosing a subject or course from the hundreds available out there? Welcome to my blog, where you can get some ideas (hopefully) about what to do next.

First of all, are there subjects that you really enjoy? It helps a bit if you’re good at them too. If you have a passion for something, perhaps think about whether you’d like studying it in more depth. I come from a very science-y family, but I decided to apply for English at university because I love the subject. 

If nothing springs to mind that you enjoyed, try thinking outside the box and looking at subjects not normally studied at school. Need a few hints?

  • Did you manage to sit through an episode of One Born Every Minute without fainting? Maybe Midwifery is for you.
  • Enjoy a good argument? Why not consider a career in Politics?
  • Is Lisbeth Salander your hero? How about Ethical Hacking?
  • Are you the one who organises all the birthday trips out for your friends? Maybe you’d like a course in Events Management.
  • Did you enjoy Dawn of the Dead? Perhaps Zombie Studies is your calling. (I kid you not, available at the University of Baltimore)
  • Like languages and have an appetite for sushi? Maybe Japanese is for you.
  • If Agatha Christie does it for you, perhaps Criminology will.

Seriously folks, there are lots of different courses out there that you may not have thought about, or even heard of. Don’t be restrained by only the subjects offered at school for GCSE or A-Level. Find out as much as you can about your options. Search through as many university websites as possible. Check out / for some brilliant comparisons of different subjects and courses.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t fully understand the course content, then ask for more information. If possible, talk to current students. Is the subject actually everything you thought it would be?
  • Don’t let yourself be rushed or pressured into making a decision by either your parents or your school. Take as much time as you need to think it through.
  • Don’t take a subject just so you can show off. ‘I’m doing Political Psychology’ might sound impressive when you’re talking to your friends or family, but you’re the one who has to study it for three years, not them. 

Think about getting some work experience, which could offer useful insight. If nothing else, it can enhance your personal statement. If after working for a month at Ditch & Fleecesum divorce lawyers, you realise a career is a solicitor is not for you, at least that in itself is useful knowledge before you fill in your UCAS form.

Finally, if you don’t mind being confined to the box, think inside the box. Maybe Escapology is for you! The possibilities are almost endless…

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