Knowing what you want in life before choosing a career to study for at University

07:30 SA VARSITY STUDENT 0 Comments

I was just going through my primary school portfolio and I saw something I wrote when I was in grade 6, it was an assignment on what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response in the assignment was that I wanted to be a soccer player, karate fighter or a master chef. At the time those dreams were not related to money they were related to things I liked doing at the time, things that I enjoyed doing. I am all grown up now and I am in university and I will tell you what, I am not studying or doing anything related to what that little boy was saying. I stopped playing soccer in high school and I do not even watch it on tv anymore unless the national team is playing, I watch the UFC fights sometimes and i'm still interested in martial arts but it’s not a major factor in my life, I will admit I love cooking even though I am lazy and I do enjoy baking every now and then but I consider being a chef a service job which deals directly with unforgiving customers so I would never do it. The truth is as we grow up our dreams change and the mistake we make is that most of us choose future careers in terms of which one makes the most money instead of choosing a career in a field we would most enjoy.


what to study at varsity?
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I have been doing a lot of reading lately, I like reading personal improvement books and books on accumulating wealth. Most recently I read secrets of a millionaire mind, and think and grow rich. I pick up many lessons from these books, from these books I learn what took the authors a lifetime to learn in a couple days. From these books, and from my own personal experience and the experiences of the people I have met in university I can say that it's hard to apply yourself and to do well and succeed if you don’t know what you are aiming for. Many people just pick a degree to go study when they have no real interest in it and hence have no goals when it comes to what they want to accomplish by studying that degree. They have no motivation to study hard and the course does not interest them so they start at first bunking lectures and tuts and end up not doing well in courses which may lead to failure and ultimately exclusion.

It is important to know why you are doing something, to have short term and long term goals, and to make sure you are doing something you really want to do and can imagine yourself doing in the future. Before committing to study a certain degree make sure that’s what you really want to study and make sure you have thought about what you want to do with that degree once you graduate. Many people come to university and study a course they don’t really want to study in their first year of university and they end up changing that course, dropping out or getting excluded because their hearts were not in that course because their parents told them to study that or some other reason, I was one of those students so I know. Before coming to university think carefully about your future and what you want for yourself in future, think about your dream career and then go study what you want to study, a course where you will apply effort to succeed, because not knowing what you what to do and changing your mind during university is costly, university is an expensive place. 

Think hard while you are still in high school, if you think you want to be an engineer go to an engineering company and shadow the type of engineering professional you want to be for a whole day or a couple days and see if that’s what you want to do for a living and interview people in that field. You can take this a step further and take a gap year to figure out what you want to do and try and find a job in the industry you think you want to work so that when you apply to university you are prepared, you know what you want and will therefore apply yourself to the fullest to get to where you want to be because you have had a taste of what you want to be and you can really see yourself doing whatever you are studying to be. Another thing you can do is if you know past students from your high school currently studying the course you think you want to study, ask them how it is and what types of courses they do, it’s better to get a perspective from someone actually studying a course than from your high school teacher who has never done that course or your parents.


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