Choosing a university is one of the most important steps in the career of a future professional. It sounds obvious, but still, so many prospective students don’t choose thoroughly enough. These smart tips will let you minimize the threat of the wrong choice.
№1 Choose your future profession
Obviously. Many people choose the profession when they are at school. But it is not enough just to think of what you want to be. Imagine your future career. Consider each detail. If you want to be a financial consultant now, you may find it difficult to travel a lot later.
A lot of students blame parents for the wrong choice of profession. Even if they fully understand that parents are well-meaning, the students criticize them for being too persistent. We are doctors – you have to be a doctor too! Or, we have no education, but our dream is that you become a doctor, a lawyer, ‘a big boss’, etc. Or, you are so good at Science, why wouldn’t you make a great neurobiologist?
If one of the situations pictured above is familiar to you, don’t blame parents for trying to ruin your life. No one can make you choose the university you don’t like. If you let them, it is you who are being irresponsible. The main reason for such irresponsibility is a fear not to be legitimate. It means that you want to be what other people want to see you. Don’t be afraid to be you! Not You, a Doctor, or You, a Lawyer.
Universities vary greatly from so many points of view that it is really difficult to choose just one. Everything matters. But when you are inexperienced there is always a chance to think about the wrong aspects.
Mind Your Major
It is so easy to choose a university for those, whose major can be found only in one university in the country, like Baking Technology Management or Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance in the UK. They may go somewhere abroad, but the range of choice will be still quite limited. If your major is more widespread, consider what university is more preferred among graduates who have mastered a profession you want to master.
Visit a Couple of Universities
At least, try to visit those you like the most. This is not the major step, of course, but it will make it easier for you to choose. Just think about it, you will spend plenty of time in that place! No photos, videos or campus schemes can replace a real visit. It can be an additional motivation if you really want to enter that university. You can also visit a university you don’t like to give you another reason not to or make you change your mind.
One of the biggest mistakes applicants make is thinking only about their future work, the opportunities, the salary and so on. You will be a student for a long time, so this time really should be productive.
Study the Syllabus
This will be useful for you both on the stage of choosing a university and on the stage of studying. The syllabus doesn’t just give you information about the subjects but is also a great tool for the self-check. So, you will not waste your time. Before picking a university, compare the courses and choose the right combination for you. Think of the teaching technologies, too. Some can be very progressive, like the implementation of new technologies in teaching science. Your future skills will greatly benefit from them.
Start Managing Your Time before You Enter
Do you remember, you tried to imagine your future career in detail? Now, it’s time to imagine your studying. Think it all over: the duration, the number of credits dedicated to this or that subject, a daytime vs. evening study, the time it will take you to get to the lectures, how you can combine your studying with other activities, etc.
The Price of an Error
Undoubtedly, the choice of the university is a great decision. A lot of people think that there is no turning back after making your choice. On the one hand, it is true. Will you waste a considerable number of years, if you choose the wrong place? Yes. But, on the other hand, it is not as tragic as it may seem. Any higher education is a basis on which all your future career can and will be built. But this in no case means that you can never switch your career later. For example, you decided to go into HR at first. Then, after working for some time, it became clear that your true calling is education. There are plenty of opportunities to do what you want to do, using the background of your higher education.
In conclusion, remember that various rankings can guide you in your choice of university, but in no case should they be a determining factor in your decision. Mind that a university is just a place where you will be helped to organize your knowledge, but everything else is up to you.