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How to Choose Your College Program

Monday, May 15, 2017

I will always wish that I had more 'guidance' when I first entered college. To be honest, I wasn't even sure what to do back then. I was still fresh from high school, and suddenly there I was, being thrown into this grown-up scenario, forced to make a decision that would shape my life.

Having shifted from program to program, I've realized a few things that I wish I had known before even entering college. I know there are a lot of you who are going to college (or senior high school if you're in my country), so I just want to pass on the wisdom I've gotten from making all my mistakes (lol). 


#1 DON'T THINK ABOUT CURRENT INTERESTS
Consider your interests, but don't dwell on your current interests. By your 'current' interests, I'm talking about fleeting interests, or the ones that you think you enjoy now, but you will forget about them in the future. If you're suddenly interested in makeup, chances are going to beauty school isn't for you, because (moving on to #2) you should...

#2 FIND SOMETHING YOU'VE BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT FOR A LONG TIME
If you've been passionate about something for a long time, it means that that aspect of yourself means a lot to you. You have to choose your college program when you're around 18 years. It's almost impossible for you not to know your passions by that age. If you started loving dance when you were in kindergarten and you still love it to date, that's what you call a passion you should consider.

#3 BE REALISTIC
Now, I get that not everyone gets to choose a program just because it's their passion. Sometimes, circumstances get in the way, so you gotta choose the program that fits your passion the most. In my case, I wanted to study Creative Writing, but that would have cost a lot since I'd have to move and all. So, what I did was choose the program closest to that.

Being realistic also means you understand the struggles of taking that program. If you wanna be an architect but you hate drawing and don't intend to learn to draw, better reevaluate your wishes.

#4 IMAGINE YOURSELF YEARS FROM NOW
Wanna be a teacher? Imagine yourself in the classroom ten years after graduating. Do you think your future self is happy? If yes, go ahead. If no, scrap the idea. You should always be thinking forward because your college program can greatly determine how your life will be shaped. It's probably one of the greatest and scariest decisions, really. Think about your future satisfaction AT ALL TIMES.

#5 DON'T FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE'S DREAM
It's quite common to have family members force their college kids to enter a program of their choice. Some parents want their kids to take programs that will "pay well" abroad. Some will want their kids to fulfill their abandoned dreams for them. I understand that it's hard to mute these voices, but at the end of the day, don't sacrifice your happiness for their wishes. You aren't being selfish. You're creating a path for the future that you want. 

You aren't going to college for them, anyway. You're going to college for you. 

#6 USE THE CAREER EXAM ONLY AS A GUIDE
Don't believe everything it says. How you answer the career examination now will not be how you will answer it in a year. You will always be changing, growing. Your circumstances will change. Your personality will change. Your interests will change. You might be struck with your "calling" or whatever. Use it only as a guide but always remember the previous tips I've shared here.

~

Those are the things I've learned from jumping from program to program and even having an existential crisis. I honestly wish I had known these four years ago, because I would have saved myself time and money, but hey, I still believe everything happens for a reason. 

Whatever happens, I encourage everyone to pursue their degrees. Pursue your passions. Finish studying. Knowledge is a luxury that is incomparable.

I hope these tips have helped you, but for those already in college, I want to know how you decided on your course/program! Leave your tips below for the youngins! ;)
2 comments on "How to Choose Your College Program"
  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS! It really helped me decide what to take for college.

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