You know what they say, your college years are the best years of your life – but only if you choose the right university. College life is not all about partying; there will be time for socializing, but there will also be a lot of responsibilities. All the lectures, exams, projects, and presentations you will have to do can only be slightly less boring and stressful if you actually enjoy what you’re studying, which is why you need to consider your options carefully. With all that in mind, here are some things you need to know about choosing the right university and handling the pressure that comes with making that choice.
Money or passion
One of the first things you’ll probably ask yourself is whether you should study something that you love or something that can get you a stable, well-paid job later. The truth is – it depends on what your passion is and how hard you’d be willing to work for it. If it’s something that isn’t very in demand in your country, perhaps you should cherish it as a hobby and choose something safer.
Professions that aren’t in demand would require you to work twice as hard in order to be among the few that can get a job in the field. That being said, if you choose something that is well paid on the market but you don’t really care about it, you will probably struggle to finish your studies. Not to mention that you’d never be quite as good as somebody who enjoys their profession.
So, what do you choose? The best thing to do is compromise – choose something that you like and can get you a decent job. If that’s not possible, then follow your heart. Doing what you love is the only way to lead a happy life and be good at what you do.
Finally, you should also keep in mind that what you choose to study will not necessarily be your career choice after college. Times are changing, and many jobs are just being invented. You never know where you’ll be ten years from now, but the only way to not regret your choice is to choose what you love.
Do your research
Every university has its strengths and weaknesses, and there are plenty of them to choose from. So, before you make your decision, do your research. Check out the university websites, visit them during the open days, and talk to the current students as well. They can give you the best idea about what you can expect at their university.
If you’re interested in one of the Ivy League colleges, you should also check out the Ivy League admissions support, since it can give you all the information you need about the application requirements.
Don’t listen to others
Everybody around you will have their opinion on what you should study, and most of them think they know best. However, if your parents tell you that you should go to law school, and you aren’t interested in law, then don’t listen to them. Trust your own instincts. After all, you will be the one studying for years, taking the exams, and attending the lectures, not your parents. Your choice will affect your life more than anybody else’s, so make the choice for yourself.
Also, most of them will try to rush you into making the decision so you can start preparing for the entrance exam the next day. Don’t let them. If you feel like you need some time to recharge your batteries and do something else in life other than study, take a year off. Many students have taken a gap year and made good use of it. Picking a university is a huge decision, so if you need some time to think about it, don’t hesitate to take a break.
How to survive the pressure
Most of the above-mentioned suggestions sound like you should just do whatever you want, like it’s so easy to ignore everybody. We know it’s not. However, keep in mind – and write this down if you need to – that nobody else can live your life for you. You are making a choice for yourself, for your future, not your mom’s. Yes, your parents do love you and only want the best for you. However, they won’t be there to hold your hand when you can’t focus on studying and become frustrated over a bad grade or failed exam.
Explain to them that you want to study what you care about. Explain to them why it is good for you. If you want to take a year off, tell them your plans for the year and how it will benefit you. If they still don’t support your choices, try to compromise as much as you can, but stay true to your own needs.
It’s difficult to make choices when under pressure, but you can’t let that pressure influence you into making mistakes. You would be the only one living with them. And once the dust settles down and you start showing progress, have no doubt that your parents will come around.
Choosing the right university is one of the most important decisions in your life. This is why you should take your time when making it. Do your research, and explore different options. Also, don’t let your parents and relatives pressure you into a path you don’t want to follow. Handling the stress is definitely not easy, but never forget what truly matters in the end – being happy. Choose what you love, and you can’t go wrong.
About the Author
Isabel is Consultant by day and a Blogger by night. Mom to twins 24/7, and recently editor on Health&Mental Health on Ripped.me Areas of interest are well being, mental health, self-improvement as well as beauty of millennial transitions in all aspect of life—especially self- awareness.