So you’ve put all the effort in throughout your years at school, (even though you never wanted to be there in the first place), and you’ve obtained some pretty amazing results and even learned a few things along the way. Firstly, congratulations! It shows that all the hard work was worthwhile. Secondly, it doesn’t have to stop there when you could go on to college and University and give yourself the qualifications you need to kick-start your dream career.
For many people, choosing which college or University to attend is one of the most difficult, having to leave your group of friends – or even your local area altogether – and go off to the best possible place to get the best possible qualifications can be hard, you don’t want to move away, but you know you need to. However, choosing a course is often just as difficult, and it’s certainly just as, if not more, important.
It’s the course that will set you up for life. If you know you want to do something “based around sport”, for example, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what part of sport you want to cover. For instance, do you want to look at the science and physiology side, go into teaching, the list goes on, it’s no longer just a compulsory physical education (PE) course that you studied at school.
To help you out with some of the most difficult decisions in your life to date – it’s your future at stake bear in mind – here are a few top tips to help you make your decision whether it’s the A levels you choose to take or the MBA program you sign up to, and make the right one for you, not anyone else, (that is key!)
- Make sure you visit the college or University. Taking a look around the place on an open day can help you to get a real feel for it and ultimately help you to settle in more quickly when you start. If you already know where certain buildings are, in your head at least, you won’t be overwhelmed when there are tons of people milling around on the first day of term.
- Speak to tutors. If you know who is going to be leading the courses you’re interested in, try and make an appointment to speak to them and find out everything you possibly can about them, the course and the institution. You might find after speaking to them that you particularly like or dislike them and you can rule that course or institution in or out.
- Research what materials you will need. Some courses will require a heavy investment in resources such as textbooks, others will require particular equipment such as Dictaphones, or lab coats. Find out as early as possible just what you might – or will – need so you’re not rushing around in the chaotic few days before the course starts.
- Investigate work experience opportunities. If you know you’re going to have time over the period between school and college, or college and University, or just in the holidays once you’ve started your course; look into gaining experience in the industry itself by organising some work placements. These will give you the chance to learn skills “in the job” not just in the classroom.
- Choose something you will enjoy. You need to be set in knowing you’re going to enjoy the course. If you’re going to do it for two, three or four years you have to ensure that you can give it your all because you’re going to enjoy it. The course will consume your life and force you to make sacrifices, so make sure it’s worth it, you don’t want to be dropping out halfway through because it’s tedious or you’ve changed your career route.