What to study? Tips for deciding whether to go to college (or not)
If you are reading this, it is quite possible that you are now in that stage of life when you must decide for the first time what field of activity you will devote your efforts to during the next few years and you are wondering what to study .
Some people are clear about what they are going to do when they leave secondary school, but too often uncertainty about the short-term future paralyses some students and complicates their decision-making. If this is the case for you and you would like some help in deciding what to study for the next few years, this mini-guide is for you .
1. Consider not going to college
Seriously. Before you start a college career, make sure you haven’t made that decision because of simple social inertia . Just because a lot of people start a college course is no reason for you to do it too. Consider first what it would be like to dedicate your time and effort to other things, and if those possibilities convince you more, you’ll be one step closer to dedicating yourself to what you like.
Also, keep in mind that studying doesn’t necessarily mean going to university: there are many other ways of learning and types of centres where you can train specifically for what you like (and probably with a personalised service that you won’t find on too many university campuses).
2. Science or humanities?
The question “what to study” can be simplified by creating two possible answers: sciences or humanities. This may be an imprecise categorization, but the truth is that there are great differences in the type of content that is given in science and humanities careers.
From the point of view of sociology, science and arts students are different and have different expectations about what they want to learn. Science is based on posing precise questions that can be answered concretely, while in the humanities the power of concreteness is lost in favour of an ability to pose the categories used in research.
3. What is your way of thinking?
Science and humanities students also differ neuroanatomically, as we saw in another article.
Science students may tend to stay more distant from what they study, while humanities students may achieve a deeper emotional connection . When deciding what to study, you might examine your expectations in this regard: do you tend to get emotionally involved with the object of study? Be careful, though: this research is about general trends, not about individual cases.
4. What to study does not mean how to study
There are many possible approaches to the same issue. If you’re interested in art, for example, keep in mind that at each university and school the subject you’ll be given may range from slightly different to completely different. Research your chances of getting into the specific school that appeals to you the most and decide with that in mind.
5. What to study means, in part, what to work on
When we talk about studying a career, we don’t just talk about getting information about a certain discipline. We also talk, in most cases, about paying for classes (a greeting to our readers in Argentina), spending time and effort studying some subjects that do not interest us, doing mandatory internships and obtaining a degree with curricular validity.
Nowadays the university is focused on getting a job and, as much as this fact is debatable, taking advantage of the university 100% implies using that experience to look for a job.
6. Make sure you can give your studies the effort they deserve
When considering what to study, think also of your current level of knowledge and your ability to learn quickly during the first few weeks of your career, which is when you may notice that you need reinforcement classes to keep up with the pace of the classes. If you think that one race will be too demanding for you, it’s worth thinking about others.
Don’t be overconfident when you see that the access score for some of the more complicated careers is not as high as you might expect: that only indicates that there are fewer people interested in those studies, not that the career itself is easy.
7. Would you like to study Psychology?
Psychology and Mind is a website dedicated to deepening the understanding of Psychology and Neuroscience, so you’ll let us sweep you home and assume you may be interested in this field of knowledge. An article that could be very useful for you:
- “Why study psychology? 10 points you should value.”
And if you’ve already started studying Psychology, don’t miss our student’s mini-guide:
- “I want to be a psychologist” – 10 keys to successfully completing the Psychology degree.
The Psychology career is very varied and has a lot to offer. If you think your place is among books on human behavior and you are interested in knowing why each person is different from the others, do not hesitate and consider Psychology as a discipline that you will enjoy from the first day.
Whether you end up opting for one career or another, or following your training on the other hand, keep in mind that life is full of twists and turns and that’s why it’s important that you feel comfortable with what you do. Think that you will spend a lot of hours on it, so choose what to study not so much because you think it might make good career sense but because of how motivated you are by each discipline.