For most people, high education will determine their entire professional career. There are, of course, a lot of individuals who never go on to work in the profession they were educated for, but we have to start from the assumption that everybody gets into college for the purpose of one day landing a job that is connected to their field of study. This is a big decision; and when I say "big" I actually mean really BIG, if not one of the biggest decisions in life.
First off, your choice of university and following that your professional career, will determine most of the things in your life, whether you like it or not. It will determine your pay-grade, which will put you in a certain economic (wealth) class, which will determine your quality of life. You will most likely spend one fifth of your entire grown up life working, an amount of time only matched by the third of your life which you will spend sleeping. It is very important to choose something you really love, or something that brings you the satisfaction you need, because one fifth of your entire grown up life is a lot of time to be doing something you hate. And fourth, it will put you in a certain social class, which will determine who you connect with, who are your friends and colleagues, and will in time shape you like a person, again - weather you like it or not.
For example, when I was in high school and working in a paper factory during one Summer, loading trucks, I was only talking about trucks and how heavy paper was. When I was working at a gas station cleaning windshields, all I could talk about whole day long were the drivers and their cars, and when I was a coordinator for a fashion magazine I talked about Vera Wang and Louboutin a lot. The matter of a fact is, during the course of time, we become what we do. That is why the choice of college and with it your professional career is a thing not to be taken lightly, and you don't want to make any mistakes while doing it. Here are 4 tips on how to not ruin your entire life by choosing the wrong profession:
Don't let anyone pressure you into anything. People, especially family and close friends, have that annoying habit of knowing what is best for you even if you completely disagree. But them insisting you get a flu shot and you decisively refusing at the age of 3 is a bit more different then people insisting on your college and career choice when you are 19 or 20. You should, of course, always listen to suggestions, since family and friends often offer a valuable objective perspective you can not see for yourself. But the final decision must be yours.
Inform yourself well! As with everything and anything regarding academic or professional endeavors I offer you the same advice - research, research and research! There is a gold mine of information on every academic institution in the world on the Internet. Be also sure to read the comments and testimonials of ex and present students on various forums and social platforms, since they can provide information you won't be able to find out in the brochure or the faculty's official website. What's the curriculum like? Are there any downsides that the brochures don't tell you about? How easy or difficult was for them to land a job after they graduated? This information will help you form a complete image over the academic institution and the program you are considering, thus enabling you to make an informed decision.
If you are not sure what you want to do pause a year or take a test of professional orientation. Most of the people finish high school not having a slightest idea of what they would like to do after they finish it. If you need time, take a year off. Try doing different things, calming your thoughts and finding yourself. It is better to wait one year, than hurry into something and regret it for a long time after that. If you have multiple conflicting options, try taking a test of professional orientation. It is a test conducted by an HR specialist which will determine what are your strongest qualities and affinity towards certain professions. You will also have a conversation with an employment counselor (also called career development professional). That can help tilting you towards one of the options you've had in mind, but weren't so sure about.
If you think you've made a mistake, drop out and enroll somewhere else! Yes, it is an expensive decision. Yes you will have a feeling that you've "lost" one or more years, but look at it as a time you spent gathering the experience you need in order to find what you really like and want to do. It's better to loose two than loose 40 years in vain.
In conclusion, choosing a college and future profession is a serious matter, and should be approached as such. Don't let the environment force you into doing something you don't want to, and don't be a victim of rash and uninformed decisions, because you will have 40+ years to regret it later. Be smart for yourself and good luck!
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