Don’t worry, it’s okay!
Even if your high school peers seem to be confident with their university program decisions, they are probably freaking out too. It can feel like a big, scary decision. Just because you enjoyed high school chemistry does that mean you’ll love it as a 4-year university program? High school subjects do not go deep enough to get a good understanding of the field. Also, most of us are not even aware of the myriad of disciplines and trades that are out there. So how do you decide which program to select? My advice to you is to look beyond just the subjects you enjoyed in high school. Think about your skills, personality traits and what kind of learner you are. A little further down, you can read about recommendation for programs based on these factors.
But I know you’re stressing out, so let’s talk about this concern first: Yikes, what if I make the wrong decision?
Let me assure you it’s not the end of the world if you make the wrong program choice. About a third of university students switch their major within three years. Transferring in first year is a pretty easy and pain-free process assuming your grades are decent. It usually won’t set you back too far as a lot of your courses will transfer. At some universities there are also options to not declare your major until 2nd year. If you’re not confident in your program choice know that you have the opportunity to change your mind.
Now that I’ve set your mind at ease, it’s important to remember that you should do everything in your power now to make an informed program decision. Take a look at the university programs below and check out how they might align with your interests, skills, personality and learning style.
The sciences are ideal for analytical thinkers that prefer quantitative over qualitative courses. In high school did you formulate a deeper understanding of scientific concepts or just simply memorize them? If you did the latter, science may not be for you. Scientists are very detail-oriented and complete tasks formulaically. While essay writing is often subjective and involves large levels of creativity, lab reports have very strict guidelines and are objective. Scientists are curious and desire to know the “why” behind how everything works.
The great thing about business is that its disciplines are extremely varied. Accounting and Human Resources couldn’t be more different and require distinct skill sets and personality traits. Therefore, business programs with specializations or majors that you do not need to declare right away are perfect for undecided students. Accounting and finance are suited to analytical students while HR and customer service may be better fits for those with interest and skills in communication and relationship management. There are also programs that are more in the middle of the spectrum, such as marketing and sales, which combines analytics, creativity, and people skills.
Technology has been in a state of exponential growth. The technology sector is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative sectors to work in. Computer science demands a strong understanding of mathematics and excellent problem solving skills. Programming, data and software engineering are needed in every industry. You might not be aware that CS can be combined with areas such as science or graphic design, which opens up doors for people with interest and talent in multiple fields.
When making the daunting decision about which university program to select, remember to factor in your interests, skills, personality traits and learning style. This will help maximize your chances of selecting a program that you will succeed in and enjoy. Make an informed decision you think is best for you. Hopefully, it will work out and you’ll love your program. But if it doesn’t and you end up disliking your program, know that you are not alone and that it’s not the end of the world.