‘A’ levels results were out last friday. Wow! Another year of great results from you students. Great job! But now, you have a really important decision to make. That will be choosing your university course.
Choosing the right university course may in fact be the most important decision you could make in your life. If you decided to take up Accounting in university, you may be doing accounting or auditing for the rest of your life! If you are taking computing, you may be doing IT related work for the rest of your life! Be sure that you really really want and love the university course that you choose!
I am sorry I have to rant but there’s something which I really discourage students to do. That is choosing the ‘BEST’ available course in the ‘BEST’ university. I know of many students who does this and this includes my circle of friends!
I remembered this incident very clearly… I have a close friend named R. He scored BCD for his H2 subjects ‘A’ levels. His aim was to get into Economics course in NTU but the minimum score for that course was BBB during my time. R was really upset at that time and he told me that he really love Economics and all he want to is to be an Economist. His dreams were crushed. We sat around in Starbucks for hours discussing about this and eventually, he came to the decision of applying to the Economics and Finance course at SIM. You guys must be thinking, That’s great! R got what he wanted, an economics course!
BUT, things didn’t turn out that way. R’s parents were furious. They reprimanded him for not scoring well enough to pursue the Economics course in NTU. They demanded R to select the ‘BEST’ available course in either of our local university (NUS, NTU, SMU). Being forced by circumstances, R enrolled himself into COMPUTER ENGINEERING in NTU. *(REMINDER: R’s dream is to be an economist)
R is a computer engineer now but he isn’t happy. He still tells me till today that he regretted not taking up Economic in SIM during that time. He is now stuck in a job which he doesn’t like at all but he has no choice but to do so as to survive.
After hearing this story of my close friend R, I hope you will not follow his footsteps. Yes, studying in a local university is glorious. I know your parents, your teachers, your tutors, your friends will be proud of you. However, at the end of the day, if you dislike the course, you will dislike your future job. Follow your dreams and passion guys! Even if you could not make it to the course you want in the local universities, go for it in the private universities. There are SIM, KAPLAN, PSB ACADEMY and many more in Singapore. Your dream course may be out there!
Alright, enough of ranting, let me list down a few key factors which I feel is really important to consider when choosing your university course.
1) Yes, you got it right! Follow your dreams and passion! You Only Live Once (YOLO). Do you want to do what you like? Or do you want to tell people you graduated from the ‘BEST’ course in the ‘BEST’ university but deep down you hate your job? I guess the choice is obvious isn’t it?
2) Is the university near your home? If you are staying in the East and you are applying for a university in the West, you may want to reconsider first. TIME is a scarce resource during university days. Students have to juggle between lectures, tutorials, projects and exams. Some of the students may have to wor part time such as giving tuition to pay for their university fees or to earn their own allowance. (I was one of them). I remembered that during those days, I would be really thankful when I had the luxury to take a 20 minutes power nap
Do not underestimate traveling time! 1 hour of traveling time may mean that you have missed out 1 hour of daily revision time. 2 hours of daily travelling time may mean income lost to the undergraduate tutors as they could have used the 2 hours to provide tuition.
Distance will not be a problem for those staying in the hostel BUT do take note that you will have to ‘earn’ your right to stay in the hostel. By that, I mean you will have to participate in hall activities and all these require TIME.
3) Are you choosing this course and university because of your friends? I know you must be like, WHAT?! Do you think I am going to a primary school? I want to be in the same school and class as my best friend so that I can play with him during recess? Of course that’s not what I meant. However, there are many students out there who are still unsure of what they want to be in the future. Hence, they end up following their friends to the same university course.
This may turn out to be a disaster! You will find that the university modules are boring and dreadful especially if you do not have the interest in that area of specialisation. Your GPA and university life will suffer too.
4) Are you really interested and passionate in the university course you selected? There are a few ways to find out! Ask yourself these questions.
1. Am I willing to work in that particular field for AT LEAST every Monday to Friday, 9 hours a day, 45 hours a week? Take note that this is the bare minimum as 8am to 5pm is something of the past. It is 8am to 8pm now!
2. Will you still work in that particular field if you know that your salary could be doubled or tripled if you join another field? Some people are interested in the course because of the potential money they can make and not the joy of working in that field.
3. Do you have any job experience in that field? It is important to have some job experience or at least know what is required in your field as working and studying are two different things.
If your answer is NO to any of these questions, you may have to reconsider your choice.
As you guys can tell, my advice is to follow your passion and interest. Select the course that you really like. However, I can understand that this may not apply to everyone. Some may be forced by circumstances such as financial problems and hence, they have no choice but to select the course which can earn them the most money. BUT guys don’t give up on your dreams and passion. Even if you couldn’t pursue the course you like in University now, you can always go for a post degree course on it! Our government is providing citizens aged 25 and above with $500 worth of SkillsFuture credit to take courses. Why not take this chance to pursue something we like?
I hope this article helps you guys to decide on your university course! If you find this article, do give me a thumbs up on Facebook and share with your friends!