Choosing a wrong course can be costly. It could be a course of action you want to take in life, a profession, a career, or that course, degree or program you will take in college.
To those who will be graduating in high school this year, they may be having the question: What course are you going to take in college?
To some, they already have a clear answer. The others are still contemplating what to pick among their top three options. The rest are totally unsure, unclear, and unguided.
For those who are unsure, let me offer some guidelines for you to consider. For those who already have chosen, read on still and maybe this could be something you can share with your friends.
These simple guidelines are broken down into three major parts that should come together. The application should be a combination of these three. Think of it like a tripod, all three legs should come together so it could stand. So keep these three together.
First, HEAD. This is your intelligence – your knowledge, skills, talents, abilities. What can you do? What are you good at? For those who are entering college, the concrete indicators they can look at are their high school grades. As long as they did best in their studies, those grades are good indicators.
For example, someone who is good at basic math, logic and English may choose to take up accountancy. Or maybe this person could choose engineering (with more complicated math) or computer programming. Someone who is good at conveying knowledge or information to others and who has good command of the language may choose teaching/education or maybe mass communication. Someone who is good at writing may opt to take up literature.
Second, HEART. This is your passion – your interests, likings, preferences. What do you love to do? What do you enjoy doing? It will be difficult to choose a course that you do not like, right? You may be able to do the job because you are good at it but if you don’t like doing it, you will eventually find it boring and leave. Or worse, you haven’t even started yet and you don’t have the fire to begin it.
To some, they are still not sure of what their passion is. The indicators that can help determine this could be that profession you’ve wanted as child. Remember that question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Another indicator could be the thing that you spend the most of your time with, something that is like a hobby. Other signs could also be seen in the shows that you enjoy watching or the people you admire (what do they do).
Note that it has to be a combination of the head and the heart, something that is aligned to your intellect and your passion. Then add the third element –
Third, HAND. This is the practicality part or economic element – the financial side. At the present stage, what can you afford? And after graduation, how can you earn income from it or with it?
When I graduated in high school, I was considering to become a lawyer, a priest or a police. I gave lawyering a chance. So I decided to enroll in AB Political Science as my pre-law course. I was enjoying and performing well. But during the term, I have been receiving suggestions to shift to BS Accountancy. After one-term in political science, I followed their suggestion.
I have nothing against political science (it is an enriching course and fantastic field of study) but here were my reasons: After graduation, what can I do? I could not go straight to law school. I needed to earn money first. My family could not afford to pay my schooling all the way. So if I needed to be employed after graduation, what were my options? I thought I can teach: in college (but I have to have a master’s degree), or in high school (but I have to have education units plus pass the LET). That time, I couldn’t think of other options. Today, maybe there are other possible options. But at that time, the question on the financial side could not be answered.
On the other hand, they say that accountancy is the best pre-law course. With all the taxation and business law subjects that come with it, you will be at an advantage. That made sense to me. And what drove home the economic question is this: after graduation and board exams, I can already start working and start earning. Of course, I did consider the head and the heart elements, too. I finished accountancy right on time, passed the exams, and then started working. (I did not go to law school anymore, but that’s another story.) You can see the picture now, right?
If you were unsure of what course to take, I hope this helps.
Remember that these three elements (the head, the heart and the hand) should come together. It could not be just the head or the heart or the hand alone, otherwise ‘the tripod of your course’ would fall. Thus, if you want that your course of choice will stand, consider these three together. And go for the roll!
Live your life, young mind!
(Chris Dao-anis aims to empower his fellow young minds with practical instruction and inspiration in the fields of communication and personal leadership. He is an author, trainer and speaker. For talks, seminars or speech coaching, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road and at Psalms Bookstore (Sunshine Supermart) in Baguio City. Other options are available at www.chrispoweracademy.com/livinglarge.)