A question that haunts us all as the end of the last year of high school approaches… Maybe you even took a gap year to figure it out but still – nothing? Well, welcome to the club! 😀 To offer you some advice, I’ll tell you about my decision-making process and hopefully, it will help you find out the direction you would like to head in as well.
Following your heart or your brain?
Everyone has a passion. Something they love to do. Whether it is painting, design, sports, cooking, photography, etc. But is it really true that we should all just follow our passions and then we will achieve success in life and end up being ‘eternally happy’? Hmm, let’s see…
Ever since I was a child, writing and literature have been my greatest passion. I was all into books and stories. But my parents (as many other parents, I believe) wanted me to rather choose a programme with a job sort of guaranteed; a doctor or an engineer. I knew I’ve always liked biology but becoming a doctor seemed like a big commitment. And so I thought ‘following my heart’ – passion would be the best choice for me.
In January 2020, I applied to study the programme – the English language and literature at multiple universities in Great Britain. I even got accepted to some and maybe I would have even started my studies if I hadn’t talked to my English teacher about this.
She asked me: “So, you would like to teach English after you graduate?” My answer was no. “Okay, so you want to become a journalist?” Again, no… “Well, what do you want to do after you graduate?” Write, I guess…And can’t you do that right now? That’s when I realized that ‘following my brain’ might not be such a bad idea since it would give me the necessary stability and not stop me from following my passion. So, most importantly, ask yourself whether you need to pursue higher education to ‘follow your passion’. For those, who believe it is the right choice all along – good for you but if you are still stuck, continue reading…
Choosing the right programme
Think of things you might enjoy learning a lot about but that might also be practical for your future. For me, it was biology. I liked it and I knew there are a lot of opportunities for biology-related graduates. If you enjoyed math, you might go for the business programme. If you are more into physics, engineering could be your area. Or if you like drawing, architecture is an option. The number of options is endless. Just don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone.
I took a gap year to figure out what exactly I can imagine studying. I looked at programmes that were related to biology and it was only after I found Biomedical sciences that I realized this is it. The reason I chose to study this programme in Sweden is that it is known for being quite innovative in the fields of science. And my expectations were fulfilled. I even found a way to combine the programme with my passion. Not only through becoming a writer for Study in Sweden’s blog but through finding a new dream career path – to become a medical writer.
You need to remember that it is never too late to change your career path in case you are not satisfied. Especially in Sweden, education is known to be for everybody regardless of age. Give yourself enough time to consider all options and do not be afraid of things that are new – it will only expand your horizons.
Let me know in the comments what your passion is and whether you decided to pursue it at university. Also, check out more tips about what and where to study.
“Well, what do you want to do after you graduate? And can’t you do that right now?”