Whether you are considering a new career or are a high school student in your last semester, anxiety usually runs high when it comes to choosing a college or university program. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare:
Choose Your Path
Selecting a program can be complex considering the abundance of choices we have. Deciding on a career path takes some reflection. Take the time to assess your interests, your aptitudes and your level of commitment to your future. You might want to think about the lifestyle you want once you graduate. What kind of working schedule and income will you expect once you graduate? Do some research about the job market and explore if your expectations are aligned with reality.
The more clarity you have about the outcome of your program the more you will likely see yourself in the role and this will likely increase your motivation and commitment.
Consider the value of a combined degree. Universities and Colleges have joined efforts to provide programs that are rich in academic and applied knowledge.
Commit to your choice
Regardless of the program you choose, commit fully to it. Visualize yourself studying and successfully completing the program. This will assist you when you hit rough patches. Angela Lee Duckworth speaks of Grit as a strong indicator of success. Grit is a combination of passion and perseverance and the ability to keep going even when discouraged by failure. It is the ability to take on a long-term goal and stay the course. Like the marathon runner committing to the whole run.
Manage your self-doubt
Any time we try something new, there is likely going to be more self-doubt than real risk to fail. Give yourself credit for having gotten this far and think positively about crossing the finish line. It took a lot to get through life so far and along the way you’ve learned about your strengths and your abilities. When self-doubt is high, remind yourself of your strengths and past successes and use it as evidence to boost your confidence. With new and bigger challenges, there is likely a need to adjust your effort level. Some trial and error will quickly inform you on how hard you have to work to get things done, and what it takes to ace a test.
Manage the transition
Learning to manage transitions is a crucial life skill. Whether you start a new academic program, job or living arrangement, being aware that there is an adaptation phase will help you get through the tough moments. In every new challenge, we are confronted with situations that we have never experienced before. This can create a chain reaction of emotions, from excited to petrified. I encourage you to learn healthy coping strategies when it comes to emotion and stress management.
Still looking for direction? Feeling overwhelmed by the process? Contact us today.