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So, you have decided you want to go to university. You have found a few universities that you like the look of – the city looks like it has amazing brunch options! But what degree subject suits you best? How are you supposed to know which one to choose? Well, as someone that is quite indecisive, let me tell you how I came to my decision.

I am a final year History student and I could not be happier with my choice. I even hope to continue my passion into postgraduate studies. History was the right degree for me, however, I did not always know this. At the start of year 13, I was drafting my UCAS application for Sport and Exercise Science, which I quickly changed and ended up applying for Linguistics. In truth, I had no idea what I wanted to study or where I wanted to go. It was scary. Everyone seemed to know what they wanted to do, they had their life mapped out and some adults seemed to disapprove of my lack of life ideas.

First tip? Breathe. I know it feels like you’re at a crossroads in your life and that you have to pick the right path, but that is not the case. Some people know what they want to do at 18, some people figure it out at 50 – both are happy. I’ll let you into a little secret… whatever you decide at 18 does not map out the rest of your life.

There are a few ways to find the degree that fits you perfectly. The easiest? If you want to become a doctor, do Medicine. If you want to become a nurse, a Nursing degree is probably best! When you have a career in mind, you tend to be able to narrow down which degrees will suit your future plans. Of course, choosing between degree courses might be difficult if they all lead in the same direction. However, you have the power.

Do your research and compare degree subjects. Which one offers the modules that have you excitedly telling your family and friends? Which one has the right type of assignments for you? I crack under pressure and exams have never suited me, so I took this into consideration when applying for my degree. Maybe you want to take a year abroad or undertake a placement? Find the subject that will give you this opportunity. You are in control. Make sure it suits you.

However, you might not have a career path in mind. Don’t stress! Nor do I – well, depending on what day of the week it is, I might have a vague idea (hint: do not say this at a job interview). I am a huge advocate of learning for learning’s sake. What are you passionate about? What subject has left you craving for more? Clearly, in Year 13, I was craving to learn about multiple different things. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to dedicate three years to when I wanted to know about everything! And to be honest with you, I was tired. I had definitely hit my burn out. A levels had taken their toll on me and I needed a break. Not from learning, I still wanted to learn, but from education. Therefore, I took a break. A four-year break.

In those four years, I worked in various jobs and used my salary to buy cheap flights and stay in budget hostels in different countries. I was at my happiest when I was exploring different countries, looking at their different architectural styles, learning about their cultures and visiting museums. I realised something. I loved history. Not in the way that we sometimes get taught at schools – memorising dates and names and writing for and against arguments – but learning about how other countries show their history and what their side of the story is. This break helped me recover from my burn out, allowed me to realise that I did actually want to carry on in education and showed me that History was the subject for me.

Not going to university straight from sixth form/college was the correct decision for me. However, making that decision was not easy. My teachers pushed for me to go to university (I know it was with the best intentions, but it put a lot of pressure on me), all my friends seemed to be going to university and the judgement around not going really got to me. But if I had gone at 18 years old, I would have started a degree that wasn’t really my passion, and I don’t know if I would be as happy and enthused spending every day studying one subject as I am right now.

Sometimes, you will finish Year 13 and know exactly what you want to do. Sometimes you’ll have a few ideas and be able to narrow it down to one or two subjects, and sometimes you have absolutely no idea. Whichever one you fall under, I am so happy for you! Either you are about to start a degree that will help you towards your dream job or one you are incredibly passionate about, or you are about to give yourself some time to find your passion and you’ll have some great stories to tell as a result.

You will always have that friend that has known since they were four years old that they wanted to become a doctor and havbe therefore worked towards it since that point. You will have that friend that chose a new option at college and truly found their passion. And that is fantastic – good for them, support them and don’t compare yourself. You might be that friend that needs to take a year (or, in my case, four) to figure out what suits you best and that is okay.

Remember, no matter what stage you are at with choosing your degree, make sure you are choosing it for yourself. Choose something you love, something that excites and intrigues you, something that you want to study for three years. Attend open days and experience days so you get a feeling for the subject. Take advice from others, but don’t allow anyone to put pressure on you. You have got this. The last 18 months have been difficult. Breathe. You have all the time in the world. And as someone that didn’t know at 18 years old what I wanted to do, it may have taken a few years, but I found my passion and you will too.

View a full list of our courses on our website. If you're interested in studying at Chester, our Clearing phone lines are now open. You can call us on 01244 567 470 and chat through your options with one of our advisers today.

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