The best way to predict your future is to create it – A. Lincoln
Here we go again...Another quote telling you that you are in charge of creating your future. What to do? How do you handle the pressure to narrow down your university choices when you have no idea where to start? How do you create a future you know nothing about?
For starters, do NOT spend too much time worried about it. Take a deep breath and look around you. Choosing one university/college program is a big decision and it is normal that you would not have a clue. While some of your friends may seem to have their whole life planned out, there are many who do not have a plan and will go where opportunities push them.
More importantly, do NOT shy away from new experiences. For example, a neighbor asks you to help with painting the fence, a friend suggests you join them in volunteering for an event and so on...if the task is half appealing to you then give it a try. Granted, the task itself might turn out to be an interest or a skill you did not know you had. However, it is not necessarily what you are doing that will help you get to know what you like to do or to study. It is the conversations you have or the people you meet. The neighbor might be the mentor with whom you could share your interests and the event organizer might be the role model for your future career.
Do Not expect to find your number one choice within a week. Give yourself a bit more time. Decisions like choosing a university program happen over time. Spend some time reflecting while doing everyday activities such as, when brushing your teeth. Ask yourself: What happened that day or is going to happen in the near future that you are excited about? Why a particular event was interesting, important or brought happiness? Here is the common thread; important choices in life take some reflection time for them to be successful.
Finally, do NOT overwhelm yourself with too many program/university choices. Deep down inside, you know you hated your time during – add course name here – class. Be honest with yourself and stay away from programs that require too many courses of – add course name here. Guess what may happen after you complete your research, you may find yourself going back to – add course name here – and questioning why you eliminated it. This is just fine because at that point you will have less choices to worry about.
In short, the famous adage, “don’t worry, be happy” applies here. Take a deep breath, explore and reflect! You will soon find yourself creating your future.
Dr. Hoda Kilani is a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). As a career management professional, she works with clients in private practice, workshop facilitation (carousel and vision board), conference presentation, and writing.
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