To put this into perspective, let me give you a little story about myself. During Year 11, we are expected to choose our A-level subjects. This can be a rather challenging decision if you have no idea what you want to do. Personally, I didn’t know what subjects to choose and I didn’t know what career I wanted to go into either.
The biggest mistake I made was following my friends. I constantly heard everyone around me saying ‘I want to go into Medicine.’ I didn’t have a passion to pursue this career but I thought I should do it as everyone else around me was. I, therefore, chose to do Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Maths. These subjects would have allowed me to study Medicine at University. The only subject from the above that I thoroughly enjoyed was Biology. I was excited to study Psychology as I did have an interest in it. As for Chemistry, it was one of the subjects that I hated and the thought of doing it for A level scared me. Maths, I didn’t hate nor did I love but I was good at it.
Now fast forward to the end of Year 12. My life was miserable. Not only was I not enjoying doing Chemistry and Maths, but I was also failing them. I was achieving grades as low as E’s and U’s and the worst thing was that I had no motivation to try to improve them as I hated those subjects. At this point I was faced with a dilemma; my parents were called in and I was given the option to either stay at my current sixth form and bring those grades up or to leave and start fresh somewhere else. Here is where I made my second mistake. I chose to stay. I chose to stay because the thought of starting fresh scared me. I chose to stay because I didn’t want to leave my friends behind. I chose to stay because I didn’t want the past year to be a complete waste.
By Year 13, I had completely changed my mind. Studying subjects I had no interest in for a year made me realize that I could not study Medicine at University. Amongst all the chaos, I did find an interest. I decided I actually wanted to become a lawyer. I was lucky because Law is not a specific subject degree.
On results day, I was displeased with my results but I knew I deserved them. It was my fault for choosing the subjects I didn’t enjoy. It was my fault for following the crowd. It was my fault for not starting fresh when I had the chance to. Now, I had wasted two years of education and not just one.
So here is my advice:
If I could go back, I would only do the subjects that I enjoyed and performed well in especially because I had no idea what career I wanted to go into. I would advise that YOU only choose the subjects YOU are interested in or are good at because studying something you do not enjoy, can be physically and mentally draining. Avoid listening to the whispers around you and focus on what you want and need. An advantage of choosing such subjects ensures that you can meet your university entry requirements further allowing you to continue doing what you enjoy.
However, if you are sure about what career you want to pursue, choosing the subjects you need is a must even if you aren’t particularly keen on those subjects because you have an end goal or a tunnel vision. For example, if you know you want to become a doctor, science-based subjects are what you need regardless of whether you enjoy them or not. You will have the motivation to work hard in order to achieve those grades you need because you see yourself as a doctor.
So remember; choose wisely! Good luck.