Choosing a course
Choosing my subject, chemistry, didn’t involve much research for me. It was something I studied at school and then it just randomly clicked and I decided to study it further at university.
This might, however, not be the case for everyone. Whilst I love my course and my previous posts indicate why, I do wonder what I might have instead been studying if I had been one of the lost people out there rather than somebody who had chosen to study chemistry by the end of year 11.
It is simple (and great) if you have decided what you would like to study at university. Work hard, enjoy your subject and good luck! If you are not sure, read my previous post and who knows, you might fall in love with chemistry. But if that doesn’t happen, the single biggest advice I would give you is to indeed be as open as your brain clearly wants you to be. If your mind is not settling, it is probably because there is something else out there for you that you have not found yet.
Your friends might seem to have their entire life planned whilst you’re struggling to pick a subject but I think you should consider yourself lucky and thank yourself for being fussy.
I studied chemistry, biology and maths for my A levels. It was when I came to university that I was able to properly come out of the science bubble and find how many different courses there are on offer.
One of my friends studies Classics. I couldn’t even gather the courage to initially ask what that was. The only thing I could remember was the ‘Classical Civilisation’ GCSE option that was available at school and I didn’t even read the description of it. I don’t know if it is my friend’s passion or the subject itself but after discussing the course content, it really sounds something very different and exciting.
Next up, I met somebody who studies PPE. I didn’t really know much about social sciences before coming to Warwick apart from economics which I associated with graphs, money and terms like fiscal, profit and GDP so perhaps we can say I knew nothing. I probably can’t name a single module that a politics student would study and then finding out about the combination of politics, philosophy and economics at university was baffling. I mean, such a thing exists? But only recently, we’ve had new PPE bloggers and their blogs have really opened my eyes to how diverse and rewarding a course this is.
Courses like law, engineering, economics, psychology and other subjects are common to hear about (or at least I think) but don’t let this trick you into thinking that these are the only courses available to choose from. One thing I have seen at Warwick is the emphasis on variety and a focus on gaining a broad insight into whatever you study through courses like PPE, MORSE, PAIS, and all the other abbreviations that are out there. Furthermore, you have the option to do unusual modules (extra modules from other departments; check with your home department though. I know this is the case with chemistry), language modules, IATL modules and many other opportunities.
I would only say that if you’re lost then study all the pathways and don’t rest until your heart genuinely settles on something. Order propectuses and go over what is on offer, study the different courses, look at the modules and research, research, research!
I am very happy with the subject that I am studying but, as I have discussed above, I did realise when I came to Warwick that I had encapsulated myself in the chemistry bubble. I have clearly ended up oversharing how ignorant I was but I hope this shows you that there is a lot on offer for you. So, if you haven’t found the right subject, it means you need to keep searching for it.
Take advantage of the fact that you’re so open about education and find what you’d like to spend your time, energy and money on.
This is only first term and I have already missed a careers fair I wanted to go to, a few society events I wanted to go to and now head to the second floor extension (the quiet area) as opposed to the second floor group-study area because already I’m doing super serious revision (usually this begins in Jan / Feb). I am finding the jump from first year to second year much harder than the transition from sixth form to first year at university. Currently, the only thing keeping me sane and hopeful is indeed chemistry. I find that when I am focussing on the content, I focus on the concepts and forget about the stresses and the deadlines. Therefore, commitment and passion for your subject is very important to make university work for you because university is going to push you so you need to get hold of a subject that you would never want to let go of.