How to choose the perfect degree
Uni will make you or break you or both. Asking my friends if they would pick the same degree again , a lot say they would pick something else, and this is from students across all sorts of different departments. How to get it right?
1. Don’t necessarily pick the subject you like at school. Having an incredible teacher at school does not guarantee a good time at uni. The subject changes a lot and most staff are hired because of their research interests rather than teaching ability.
2. Branch out! Don’t limit yourself to the subjects you are familiar with – new subject areas might seem challenging but if you’ve got the motivation you can do really well! Some of my best grades have been from my external subject modules like Start a Business, Reinventing Education, and Achieving Sustainability: Potentials and Barriers.
3. Don’t be afraid of changing your degree. I applied to do German, switched to German with Chinese and then switched back to straight German after first year (Chinese was fun but time-consuming aha). I have friends here and at other unis who have decided to switch degrees – one from German to Accounting and Finance at Warwick, another from English to Music at Glasgow, another from Aeronautical Engineering at Bristol to a university apprenticeship in Edinburgh.
4. There is no perfect degree. Accept that your experiences at uni will change what you think about your chosen subject. This year I developed a huge interest in all things eco (please read the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change, it shows the extent of future damage to the planet) meaning I took less interest in my current degree which barely mentions the word planet. My ideal degree would now be something like Global Sustainable Development/Ecology + German language + Education + Creative Writing. Not possible of course but hey ho.
5. Finally, remember you don’t have to go to uni. It might seem like the obvious next step but university is a bizarre environment – at British unis there is a culture of casual alcoholism, binge-watching Netflix and never cleaning the kitchen. It’s easy to feel lonely or become disillusioned with studying.
However, it’s certainly a maturing and often enjoyable experience. Although I would change what I study now, German was the right thing for me to study at the time I chose it – there was no way of knowing how my interests would change.
Und ich kann jetzt gut Deutsch. Das ist der Hammer.