How to know you love your Uni degree
When talking to younger students at my old high school about the university experience I always make sure to spend some time on the importance of studying something you truly love. I recognize this may be hard for some students to reconcile with a restrictive career path, demanding parents or socio-economic possibilities, but I still believe its important to talk about. Especially because today it seems more and more as if university has become a tool to make us more desirable to future employers and more productive for the economy. However, this is not all that university is, and our economic prospects are not all against which choose a university degree.
I knew I loved the subject I was studying because I found always wanting to know more about what we were talking in class. I know I love what I’m studying because if I could I’d ask all my seminar tutors and lecturers to forget about their day’s engagements, and discuss a new paper on population control policies in development or what they really think about a certain economic model. This might trick you into thinking I do each and every one of my assignment reading and have never found a lecture boring, but trust me I have. I think that having a passion for whatever you’re studying is not about loving every aspect of it, or even the vast majority. I think it simply means that your interest keeps pushing you forward, even when you’re done with Hobbes’ laws of nature or the three-equation model. I personally think PPE has been easy for me to love, thanks to its combination and overlapping of three different subjects. When I felt particularly fed up with philosophy I knew I could always distract myself with some economics or politics. Similarly I love finding pieces of one subjects in the other two, it makes studying them more interesting and frankly, more rewarding.
Choosing to apply for a course you thoroughly enjoy at university is a great idea. It will help you keep motivated throughout your years at Uni, and most probably it will give you and indication of what career path you’d like to take once you’ve graduated. Always keep in mind that if you don’t like studying a subject at school or Uni, the probability of you liking it as a career are quite low. For example: I knew I hated statistics hence why I didn’t choose the BSc pathway, it did not make sense to study something I know I did not want to use in my future. So remember that your passion will shape your drive and your work ethic, so its better to have them all working in the same direction.
Having said this, its obvious that choosing a degree purely because you love it might be a difficult decision. We live in a system where some degrees have better salaries than others, and different university degrees have different employability rates than others. You may wish to keep this in mind when you’re making your choice. I know I had the privilege to feel absolutely free to embark on whatever career path I wanted to, and that’s why I never listened to my university councillor when she opposed me enrolling in a PPE degree because it was too wishy-washy.
Ultimately the decision is up to you, you know what aspects of a degree matter the most to you and your future. Perhaps it really is love and passion for your chosen subject, but perhaps its not and that’s fine too. Remember that passion is a strong motivator, and that you’ll need all the motivation you can to get through Uni!