Mind your choices

One minor decision can have a major impact, but only if you let it.

14 January 2020 | Education

Iréne-Mari van der Walt

Many students will face the same decision that generations of high school students before them have also faced: choosing their subjects.

Subject choice is a good example of the butterfly effect; your subject choices affect how eligible you are for certain institutions of higher learning and what programmes these institutions will take you in for.

This is a big decision for a teenager, but remember that everything is reversible. If you chose the wrong subject for your career choice, there are institutions that will allow you to do those subjects even after you completed high school and what’s an extra year in the grand scheme of things? Relax, you’ll be okay.

Keep the end in mind

Here’s some advice you’ve probably heard: Choose your subjects based on the career or field you’d like to pursue after school. The more detailed the information you have on what you want to do after school, the better, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have it all planned out.

It’s all relative

Do not under any circumstances choose a subject because it’s easy. None of the subjects are easy. Choose a subject because you enjoy it and thus it’ll be easy for you. Interest in the work at hand will help you focus during classes and motivate you to invest time and effort into studying and preparing for classes. Mostly, enjoying your class will put you in a better mood overall. School isn’t meant to be a punishment, it’s meant to be a place of growth and learning.

Consider your personality and characteristics

If you’re not good at spelling and constantly find yourself struggling to find the right word, don’t take unnecessary languages – not all of us were meant to be authors. If you’re good with your hands, consider home ecology or craft & technology. If you’ve always been good at making money work, try your hand at accounting. If you’re extroverted, try to stay away from one-man subjects like computer studies.

Go with your instincts

The most important piece of advice is to trust your gut. The only person who truly knows you, and thus knows what’s best for you, is you. More than that, your instincts know things you don’t. Listen to the adults, take all the advice you can get, do all the research you can – all things considered, you’ll know what’s best for you.

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