Which course should I apply for ?

By Victoria Ntuli

Which course should I do? Which course should apply for? I often hear people ask, which course should I apply for? This in most cases is followed by pictures and screenshots of matric results and grade 11 final results. I passed matric with a diploma admission which university will accept me? Which course can I do with a bachelor's admission?

We are living in an era where information is freely and readily available to us especially in social media. One can ask questions and be provided with answers especially on platforms such as Facebook where there are groups that are designed to connect people with the same interests. We are in an era where everyone has a right to freedom of speech and when you ask people questions about a topic they will gladly exercise their right to freedom of speech which is a good thing because it encourages engagement and new insights in various topics. These groups provide a safe space to interact with various people in the world.

There are groups that provide information about universities and colleges. These groups take learners through a process of applying, reading, and understanding prospectus, applying for financial aid, and calculating APS. These groups play a vital role in learners in grade 12 who are still trying to understand how higher institutions work. What bothers me about these groups is when now learners ask strangers to have opinions on their career choices. I'm bothered about the most popular question. Which course should I apply for? Can you honestly trust a stranger to give opinions about your career? About something that you will be doing for 3 to 4 years? about something that you will be doing for the rest of your life.

Imagine waking up early to go to work to do something you don't love just because a social media stranger suggested it. The truth is when you ask a question on social media, people will suggest what they truly love and what they think it's best for them without considering what kind of a person you are. I always say it's a risky habit to ask random strangers which course to do.  How can you trust a stranger with your entire life, with a career that you will do?

Career choices start way before you go to grade 10. They start in grade 9 where you are given an opportunity to choose subject choices. In grade 9 you have the whole year to figure yourself out. To know your strengths and weaknesses, to discover the subjects you love and the subjects that challenge you. Once you have evaluated yourself you will stand a better chance of choosing the right subjects that will lead you to your career. These subjects are a path you need to walk on to reach your destination (Career). Subject choices should never be taken lightly. For example, you can't have history while you want to be a doctor and you can't choose a science stream while you are bad at maths and technology.

which course should I apply for?. My answer to that question is easy. What is it that you love? What is it that you are good at?  How is your personality? Which subject do you love? Answer these questions with honesty and I promise, you will get to know which course to do. The secret about university is not about which course you are doing. University/College is a place to shape your career and a place to grow your knowledge and skills. This is a place that prepares you for your future job and by doing a course you don't love you won't even make it to the second year. Several people drop out in their first year not because they failed or they can't adjust they drop out because they enrolled in courses they don't love.

Take this as dating someone you don't love. Every second with them is a living hell. Their texts and phone calls annoy you. Those long love messages they send depress you. The worse part of dating someone you don't love is that every time you are with them you feel guilty because you know you shouldn't do this, you know they deserve someone better, someone who will love them unconditionally. That's exactly how you will feel doing a course you were suggested by a random stranger. You know in a relationship some hang on hoping that one day just one day they will wake up loving the person and they will learn to love that person. Tricky part years go by and still, your feelings towards them don't change. Now you have wasted 4 years of your life hoping one day you will wake up loving a person. The same applies to career choices that's why most people do a second degree of something they love.

Falling into the trap of doing a course you know nothing about can be influenced by family members and friends. In this day and age, we have parents who choose courses for their kids. You will often hear them say "with this course you will get a job fast", "with this course you will earn a high salary"  and " By doing this course you will be respected in the community". In this day and age our parents don't understand art, don't understand marketing and they don't understand fashion design. For them,  normal careers are nursing, teaching, policing, medicine and law.
The biggest mistake one can make is to enroll for the course they don't love because this will lead to one considering a second degree and many are not lucky to do the second degree due to financial constraints so will be stuck with a qualification you cannot use.

I hope I have answered your questions and I have changed your mindset when it comes to choosing a course. I hope you see that everything lies in you to make a decision. I hope you see the risks of asking random strangers on social media to advise about choosing courses. I hope you see that choosing a course is a personal choice that does not require your friends, parents even teachers. Let the course you choose be something you truly want not something that is influenced by someone. Do the right thing and do self-introspection. For once dedicate a time where you think about your future, where you paint a picture of a job you will be doing 3 to 4 years to come. Are you happy in that picture?

AcaNet Teamā¤


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