It starts long before you leave school… making those difficult choices about which Universities to apply for, which courses to consider, and, eventually, which one to sign up for. Teachers spend a lot of time coaching their students to write “personal” statements that in fact are rarely ever taken into account. You read prospectuses, go to University Open Days… there is so much to weigh up. You think one thing. Your parents think another. One University is great for the social life, another for the helpful staff and yet another for the specific modules on offer. Then even after you make your choice and start your degree there are choices about which modules to take, which option classes to follow, which field course to go on. Choices, choices… decisions, decisions.
To help you with all these decisions you need a simple strategy that will provide a common compass for lots of individual choices and keep you on a consistent path. To a large extent your strategy depends on your big-picture goal. Are you at University to have a good time and pass a few years enjoyably before you settle down to real life, or does real life start now with University itself? Are you determined to get the very best degree class that you can, or do you want to balance good marks against having a good time? If you are clear in your head about what you want to get out of the whole University thing, decisions become a lot easier.
So ask yourself this: why are you really going to University? Answering that question is the first step towards making the right choice.