College orientation: choosing the right path

College orientation: choosing the right path

Already as their senior year of high school approaches, children begin to be subjected to the stress of choosing which faculty to enroll in. Parents, friends, and relatives are beginning to lobby about which type of study they will choose, and teachers will also try to make themselves useful by providing their pupils with Advice that takes into account what are the personal inclinations, as well as the results so far in the different subjects of study. Advice from people close to them can be a great help in making a choice, because in the end they are the ones who know the children best and can direct them to the right path for them.
Of course, no matter how much others may advise, the final choice is always up to those affected. Their future is worth it, and it is important that the decision they make is informed and not rushed. The choice of university, in fact, cannot be based on fads or be the result of the instinct of the moment, but must be weighed against so many factors that we will now go over one by one.

The choice according to job outlets

When you are faced with choosing which faculty to enroll in, the first thing you think about is whether or not you will be able to find a job when you finish your studies. Everyone knows that there are some fields that fail to provide good job outlets for graduates, while others allow them to be more easily placed in the world of work. The faculties most known to be disadvantaged in terms of job outlets are the humanities. Humanities, Philosophy, History, Literature, and History of Art are among the most incriminated subjects. The situation is different for science majors, however, from which graduates come out whose skills are more in demand in the world of work and who are more likely to find employment, even immediately after graduation. This is the case, for example, in courses such as engineering, business or computer science.
But how valid is the job offer argument for choosing which faculty to enroll in? We can say without hesitation that in reality an assessment made only on the basis of the chances of finding a job never leads to the right choice for the student. The young man who is passionate about art, for example, who enrolls in computer engineering only because he hopes to find a job when he gets out of college, is actually making a very serious mistake. In fact, studying a subject you do not like will never lead to good results. Maybe you may be able to graduate with a decent grade, but you will never truly excel in that discipline, simply because that discipline does not reflect your passions and natural orientation. Here, then, is where this choice will backfire like a boomerang, because a mediocre software engineer is unlikely to be rewarded by the working world, while perhaps an excellent art historian would be.
The second element to assess is the variability of the labor market, which is never stable. What is the situation at the time one enrolls in college can never be the same as when years later one graduates, and this must also be taken into account.
Lastly, one should not forget to also consider postgraduate study offerings. In fact, after graduating from a bachelor’s degree, there are a number of advanced courses for each faculty that allow for further specialization and that are geared more specifically toward the needs of the labor market, with concrete opportunities for internships, externships, overseas experience and so on. Before making one’s choice, therefore, one should also consider this additional preparation that the university can offer.

Choose according to one’s orientation and passions

The right choice is often the one that comes directly from the heart, and this is true not only in the field of study, but in many experiences in life. Each of us has passions that begin to emerge in childhood and develop over the years, if cultivated in the right way. But is it possible to turn these personal orientations into a lifelong occupation? Many young people feel restrained and prefer to give up their passions in order to try to specialize in a field that offers more guarantees for the future. But is this really the right choice? Nowadays, pursuing a full course of study at university requires considerable sacrifices, not only financially. One is committed several years to study, and the question one must ask is whether one is really willing to invest time and resources in something one is not passionate about. If the answer is no, then it will be good to opt for a choice that is guided less by reason and more by the heart, otherwise the college adventure will be a losing venture from the start. Therefore, the advice is to take in hand the faculty list of the different universities and try to figure out, even so at first glance, which include subjects of study that may be of interest according to one’s inclinations. Also very useful in this respect may be the specific services that universities themselves devote to orientation. On dedicated days, for example, one can go directly to the office to engage with older students who are already well along in their studies and ask them for information and opinions on the degree programs toward which one’s interest is directed. It is precisely this comparison that can be helpful in deepening some aspects of the curriculum and going beyond just guiding the student. If on the latter, in fact, one reads nothing more than a list of the subjects to be covered from year to year, direct discussion with students can help one understand how these subjects are actually covered in the course, the level of difficulty and depth required, and so on. This way you can avoid discarding a particular degree program just because it involves a subject you have always hated. One may find, for example, that the latter, although present in the curriculum, is perhaps secondary and can be addressed easily, with no reason for discouragement.

Following in the footsteps of parents

There is no getting around it, some sooner and some later, all of us as children of have felt invited at least once to follow in the footsteps of our parents or at least one of them, professionally speaking. More often than not, it is the grandparents who have this tendency to push their grandchild toward the trade of one or the other parent. Even worse then when there is a family business and the recondite hope is always that the young person will sooner or later take over the reins. This can apply to any trade or profession, from plumber to painter, notary to lawyer. When you are a child such jokes are taken as a game, but when you start growing up, that’s when the expectations of the whole family risk becoming a burden for the teenager, especially when he or she is faced with such an important choice as enrolling in college. At that moment there are many thoughts going through the boy’s mind, and the weight of the family business to carry on certainly does not help. Thus, here are many children of lawyers who decide to enroll in law school, simply to follow in their father’s footsteps and secure a place in the family firm. This is a completely questionable choice, because it is natural that everyone should follow their personal inclinations, regardless of possible external conditioning. On the other hand, however, there is also a downside, because. if indeed the field in which the parent is working is within the child’s interests, then the child can derive considerable benefit in following in his or her footsteps, if only because in the course of his university studies he can take advantage of the guidance and valuable advice of those already working in the field. The university route may be much easier in this case.

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As we have seen, the choice of which faculty to enroll in can be motivated by several factors. One piece of advice that could be followed, however, is not to dwell on just one of the points we have examined, but possibly to make an assessment that takes all these elements into account and balances their pros and cons. This will lead to a final choice that is not improvised but thought out in every detail, because the subjects of study, possible outlets post-graduation and in the world of work, and the possibility or otherwise of balancing one’s passions with following in one’s parents’ footsteps will have been taken into consideration.
Once you have chosen the university and the relevant city, that’s it, finding you a rental accommodation (single or double) at an acceptable price, uniaffairs takes care of it 😉

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