Exploring who you are informs your future!
So, up until now, you’ve had a LOT of really different subjects – each with it’s own challenges and it’s own pieces of wonder – and now you’ve received a subject list from school and teachers and parents are expecting you to make a decision about which subjects you are going to stick it out with until the end of your school career.
Big decision, isn’t it??!
And the trouble is that you probably have NO CLUE what these new subjects are about and NO IDEA how to choose from the lists you are given. Some of you might even find that your school is not offering some of the subjects your friends are keen to take at other schools, while others may discover that you have to choose between two subjects you really currently enjoy in one group, while another group offers you nothing to be excited about.
So what to do??
Hopefully this 3-part blog will assist you in thinking and exploring your way over this hurdle so you can continue your academic path with anticipation, excitement and some peace, as well as set out the journey towards your vocation with vigour! Read this with your parents or somebody you trust to assist you in thinking about your future. If you still feel a bit left in the dark, please leave a comment or ask us your questions!
First things first…
Let’s get this straight right from the start: there are no ‘right’ subjects. Let me say this again – there are NO RIGHT SUBJECTS! There are, however, the right subjects for YOU.
Because of that, you need to start this process by thinking about who you are – so close you eyes and think about the following, or write them down on a piece of paper, what ever tickles your fancy (and before you do this, remember – we are NOT talking about what your friends enjoy or what your parents want for your future, or what your teachers say you should be doing…we’re talking about YOU!!):
- What are you dreams?
- What is your passion?
- What are those things that excite you?
- What are the things you’d rather do than anything else?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
- What are your D R E A M S?
Take a long enough moment to ponder these questions – take a day, or a week. These questions are not always easily answered, some of us need to really dig deep! So if you are struggling, let me help you …try and answer these questions:
- What is your favourite thing to do when you have free time?
- What is your favourite television program?
- Or do you prefer to read?
- What kinds of books do you read? Which one has been your all time favourite (that one you’ve read more than a few times!!)?
- What subject do you not mind doing homework for?
- Which kind of school outings do you enjoy going on?
- What extracurricular activities do you take part in?
- Do you enjoy sport? Do you prefer playing chess?
- Or again, do you prefer to read?
- When you were younger, what did you get into trouble for?
- Taking apart your mother’s kettle…and radio…and watch…
- Or couldn’t you take your nose out of a novel long enough to have conversations or to eat your dinner?
- Or did you mess paint all over the new lounge carpet during one of you magnificent art projects?
- Did you try and dissect your poor hamster?
- Did you leave nasty soil footprints all over Mom’s clean kitchen floor after watering the seedlings you planted outside?
- Did you bring the entire neighbourhood’s stray dogs and cats home?
- Or did you just love spending time with your friends – listening to their stories and trying your best to solve their problems?
- Do you still love helping Mom or Dad with preparing dinner or were you scolded because you didn’t clean up the mess after baking the most delicious cup cakes?
The list can go on and on…if you are not sure, ask Mom or Dad or someone else that you grew up with – I’m sure they’ll be poking and laughing at recognising you in at least one of these!!
Why are these questions important?
Because you need to KNOW YOURSELF when thinking about your future. Children who love taking care of stray animals might end up becoming awesome Veterinarians or really enjoy working on Wild Game Ranches. Those who find interest in dissecting things might enjoy a career in Science or Biology. Engineers almost always start out taking things apart to see how they work, or to put them together in a new and interesting (or better) way. Artists seem to always look for a piece of paper to draw something on, while people fascinated with language loved reading and writing from an early age.
You get the picture.
You need to know what fascinates, excites and energises you when you think about the one thing you are going to pursue as a career. Trust us –having a job is a lot of hard work, you don’t want to end up doing something you do not like!! Apart from that, research tells us that people who enjoy their work are more likely to be successful in it than those who don’t.
Choosing your subjects is a step in this path to your future – you need to take this step with careful consideration and all the information you can lay your hands on. So get on with it! Get to know your interests, your values, your strengths and passions. In doing this, you might just get closer towards making your dream a reality!
In the next blog we’ll guide you in how, when you’ve come to know more about yourself, you would know what the best subjects would be to consider. Be on the look out for that one! We will also include some important contact information for you to use in your exploration process.
Written by Amanda van der Vyver, An Unravelling Exploration ‘Explorer’ and educational psychologist.