Tips and Tricks University

Tips and tricks: choosing a degree programme that is right for you!

But, What Degree? - Channon Gray

How do I choose a degree? What if I change my mind once I get to university? Have I chosen the wrong degree?

On my way home last night on the train, I overheard someone talking about ‘pointless degrees’. In fact, he said, “I don’t understand why people choose useless degrees, like philosophy, how does that relate to anyone?” Need I say anymore?

Firstly, he was month into a Fine Art degree, which I am not mocking because if I wasn’t studying Social Anthropology, then I would most definitely be doing something Visual Arts related. Secondly, how isn’t philosophy relatable? Now, I am no philosopher but I know that it involves asking big life questions and challenging everything that we take for absolute granted. Relatable? Pfft, I think so.

Often degrees get categorised as ‘pointless’ and to be honest, that is the exact reason why I am not doing a degree in Journalism. I, personally, don’t like the idea of doing something that is potentially not going to allow me as many opportunities as studying something broad, like Anthropology.

As some of you might know, I actually changed my mind on my degree programme just before I handed in my university application. For years (and years) I had wanted to do either Politics or English Literature. However, the second I realised that English involved a ton of reading and Politics (well…), I decided to pursue something different. I woke up one day, and just thought that Anthropology was the only subject that I truly liked and it didn’t stress me out. Although, a lot of my passion lies in Art, I don’t see myself continuing onto a career in it. To be honest, I cannot imagine myself studying anything other than Anthropology. I love it, despite the horrendous amount of reading (which I didn’t think would happen)!

For me, the jump to studying Anthropology wasn’t too drastic as I took it as part of the International Baccalaureate at college. However, I understand why people are hesitant to study new subjects that they have no experience or knowledge of; especially when it is costing you £9,000 a year and a complete life transformation often tags along with it! But, when it comes to choosing a degree it is crucial to choose something that not only interests you but also excites you. Don’t pick something because your parents did it, or because your Sister chose it, or because you feel pressured to be in a certain profession. If you are not going to enjoy it, then honestly, there is absolutely no point in wasting your time. University is hard work; it involves extremely long days and a lot of effort in your spare time. Just think back to school: you know when you had maths homework and you absolutely hated doing it because you didn’t see the point in Trigonometry – imagine that being how you feel about your university course? Now that would be a pointless degree!

Choosing a degree is daunting, and I know for a fact that 19-year-old me thinks differently to 17-year-old me. It is a big decision to make, and if you are anything like me, then making any decision is tough – let alone one that sets up your pathway in life. Although, if I could say anything to little me making that big decision two years ago, then it would be, “thank you so much for not choosing English and instead, taking a tiny risk”! English Literature, wouldn’t have been for me – I don’t think.

Of course, choosing a degree and then changing your mind once you get there is not the end of the world. In fact, I know many people who have made it through the first term and then decided that they don’t like their chosen subject. Most of which have now transferred to either a different department or even a different university to continue their studies. The decision that you make is not the end of the world, but I would say give university a go and pick a subject that you like (a lot).

If you would like to ask me for advise, or just get in contact with me, then click here. Alternatively, if you would like to know more about what university is really like then check out one of my previous posts here.

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About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 23 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London then Cambridge. I'm now a Postgraduate Student, Stationery Addict and all-round Life Enthusiast.

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