When it comes to university subject selection, lots of factors come into play. What do you enjoy? What do you need to study for your course? What are you good at?
But there was one specific factor I think I gave too much weight in hindsight throughout my undergraduate degree: what I thought would be easy.
As I progressed through my studies, I became quite invested in my GPA and my WAM - I think ultimately to my detriment. When selecting subjects to study the next semester, I tended to choose those I thought I could excel in. Whilst this does have some merit, I look back now and wonder if perhaps my university experience could have been a bit more rounded.
If you’re in a similar boat, here are some things to consider when selecting your university subjects.
Ultimately, why are you at university?
People go to university for different reasons, but for me, the main reason was to develop and learn as a person. I didn’t have a clear destination at the end of my degree, so I didn’t need to study specific subjects to get into a specific postgraduate degree or to get a specific job. I just wanted to extend myself.
Whilst I think that did happen, I also think it was thwarted somewhat by my laser focus on grades. There are definitely units I would have liked to have given a crack but, ultimately, didn’t select due to fear of the unknown.
New subjects can excite or invigorate
If you’re feeling a bit burnt out with your subjects, or even if you just want to try something new, dipping your toes into subjects you might typically not enrol in can do wonders to reinvigorate a natural curiosity and love of learning.
I was lucky that my degree allowed quite a lot of flexibility. Despite what I’ve said above, studying a wide range of subjects and mixing it up from time to time certainly did help me get through my degree.
Open new career opportunities
Who knows where new subjects could take you? Maybe you’ve never done coding in your life but are curious. If you enrol in a coding subject (assuming your degree structure allows it), it’s possible that you’ll completely love it, and it changes your career trajectory entirely.
It’s also possible that you’ll hate it, of course, but the idea here is that you’ll never know if you don’t try it. This is one of my biggest university regrets - I feel like I still don’t know!
Perception isn’t always the same as reality
You might avoid certain subjects or pathways because they seem very difficult, but difficulty, at the end of the day, is very subjective. And the reality is that a lot of subjects may not be as difficult as they seem!
It’s important to remember that selecting a subject doesn’t necessarily lock you into completing that subject, either - if you start it and it feels a bit much, you could always change into another subject before your university’s census date.
If you’re not sure where to start with subject selection, this huge range of university subject reviews could be useful. I personally regret not pushing myself outside my subject comfort zone a little more, so I encourage you to truly make the most of your university degree as much as you can!