Choosing a university degree

Planning our own future may sound easy but unlike in movies life isn’t a place where things always work out how you imagine they will.

We usually (almost) never ask ourselves what we really want from life. And most people don’t even know how they want their future to look like. Which isn’t that bad but it would definitely be better if somehow you would have an idea about your future. 

Choosing a high school was the first time I personally had to “plan” something, that would influence my future. Sadly I’ve made the wrong choice. If I could go back in time I would have chosen another school (preferably a language or art school – and I went to a tourism school). Anyway I think it’s pretty normal that our personality, character and ideas about life change (especially in those teenage years).

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After graduating from high school the big question was “How’s it going on?” – Well I always knew that I wanna go to University. I knew that’s the place I would belong to and until now this choice seems to have been the right one. 

Now the question was “What am I going to study?” – After a internship at a newspaper company I seemed to like the journalism and media world. I talked to some journalists and all of them told me I should rather study something like Economy, Law or Politics in order to write about those departments afterwards. Unlike my current character I was interested in politics and for almost 1 year I was totally sure that I would be studying political science. 

But last summer everything changed. For better I’d say. 

On a weekend in August a friend of mine asked me to accompany her to Florence. During this very spontaneous and short trip I became unsure about the degree of politics. It was all about one exact moment, I was sitting in my favorite Florentine cafe, listened to some artists and historians talking about art and architecture. That’s when I started to realize that my real passions would be related to humanistic areas like art, architecture, design, literature, philosophy, culture. I actually already knew that before but something seemed to stop me from it and I’m still wondering what it was. 

At first I wanted to suppress this uncertainty about the uni degree but as soon as I was back in my hometown I started to think about it again. And I knew that politics wouldn’t be the right thing for me. 

The following days and weeks were kinda horrible. I was totally done and didn’t know what to do. I talked to friends and family and some people told me it wouldn’t be bad to spend a year off in order to have some time to think about what I wanna study. 

But I absolutely didn’t like that idea. I mean, I have been waiting a lifetime to go to uni and by the way I couldn’t wait to move to a bigger city. Staying in my little hometown for another 365 days was no option. And who needs one whole year to find out what he likes?  I actually knew what I liked but I didn’t know which faculty would be best for me. 

Then I found the following studies:

  • Graphic Design (problem: they require a lot of skills at the uni of applied arts)
  • Fashion journalism/styling (problem: private schools are pretty expensive and apparently they aren’t even that good – except for those in London, Milan, Paris which are sadly too expensive) 
  • Cultural Management (problem: economy has never been my favorite subject)
  • Interior design (problem: maths, geometry and technics neither)
  • History (no problem: has always been my favorite subject at school)
  • Art history (no problem: has also been my favorite subject & I loved visiting museums and exhibitions ever since I can remember)

After days/weeks of thinking I chose ‘Art history’ and I’m extremely happy with my decision. I really love going to lectures and learning so much about art and its history feels so good. Art will never disappoint me and that’s why I trust in art. 

What I wanted to tell you with my personal experience on planning the future, is that you should listen to yourself and trust your mind and heart. And please don’t study something you aren’t sure about. I know too many people who study something because their friends study the same, their parents think it’s great or (and that’s most of the time the case) because they think they’ll get a good job and earn a lot of money after studying something like ‘Economics’ ‘Law’ or ‘Medicine’.

You really gotta love what you study and if you’re good at whatever you’re doing you will certainly also find a good job because what counts is your skills, creativity and personality. And another important message is that you can’t really plan the future because there could always be happening something unpredictable. 

I really hope everyone of you finds his/her own way to success and happiness. Good luck to y’all!

Got any specific question about university and choosing a degree? Just leave a comment or send me an email (judithbradl@yahoo.com) and I’ll try to help you out. 

elodiegrethen-judith-0684elodiegrethen-judith-0679Photos by Elodie Grethen Photography 

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