Do I Have to Know What I Want Before Applying to the Ivies?

July 22, 2021
By AdmissionSight

Do I Have to Know What I Want to Learn Before Applying to the Ivies?

When you are young, most things feel like a puzzle.” You are young, and you do not have to have everything figured out at such a tender age” is a statement most people repeatedly tell teenagers and that applies to choosing a university. Most teenagers ask themselves, do I have to know what I want to study before applying to the Ivies. The answer is yes. Interestingly, selecting a major that aligns with your interests causes a massive brawl in your young mind. Moreover, this is one of the likely decisions to cause seismic shifts in the path your life will take.

Young ivy league student holding her books and backpack.

Your parents have your best interests at heart, but they are not experts. Most school counselors do not offer much aid. They are usually busy since they have several responsibilities to different students. It would be best to fathom the weight of choosing a good major before applying to the Ivy League.

Despite the history of it being a sports league, there is much more to the Ivies than just sports. Today, the Ivy League is known for its academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and unrivaled opportunities.

They include Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. Interestingly, these are some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Typically, people spend most of their time in school studying. Choosing a major, that feels your soul with enthusiasm and passion should be your goal. Always keep in mind that classes will take up most of your time in whichever university you select. Having this at the back of your mind is vital. It would help if you took a proactive stance to avoid sheer disappointment in the future.

First, choose what you want to study. Strikingly, this will make it simpler to determine which colleges you want to select. Always follow a path that sets my psyche on fire. Please do not be subjected to standards created by other people since you are the one who will have to live with your decisions.

Here, we’ll take a look at a good timeline for knowing what you want to study, why it’s important, and some tips for whittling down your options.

When Should I Know What I Want to Study?

Looking at your classmates, they might seem to have it all figured out. From your perspective, they seem to have a good idea of what they should precisely study. In high school, it is essential to remember that one reason you are in school is establishing what you want to learn. Ideally, in your sophomore or junior year, you should know what your passion is. Is it sciences, arts, music, etc.? In sophomore or junior year, you can identify your skillset by establishing which subjects interest you.

Ivy league student working on a wooden table with books and pencils for college admission.

Consequently, this is likely to steer you towards your career path. Loving what you do will fill you with goodness and faith. It makes you realize that the world is a beautiful place. Alternatively, it is not just about choosing a major but choosing one right for you.

Significantly, if you have no idea of what you want to major In, it should not cause so much unrest in you. Such matters take time. Slowly but surely, everything will fall into place. Indeed, Rome, the famous city that has withstood the peculiarities of time and season, was not built in a day.

Majority of those people who seem to have everything figured out probably have nothing figured out. We are all in a web of confusion, trying to figure out what is best for us. Ultimately, this is not to say that one should not make an effort to figure this out. Establish which subjects you perform best. Be headstrong and unyielding in studying and ensure nothing gets in your way. Additionally, this is likely to help you find your passion.

Top Tips for Choosing Your Field of Interest

1. Take A Gap Year

A gap year is also called a sabbatical year. It means taking a year-long break, usually before joining university or college. How do I figure out what I want to study in college? Many students ask themselves this. To figure this out, students can take a gap year.

During this period, students indulge in different activities. They can either be educational or developmental activities. It is a time for experiential learning, which includes travelling, internships and volunteer services.

The mind-blowing activities and experiences during this period can add uniqueness to your resume. It is a significant period to see the world through a new set of eyes via taking your time to travel, meet new people, learn a new language and find yourself. Travelling startles you.

You experience things you have not experienced before; you thus view things from a new perspective. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste every experience to the utmost. Therefore, after this experience, you can decide which field you want to pursue.

An internship is something else that you can do during the gap year. It can be full time or part-time. Internships help students to gain valuable experience. It is said that experience is the best teacher.

Interns have the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge gained in their real work experiences. An internship gives you a chance to see if you are interested in a particular field. When you acquaint yourself with a specific area, you can find out what it is that truly sets your psyche on fire.

Volunteering aids you in making new friends. It has a significant impact on the community. It is an excellent platform for you to interact and connect with people. Understanding the basis of volunteer work is easy but appreciating the nuances of its impact goes deeper. Making a difference in people’s lives is a grand gesture in the world we live in today. Volunteering opens you up to know which areas in particular interest you.

Fundamentally, the activities you partake in your gap year build your skillset, give you new experiences and eventually find your purpose. Therefore, you are likely to know what you want to do with the rest of your life.

2. Take A Free Online Course for College Admission

In an attempt to choose your area of interest, online courses come in handy. They help you to sample a variety of subjects. In this Covid error, the rhythm of life has been disrupted in universities. Consequently, most universities are now using software like Zoom. Most lectures are uploaded on the internet and can be downloaded for free. If you overlook Covid, you will see that there is an advantage to this.

Young student attending an online course for college admission.

One can take a class and see if he is genuinely interested in whatever course the university is offering. There are thousands of lectures online, each university or program will vary with what they offer. To determine which class to enroll in, identify your interests, values, passions and abilities. To do this, identify those areas that are important to you. What are your abilities? Choose a class based on the areas that you are skilled.

Additionally, this is to ensure that you have an idea of the online course you choose. If you find the lecture excruciatingly boring, wondering when it will end, then more likely than not, that is not an area in which you should specialize. If you enjoy the course, you should consider majoring in the field.

3. Take A Short Course or Evening Classes

Incidentally, if you want to know more about the course you are interested in, take a short course or an evening class. Short courses offer a chance to fill in the gaps about which areas interest you. Short courses save you from the trouble of having to invest so much money and time into a program that you might, after all, not end up doing. They enable you to choose a pace that suits you.

Moreover, short courses are a significant boost to your CV— you’re able to gain a variety of skills. Skills gained are transferable to other life circumstances, especially if you decide to further your studies.

Laptop and a lamp in a white table use for studying for college admissions.

Short courses give you a glimpse of what studying the field you are interested in will be. Once you have completed your short period, you can now decide if you have the skills needed, and whether the program aligns with your values. Besides, your principles as a person should align with your major.

4. Research Your Course of Study

How do I figure out what I want to study in college? Researching more through reading and the internet is the answer. Reading more about your course of study is crucial. Research helps you in deciding whether the course you have chosen aligns with your interest.

There are several places where one can get information concerning any field. Information is indeed power. Different books provide endless knowledge about a particular field. When you read extensively, your knowledge expounds.

You can dive in and see the pros and cons of the field. After reading, you can determine whether the course aligns with your interests. Many departments publish reading lists on various courses.

At the comfort of your home, you can access information on any field. Through the internet, one can weigh on different matters about a particular field. There are two sides to a coin; only if you research extensively will you know more about a field.

You will also see if your values and principles align with the field in question, whether morally or religiously. In medicine, the doctor is sometimes forced to make tough calls. A good example is a scenario where you’re forced to choose between saving the life of the mother and child. In this case, a doctor will do what is best for the family.

Moreover, this might not align with some people’s values. By research, you can establish if you have the particular set of skills needed to major in that course. On the internet, you can also listen to what people who have worked in that field say. Information from the horse’s mouth is likely to give you direction. Extensive research helps to foster critical thinking and analytical skills.

5. Attend University Fairs

A university fair is a platform where students meet representatives from various universities. It is a place where you can learn more about colleges and courses that interest you. It gives you a chance to talk and ask representatives who, more often than not, have first-hand information on various matters.

They will help to steer you towards making the right choices when it comes to deciding various matters. The university fare gives you a chance to learn about various colleges and the type of courses they offer. Variety is indeed the spice of life. There are many colleges, and it is hence impossible to research them all. You are more likely to discover new schools that offer courses that you are interested in at this event.

University fairs will help you narrow down your list of colleges based on different areas that are likely to impact your education. Finances are a crucial determinant. College representatives will answer all your questions about financial aid. In this platform, information about scholarships is also provided. Talking to people who teach the course allows you to know the topics covered and the teaching style. Using the information obtained from university fairs, one can find if the course aligns with your skills, passions, and interests. Moreover, you can now narrow down your list.

6. Find A Flexible University System

If you are still embedded in sheer self-doubt, have no worries. Choose a university with a flexible system. Ideally, this will enable you to explore more if you have a change of heart. In some universities, students spend the first two years of their undergraduate degree covering various subjects before deciding what to major in.

By this, students have more time to see which areas best favor them depending on their skill set, interests, and passion. The more time is taken, the more the decision is sane. Moreover, this allows you not to rush into making such a significant decision. Accordingly, a student should find a flexible university system to have many options if anything changes.

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