Hi everyone, Megan here! For this blog post, I’m going to be talking about choosing your path for after secondary school. From my own experiences, it can be a very stressful and confusing time for people. There are so many paths and of course it’s difficult to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life! I hope this breakdown will help anyone in 6th year, wondering what path to go down. I’m going to share some of my tips and ideas that will hopefully help you with your upcoming decisions for after school!

 Illustration of a brain with a light bulb beside it

Tip #1: Consider ALL the options


My first piece of advice would be to not rule out anything, especially regarding your first year after secondary school. While the idea of moving away from home and going to college might sound exciting and lots of fun, its important to consider your options fully. For example, if you are interested in travelling, is it the right path for you to take a year out and see all the places on your bucket list? Another thing to think about is if you aren’t sure what you want to do next year is to take a year out and work, saving up money for college as well as discovering what’s right for you. Another idea if you’re not 100% sure what interests you is to do a PLC based around the area you’re thinking of studying. This will give you a clear indication as to what you are interested in, as well as helping you become more independent. Nowadays there is hardly a straight road on the route through college, so don’t be afraid to stray from the usual choices and do what’s best for you!


Tip #2: Attend Open Days


I cannot stress this enough. Although open days seem like a pointless exercise at times, they really can sway your decision in the lead up to college. Trust me, when I was choosing my college course, I went to the open day of my first choice, realized the college wasn’t for me, and changed my decision completely. I think getting a feel for the atmosphere of the college is almost as important as liking the idea of your course. It’s important to be happy in your environment too! Open days will be on throughout the year for all colleges. The course heads generally offer subject/course talks and college tours. It’s a busy but worthwhile day!


Tip #3: Firsthand information about the course


I think it’s a good idea to get firsthand information about the course you’re thinking about doing from someone who does it or is a graduate. If you don’t know anyone that’s fine, most colleges will offer first-hand perspectives from students on their websites or through email. It’s worth asking for this kind of information because this will be the most accurate. Reading a prospectus will tell you the logistics of the course but hearing somebody’s experience is much more valuable.


An image uf university library aisleTip #4: Research modules


When you’re reading the prospectus of your potential college, they will provide a list of modules for the course or subject in course codes e.g. GE1101, HS1101. These correspond to the subject, year of study and number module. My advice would be to go to the colleges book of modules which you will find by looking up online. Type in the module code and you will be provided with a more in-depth explanation of the module that you will have to study. It will tell you what the lectures and tutorials entail, what the exam or assignments entail and the learning objectives. To me, this is invaluable information. It’s brilliant if you’re interested in studying social science for example, but do you know what subjects this includes? It might not be exactly what you expect. Make sure these modules are something you could genuinely see yourself studying and enjoying!


So that’s it from me for this month! I hope this has been helpful to some of you facing big decisions in the coming months or indeed years. Don’t forget that it will all work out! I wish you all the best of luck with your choices for after school.

Megan Dempsey