It’s A Wrap! What’s Next? – 3 Things I Did After My IGCSE
Image source: Huffington Post
The two months I dreaded were finally over. In my mind, all of my notes were already in a dumpster, on fire. Then, it hit me…
What is next for me? What happens from here?
Everyone around me seemed to have something figured out. I had friends who were unsure, but then sure enough to enrol themselves into college. I also had friends who have planned out the next decade of their lives, and even how many children they wanted to have. Amongst the mess was me.
Throughout the time between finishing my exams and going to college, I tried many different things. A lot of them did not work out, but some did. To make this journey of finding the best path for yourself, here are the three most helpful things I did after my IGCSEs.
1) Know what you want.
Many parents and students enjoy the IGCSE syllabus because of the diversity in subjects. Being able to try out and learn different types of subjects opens many doors. However, for many, it is hard to figure out which ones to close. So, the first step would be to know what you want. What do you find particularly interesting? Is there something you are exceptionally good at? Is there a certain subject you have passion for? Perhaps, you even need more time and want to take a gap year?
My first mindmap, where I only considered subjects I did during IGCSE.
I felt that the subjects I did during my IGCSEs did not open the perfect door for me. I enjoyed them but could not see myself doing any in the long run. So, I thought about what I was interested in, outside of school. I LOVED reading books about human behaviour and so, I decided to look into it more.
2) Seek and research.
Most of us think we know what is best for ourselves, but sometimes we need more opinions.
I first approached my parents and teachers, before going to anyone else. But I personally felt that wasn’t enough, so I used the Internet. There are an array of online sources these days, but the most helpful I found to be were real people. You can find online education counsellors and many of them do not even cost you a cent! Since they hey did not know who I was, our conversation was more genuine – they literally had no idea to judge or lie to me and only wanted to help me. If face-to-face communication works better for you, look for a physical centre in your local area.
Besides that, I also did a lot of my research online by watching videos, reading articles and chatting on online forums. I personally enjoy visual material more than blocks of text, so I watched a very popular format of YouTube videos – “A day in the life”. You can find honest perspectives from anyone, ranging from a gap year student to a Harvard Business School undergraduate.
By the end of around a month, I was confident with the potential choices I had found. This process of researching could take much longer or shorter for you. So, know that it is okay to take your time to explore and researching everything, before making your decision.
3) Decide for yourself.
There are probably not many BIG decisions you have made yourself, so far. You were probably not old enough to decide which primary school to go to, or for some, even the subjects you did for your IGCSEs. However, being able to make good decisions is a skill, and skills cannot improve if they are not used.
At the end of my research and contemplation, I had decided to do a pre-university course locally and the subjects I was interested in were based around Psychology. But, there was a big challenge awaiting me.
My parents were quite stubborn, and I knew the only way to convince them was to show them the research I did. So, I created a master plan. I would explain my decision, show them my research, and show them the conversations I had with my education counsellor. I found that this worked really well, so I decided to also bring them to a college open day. They were able to interact with students who have experienced it all first-hand and were genuinely impressed by the plan I curated.
Image source: Kingston University
Eventually, after a few days, my parents accepted my decision as they saw it was one I made for myself.
For many, not knowing much about your future might be unsettling. But, one of the major aspects of life is to figure it out, step by step. As Abraham Lincoln once said:
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
All the best and good luck!