Do you want to plan your future, or point yourself in the right direction?
Here are a few simple steps you can take during MYP5 and over the summer to help get you started.
CHOOSE YOUR FIELD
First things first. What domain or field of interest appeals to you? Rather than imagining your future career right away, highlight the area you would like to see yourself in instead. In this modern day, jobs are always coming and going, so rather than deciding you will be an economics journalist, begin by focusing on the two areas that job involves. That way, you know that studying economics and languages is on the cards, but your mind is open to any courses that could make use of your expertise in the those domains.
CONSIDER YOUR PROGRAMME
Next, what sort of programme would work best for you? At Haut-Lac, students are encouraged to follow whichever path best suits them – the IBCP, IBDP, US High-School Diploma or certificates - so look at every option. Apprenticeships are rising in popularity, and a scheme like the IBCP (Career-related Programme) could potentially be a much smoother way to transition into the world or company you would like to see yourself in than going to university. Take your time, trust your own judgement and do some research!
WHAT SUBJECTS CAN YOU TAKE?
Get acquainted with the subjects that are available to you. Whether you will finish school at Haut-Lac International Bilingual School or elsewhere, taking a look at the selection of subjects open to you will help you narrow down your options or push you towards a new avenue you hadn’t considered. Look into what you will be studying in each subject too, as this might help you make further decisions. You can also see what fields of work open up to you through each of the subjects you’d like to study. You may learn of new domains you didn’t even know existed!
ARE YOU A COLD OR A HOT COUNTRY PERSON?
What we mean to say is, consider the country you might want to live in next. This can work in one of two ways – either the course dictates the country you choose to settle in or vice versa. If you have a particular place in mind, it could help you narrow down the courses available to you, or affect the subjects you will have to take to meet entry requirements there. This will help to avoid disappointment later should you learn that you cannot apply to the course you have chosen because of the options you chose.
For instance, a student who knows they want to study in Switzerland would do well to know that universities here do not accept mathematics at studies level. A student who is interested by veterinary studies in the UK would benefit from knowing early on about the compulsory hours of work experience that are needed to build a successful application.
Whether it is apprenticeship schemes, college or university courses that you would like to pursue, the sooner you can begin your research, the easier you will find committing yourself to your studies. Having a clear end goal to work towards is a great motivator.
START OUT BIG
Don’t be scared to start DP1 with 7 subjects. If you feel that having a few taster classes of a certain subject will make you feel more confident in your final subject selection, then it is possible to pick 7 and drop one later. In the same vein, to get to know more about the field of work that interests you, perhaps try a summer course or short internship in that domain. Getting some practical experience will help you decide whether it really is the right thing for you.
EMBRACE YOUR HOBBIES
Through your passions and interests, you might be able to come up with a great idea for your DP CAS project (Creativity, Activity, Service). Later on, your hobbies will also flavour your personal statement and resumé, adding spice to your profile. Your interests are what make you you, and what help others to understand and connect with you.
Just because you’re interested in economics at 16 and choose to do an economics degree at university doesn’t mean that you’re forever locked into a job in economics. The future will change and so can yours, there is no need to worry about that now. However, the earlier you can decide on your current course of action, the easier it will make your last two years at school. Establishing your goal will help steer your first, tentative steps down the path of your future.
NOTHING IS SET IN STONE
As you can see, thinking about the future can be quite invigorating, as this is a time defined by excitement and opportunity. If you approach these bite-sized, manageable chunks slowly over your MYP5 year, ticking them off as you go along, they will help you to move more confidently and calmly into your final years at school. Shaping your own future is a privilege, so enjoy it.