Whether it’s for choosing between your favourite universities – or deciding whether an apprenticeship or gap year is best for you – the key is information.
All of it. Loads of it.
Next, you’ll need a checklist to put all of that information into perspective. It’ll help you compare your choices fairly and focus on what’s important to you. Having a checklist at events will help you know what information you need to get, and using it when making your final decision will help make sure it’s the right one.
Don’t already have a checklist? We’ve made one for you and here it is…
Your ultimate decision checklist
1. Do I have all the information I need to confidently make this choice?
- If you have all the information from A-Z, you feel confident and well-informed and you’re excited to get started, then you’re ready. It’s time.
- It’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out yet. Find the answers you need, speak to people with experience, or change your mind if you’re not 100% committed. Save this checklist to your desktop and come back later.
2. Am I choosing this course/apprenticeship for the right reason(s)?
- Do you love the subject in question? Is it a career path you’re excited about? Does it complement your academic strengths and general interests? Yeah? Let’s keep going.
- Your heart needs to be in it so that you can power through when things get tough. Make sure your choice isn’t based on someone else’s version of what’s best for you and remember it’s okay to change your mind.
3. Am I excited about living in this city/town?
- Insta-worthy photo spots, independent coffee shops, vegan everything? Yep. Yep. Yep. You’re staying forever.
- Insta-worthy photo spots, independent coffee shops, vegan everything? Nope. Nope. Nope. Keep looking.
4. Can I do all the same hobbies and things I love here?
- Being able to keep up your interests and find new ones alongside your studies is a huge advantage. If you can still do these things at your university/college/new town or city – then you’ll have no problems settling in.
- Extracurricular activities and societies are really important and a great way to make friends. So, if your favourite hobbies aren’t available wherever you’re going then you might want to rethink where you end up. Your personal life and the experiences you’ll gain alongside your studies are just as important.
5. Can I see a future in this place once my training is over?
- Do you get good vibes from the local area, beyond your studies? Do you see yourself living and working there, or maybe doing further training? If you’re already picturing a future here, start your journey today.
- Planning your first trip home already, or fantasising about moving back once it’s over? Then it’s probably not your perfect place. Think about future you, what do they want?
6. What is my gut saying?
- It’s all shiny and exciting and a little bit scary but in a good way. You and your new life are soulmates, it’s time to get to know each other.
- Something’s not quite right about it, you can’t say that you’re 100%, there’s something missing even if you don’t know what it is. You need to find out what’s bothering you or take the hint and look more closely at your other options.
Go through this process with all of your choices, even the ones you’re confident about. Especially those ones.
If you’re evaluating your options in a structured way like this, you can make YES and NO piles. And if there’s one option that ticks every single box, congratulations – you’re ready to start your next chapter. If there are still doubts across the board, you just need more information and more time to think.
Make sure you check out our Five new ways to figure out your passion and our Ask these ten questions before you leave an event articles – they can help if you need to take a step back.