Thursday, 18 August 2011

Looking Back at Subject Choices...

Since today' is A-Level results day, I thought it would be the perfect time to look back over the subject choices I made back in my school days (which, quite frankly, were not that long ago!).

Now I didn't do A-Levels. Because I went to secondary school in Scotland, I naturally studied a Scottish education. The GCSE equivalents there are known as 'Intermediates' and 'Standard Grades', with the A-Level equivalents being 'Highers' and 'Advanced Highers'. Now my school didn't offer Advanced Highers as such, but more on this later.

I was fourteen when I had to make my first set of subject choices. At that age do you really know what you want? Well, yes and no. Having made my career decision at just seven years old, I'd learned by that point that diversity was part of the key to success in the TV industry. So, I decided to try a few different subjects. We did have a few compulsory subjects: English, Maths, German, RE and PE. I'll be honest, none of those subjects bothered me, and English I adored anyway, so I'd have probably kept most, of not all of them anyway.

We were required to take a Science, so I chose Biology. Good choice? No, not really! I detested it! Looking back, I think Physics may have been the better option, but never mind! As well as this, I also opted for Computing, History, Geography and Music. Here's the thing: given the fact that I spent a lot of time on the computer, choosing that first subject was a sheer waste of time. What I learned, I've never used since - why would I need to know how to draw a snail just by typing in certain key combinations?! Music was fun, but hasn't been too useful! History and Geography however were simply divine! Not only were they exceedingly enjoyable, but incredibly insightful and have provided me with a lot skills which I can apply to my career too!

In all, my 3rd-4th year subject choices weren't too bad! I think I'd have liked to have studied Modern Studies as I do take a keen interest in politics now, however at the time I hated them and couldn't get my head around them! My Higher subject choices I find to be much more appealing though. The four subjects I opted for included: English, Drama, History and Geography. Please do not ask me why I hadn't taken Drama the years previous; I cannot provide you with a sure answer! Well, actually, I can - I wasn't keen on the teacher and she left me with a negative attitude towards studying the subject. However, my Higher Drama teacher was an utter delight! He had a wonderful Irish accent and people say he looks a little like David Tennant... I think we will leave that conversation there for now.

English I loved. We studied some wonderful texts and was both rewarding and enthralling. History too was incredibly fun and although it took me a little while to get my head around one of the subjects, it gave me the chance to study the years surrounding WWII in greater detail (this is something I'm greatly passionate about). Geography was insanely fun. I've no idea how I can enjoy reading about soil formations or expanding my knowledge on the formation of glaciers, but I can and I did!

I don't really think I'd have changed anything about my Higher choices. I'd stayed on to do my last year of school and had selected Psychology and Philosophy, and was going to resit Geography and History too, but decided that I'd simply had enough. Instead I went on to study Radio at college, a decision I made very much so on the spur of the moment but it certainly paid off!

With some of my earlier subjects aside, I'm quite pleased with the knowledge I've gained from my subject choices and feel that, with a few tweaks, they could have been perfect! I suppose a lot of the subject enjoyment does come from the class environment. During those few months I studied Psychology, I found it to be one of the most interesting things I'd ever looked at, but the class just wasn't right and it dampened my enjoyment incredibly.

If you've still subject decisions to make, do give it a lot of thought. Make sure it's something you'd enjoy learning about - don't just choose a subject because you like the teacher, or because your best friend is doing it too. Ensure you put 100% into your studies - it's true what they say when we're told that you get back what you put in! I must have put something into my education since it's now giving me the opportunity to go to University! Enjoy every moment - don't complain about homework; put your mind to it and you'll find that it can actually be quite enjoyable! To those who have just received exam results, I hope you've done as well as you've expected, and if not, don't panic. It's not the end of the road - there are ways around certain situations!

Your education is so precious, the foundations to the rest of your life. Treasure each and every second and give yourself some very happy memories to look back on. I did, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Amy x

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