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Rodney's Ramblings, Rodney's Ramblings: A Letter from Grandpa

Rodney Gascoyne gives good advice to a young relative heading towards university.

I have spoken to you a few times lately about the future, but what with recent events, it seems I cannot get across for some while, so send this message. It is an important time in your life, as I am sure others have told you, so I just wanted to put my own thoughts into writing.

As you embark on your last year at High School, there are a number of very important decisions you will shortly be making that will affect your whole life and opportunities. They now affect your choices for final studies this year, which will lead on to what you want to study at University. This in turn influences what you do there and with what you leave in terms of a degree and initial qualifications. I am sure you already know that nowadays a simple degree is just the first step and may lead to a professional qualification, an MBA or some other course, such as engineering, the law or medicine. When we last talked I am not sure that stage has yet figured in your planning or thinking.

This is all urgent for you because from now on, decisions start to pile up on each other. Later options and choices can become restricted by earlier ones. For instance, and maybe not understood enough by many, if you wanted to follow accountancy and business management, one possible best choice is, as I did, Chartered Accountancy, but this requires your full Canadian University course be a directed, sponsored offering from certain colleges, approved by the Institute locally. It is very hard to get here later if you did not start right. This also follows for other career choices you can make, once started down the right line, matters are much simpler, but later adoption and changes are not.

It is still surprising how many college students do not have a clear idea when starting out, choose the wrong path and later spend time and money changing courses and maybe adding an extra year to make up. Some directions can become closed to you and it is almost impossible to change to what you later discover is your desired direction. It is also much harder to force yourself to do the work necessary, if your heart in not in the subjects you must study, given your choices to date, as you find out about better or more desirable options.

Life in general can be simple or it can be hard. Among the differences are your approach and outlook for life itself. Most people fall into a career or job by accident in later life and toil on in work that does not interest them and which they do not enjoy. Even worse is when you realize later that you then know what is you best option, but by that time all abilities to move in that direction are lost. I would hope that Career advice and support are subjects you have been given at High School, but I believe that nowadays, this is not always done properly, if at all, in a lot of schools, because of cost constraints. Another option for you is to talk extensively with your parents, family, adults, teachers and others you trust, to make up what you need to know and understand as you make your choices in the next few years. Happiness in life is very important.

Starting off on the right university direction is so important, as it costs so much nowadays even when you choose right and do not need to make changes. It is in the next six months that you need to find out all you can from all sources, to help you make that correct choice to meet your interests, talents and chosen path. It might seem a daunting task but it will pay off if you do the work now and make certain you know what you want and how to get there. For this, you also need to understand yourself and your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what your dreams and real wants and desires are. Putting this off at this time will only cost you time, money and maybe a happy life in the future, and I do mean perhaps the rest of your life. Donít get caught doing a degree that does not later serve your main career needs.

Choices are so important now, not only the above but where you want your life to go, geographically too. Do you see you living where you are now, maybe finding a wife and family later that will then bind you to that city long term? If you know of and feel you need a larger city or setting, maybe consider that now and whether you need to tailor your future choice to achieve that. Which college and where it is are important, not only for cost reasons. Some courses are only available at certain colleges and so should you go there for that reason? College away from home is very expensive but is it chosen best, to get you where you want to go, and not just because you know friends who want to go to a certain university?

In our past talks on or near these subjects, I have not discovered that I know or understand what choices are forming in your mind yet, or even if you have had the right encouragement from school to do the necessary research and soul searching, so you know what you want and which directions are best suited to give you the life you desire, and you would be best matched with.

You have immediate great sources to explore any of this, you have not yet achieved, with your parents, who know the problems and can relate their own searches when they were your age. I don't mean to frighten you at all, but the next six months may be the most critical ones for you to set out on the right course that will get you what you want and to where you need to be. I trust and hope that you will get where you want and dream to be, and wish you all the best in reaching that plateau. Any way I can help, while being so far away, let me know and I will assist you and your parents all I can.

With luck you are still reading this to the end, and find that some of it is helpful in your current situation, and will help you move forward in the most cost and time efficient manner, to the correct destinations for you. It is yourself that must be the director of what happens and only you should be in control of your life from now on. All good luck from me on that front.

All my love, Grandpa

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