When you thought about applying to university, what was the first thing you did?
Did you look at a prospectus or three? Did you think about your grade prospects? Did you check online forums for advice?
Or did you join the air force?
That’s what my brother-in-law did.
When considering the future, my brother-in-law developed a big plan in his head. He mapped out all the things he wanted and all the different options available to him.
He didn’t stop there.
After working out what he wanted, he asked another question:
“How much do I want this?”
The question stems from the confusion caused about debt at university. He told me, “I couldn’t get round my head why so many people were happy to work up so much debt at university without having bigger plans for the future. Uni is a massive decision. You can’t take it lightly.”
My brother-in-law had been considering the benefits of joining the US Air Force for many months. One of the biggest clinchers being the generous amount of educational sponsorship granted to people after they have served their time in the force (in his case, 4 years).
“I never wanted a massive debt hanging over me for years,” he said. “This way, uni is still an option, but I get everything paid for in the process. No debt, no worries.”
I’m not suggesting that you need to find such an extreme way to pay for your study. What’s important is understanding how much you want something. Whatever your circumstances, you have to want it enough to make the most headway.
It’s not enough to know something is important. It’s not enough to feel interest if you don’t know how sustained your enthusiasm will be. To be in with a chance of giving your best, you have to find out how much you really want it.
Get yourself into the mindset with these 10 questions:
- What will I get from this?
- What are the positive and negative aspects?
- Do I have a plan? Do I want to make a plan?
- Who else will this affect? [in both good and bad ways]
- How much time is this going to take out of my schedule?
- Am I happy to spend extra time on this if required? Am I happy to get more involved if necessary?
- Am I truly committed to making this work?
- What could get in the way?
- Can anyone else help me achieve this?
- Is the right information available?
Whether or not you can answer all these to your satisfaction, these questions force you to consider beyond a minor interest. Whatever is on your mind, these questions provide a healthy start toward finding the direction you want to take.