How to choose your subjects for 5th year
Subject Choice is the first critical step to overcome on the journey through the senior cycle experience. Not enough attention is often given to this critical step and, as a consequence, students can often realise half way through the first year of the senior cycle that they have chosen one, and sometimes two, inappropriate subjects. In this guest blog post Berni Sheridan, a career guidance teacher and founder of thestudentscoach.com shares her four golden rules for subject choice:
Think big picture
Less is more sometimes
Students often look at taking on seven and sometimes eight higher subjects, with one subject often being studied outside of school. My experience is that students doing a higher level subject outside of school find it onerous as, typically, they will get only one class/grind per week and a lot of independent learning is required. By year 2, students with eight subjects, in particular, can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work. Think strategically in choosing the number of subjects taken at higher level and remember you can only use the points from six subjects. The fewer the number of higher level subjects - the greater the time allocation for each subject. In this instance less is often more!
Talk to someone
If I could give only one single piece of advice to students at this stage, it would be to invest in a 1:1 with a career specialist, to ensure you have a mix of subjects which are right for YOU! Whilst we can all generalise about subject choice, the reality is, it is a very individual decision, as each student brings different strengths, different challenges and different goals. One session with the right career specialist will set you on the right road and give you an additional boost of confidence as you set off on your Senior Cycle journey.
Yes, the senior cycle can be a journey with highs and lows but can also represent a golden opportunity to develop key life skills – resilience – confidence – determination – confidence – the choice is yours!
Bernie Sheridan has been working in the area of career guidance for almost 10 years with particular emphasis on the senior cycle process. She is passionate about helping students gain clarity on their career of choice - setting goals and a program of work to enable them to reach their goals. You can find out more about Bernie at her website thestudentscoach.com