Classical Foundations.  Private tuition in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire

Follow the heart - not just what you're academically good at!

We all have different intelligences and some of those intelligences shine in certain areas even though we may have no liking for them. In my practice I meet undergraduates who have fallen into a course because they were told that they were good at and who are now ruing the day they applied for chemistry, medicine, languages, events, business and I’m hearing from several students that their teachers are recommending doing a degree or an A-level in something they’re scoring well at: but if the heart isn’t in it, it’s useless advice.

I may be good at mathematics but there is no way that I would want to do a maths degree! That would be like spending three years in hell. And of course today the cost of going to university includes £9000 a year of tuition plus accommodation expenses money that could be better spent in doing something that the pupil prefers or earning money in a range of jobs until a path begins to make sense.

Nonetheless, one of the problems that we face as teachers and tutors is that many of our pupils do not know what they want. So it is an easy argument to that they should do something in which they are good at rather than do nothing.

So what are we to do with the student who really has no idea of how they should proceed in life?

A solution is to say, “Well, spend a year or two trying to find out what do you do you like to do…try out different jobs and work experiences.” An easy way of getting their thoughts on this is to ask whether they like working with people, or working in an office, or moving around and travelling, or working with machines or computers. I use to help students find out more about themselves and career paths.

However, sometimes when I'm dealing with a student who doesn't know what he or she wants to do, it's because their voice has been silenced over the years: they don't believe that they have a right to pursue what they really want to do. The student squirms in the chair a little bit and pulls a face and says, “Well, there are things that I want to do but…” “What's the ‘but’?” I ask?

The answer when it finally comes revolves around what other people have reacted over the years: “Oh, you can't do that that's not a proper job…I wouldn't do that if I were you…That's not practical…That's not going to pay the bills…

It's interesting to note that in some people’s minds paying the bills is what life is all about. I don't think so - I think it's about following a passion and purpose; it's about finding out what's in your heart and what you really want to do.

Usually that entails serving humanity in some form or other. It maybe being a cameraman or a travel writer or exploring the world. It may be joining a band and producing CDs. Whatever the dream it has to be your dream and it's not something that we can tell you about. There are people who make money dancing, filming, writing, building apps, writing comedy, painting, leading, playing sports, building businesses, helping investors, farming, discovering dinosaurs, teaching... If you can think of something to do look it up on the Internet and there will be people already doing it. They too were probably told not to do that which they wanted to do but to do that which they were good at. Funnily enough though when we love something we do become particularly good at it.

It's just that many of the adventures and careers we pursue may not be available on the GCSE or A-level and curriculum.

Article by Dr Alexander Moseley
Added Sun, 31 Jan 2016 18:36


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