Speak to others
It can be a hard choice to make, so open up to your school’s career guidance person, parents, teachers or your mates and see what their thoughts are. Just remember that it’s your life, so while it’s great to get guidance, only you get the final say on what you want to do.
Do your research
Take a look at potential careers that interest you, or look at careers that can come from things that you’re interested in, like gardening or cooking and see if there’s subjects that align and will point you in the right direction.
If you have a career in mind that requires study at uni, be sure to check out what the prerequisites (past subject requirements) are. You don’t want to get part-way through year 11 before finding out you should be doing a particular subject!
Not sure? Try a mixed bag
If you’re not sure what you want to do after school, or you’ve got a few different ideas for what you may want to do, try diversifying your subjects. This will keep your options open to explore a variety of career pathways. There’s heaps of ways to structure your subject selection to achieve your QCE, talk to your teachers and your guidance officer for some ideas. Just remember to choose subjects that you are actually interested in.
What you shouldn’t do when choosing high school subjects
Do what your mates are doing
If you can’t stand science but choose to do physics because your friends are doing it, it’s not going to be a fun time.
If it turns out that you and your mates want to do the same thing – that’s a win. But if it turns out you want to do different things, at least you’ll be doing subjects you enjoy, and your grades won’t be suffering as a result.
Pick ‘the hard subjects’
You may be thinking that choosing ‘harder subjects’ will help you get a higher ATAR due to scaling, but if it’s something you’re not interested in (or struggle to understand), back away. It’s better to do something that you’re actually interested in and set yourself up for better grades and a solid foundation for tertiary studies.
Panic and feel like you’re stuck for good
While the goal is to pick subjects that interest you now and align with your career pathway (if you have one yet!), it’s okay if your interests start changing. Depending on what Year level you’re in and how far you are into the subject, you can usually request a subject change. And even if you get to the end of Year 12 and discover that your interests have changed, provided you achieve your QCE, your options are open regardless of which subjects you chose.
Hopefully these tips have got you feeling a little less worried about choosing high school subjects and shown you that if your plans change, that’s okay! If you’re still feeling worried about choosing subjects, try speaking with your parents, another trusted adult, your teachers or your school guidance officer.