What do you want to be when you grow up?
How often do you hear people asking you ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?”
For those who have just completed secondary school, this question can sometimes be overwhelming as some of us are still unsure about what we want to pursue.
On January 16th, Sarawak YES! organised the ‘YOU YES YOU: How to Choose Your Major’ talk at Earthlings Coffee Workshop HQ, participated by 25 students.
Conducted in two sessions, the first talk titled ‘Moving forward after secondary school’ was delivered by school teacher, Cyril Dason, while the second session, ‘Ambition determines result or result determines ambitions?’ was delivered by counseling teacher, Lucy Chuo.
Like what you do
With 10 years of experience as a teacher under his belt, Cyril said that it was uncommon to see students get overwhelmed when it comes to choosing their career path.
“It is actually very often that I see students get confused, especially on when they are choosing their major; very often they do not know where to go and what to do,” said Cyril.
Cyril emphasised throughout his talk that it was important for one to ask themselves, ‘what do you like to do?’ as it determines whether you will still enjoy what you do.
When it comes down to choosing your major, Cyril pointed out that besides knowing what you like, the other important key questions that need to be highlighted are where do you want to work and what your long-term goals are.
A crucial point, Cyril said that location was important as it indicated how far one was willing to go or be out of their comfort zone to chase their dream.
As for long term goals, Cyril advised students to envision how they wished their life would be in the future.
Currently a teacher at SMK Matang Jaya, Cyril himself is a perfect example of doing what he likes to do as he is not only an active blogger, but the president of Sarawak Bloggers as well.
“What most people do not realise that they can use social media as a career or job opportunity,” said Cyril adding that it could turned into a full-time career if they know how to make full use of it.
Furthermore, Cyril said that throughout his more than 10-year experience in the blogging industry, he has seen a lot of positive impact on people like how a fellow blogger, who was once an engineer is currently pursuing a career in photography to pursue his dream.
Do not let results determine your ambition
As a counseling teacher at SMK St Luke, Sri Aman, Lucy has often told her students to not let results determine their dreams.
“I always encourage my students to have an ambition first and then they can work towards that ambition,” said Lucy stressing that students tend to choose their majors based on their examination results.
“By letting your results determine your ambition, you do not consider your interest and potential, and you do not know what you want to do,” she said, adding that it was advisable for students to think deeply about their ambition earlier on rather than after finishing school.
Having switched from being an English teacher in 1992, Lucy said that she was offered to participate in a diploma training course in counseling by the principal of the school and has been serving as the counseling teacher since 2003.
“I think being a counseling teacher suits me more because I enjoy being among the students and I can understand them more,” said Lucy.
During the talk, Lucy said that when it comes down to choosing their own pathway, students would often follow in their friend’s footsteps rather than pursuing their own interest or instead of pursuing their own dreams, students would just follow what their parents want them to do.
“I believe that parents must have good relationships with their children and treat them like friends,” said Lucy.
Believing that good parent-child bond was essential, Lucy added that without it children would be more attached to their friends. According to her, a good relationship between the two would allow parents to understand and communicate better with their children.
“I hope parents would spend more time with their children because even though we are busy, we have to know that if we are not close to our children, they will distant themselves from you. It is important to understand and communicate with them and know their needs instead of imposing what you want them to do,” she said.
Also present was one of the 25 participants was first year Medical Assistant student, Catherine Lenta Patrick Jaan, who said that the talk was inspiring.
Lucky to be able to pursue what she is passionate about with the support of her family, Catherine said that the talk taught her self confidence and to plan your ambition early.
Being in the transitioning period from school to choosing your major at the tertiary levels can be an overwhelming situation, but in the end what is important is to do what you are interested in and let yourself be more informed and exposed to more choices rather than just following others.