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Follow your passion; have fun: Advice for high school grads

By Munirah Al-Fayez

KUWAIT: As graduation season approaches, many graduates are entering into a big decision-making summer. Some students are not sure what to study, while others are not sure where to study. Some students are praying every day that they get into their dream major, while others do not know what they want to major in. To help these students, Kuwait Times interviewed two current university students and one university graduate, who have chosen three very different pathways, to ask them about their experiences.

Razan Al-Habishi, a Kuwaiti student studying computer engineering at Kuwait University, said the application process was easy, especially because she had friends that were going through the same process as her. She says that she first applied to study medicine, but after a few years changed her major to Computer Engineering because she is more passionate about it, and because she is a social person who likes to maintain a work-life balance, so this decision seemed best for her in the long run. Habishi realized as the years went by that university gets harder over time, although the most difficult thing in her journey, she said, was change.

She said changing majors and moving from high school to university was difficult. Some high school classes, according to Habishi, should be more like the classes at university, so the change would not be as overwhelming. She advises people who are in the decision-making process to make a balanced decision between their passion and what is needed in the Kuwaiti workforce. However, at the end of the day, according to Razan, “you know what is best for you.”

Fotouh Al-Roomi, a Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate of a well-known private university in Kuwait, said the application and preparation process was easy for her as well. She said she chose to attend this university after seeing many advertisements, which made her feel that studying at this specific private university was much better than other universities. When asked about the most difficult thing in her university journey, Roomi said her university experience had nothing that was difficult, stressing it was a “golden experience”.

Roomi added the environment at her university was very student-oriented, which helped her enjoy everything, and that probably the most difficult thing for her was the fact that she graduated! If Roomi has any advice for recent high school graduates, it would be to take their time and enjoy their university experience. She added that change, for example in terms of major, university and plans, is totally acceptable and normal and that it needs to be viewed this way. According to Layla Al-Azmi, a Kuwaiti student who is studying politics in the United Kingdom, the process and preparation for studying abroad was time-consuming and can be complicated sometimes, but applying for university itself was easy.

She said she chose this path because she knew that pursuing it will benefit her in many ways careerwise. She added she has always been interested in politics, so to her, studying politics seemed to be a clear choice. Despite some of the difficulties of living abroad and being away from family, Azmi said “everything so far has been part of the university adventure”.

However, she said if students are planning to study abroad, they should research well the location, field of study and university, and should accept the fact that they will feel overwhelmed at times. It seems like all students have found the university application process uncomplicated and that all students through time have found the pathway that is most suitable for them. They all seem to agree on a similar message to recent high school graduates: find the pathway that is best for you, even if it requires change and takes time and work.

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