It all comes down to this. Everything that you have done in the past has led to this day. Choosing college degree and which university to attend is a big decision that has a lasting impact on life. As you think of passing college entrance examinations of top universities, let us review the choices you made, so far.

Choosing College Degree

“A good education is a foundation of a better future,” U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said. “People who graduate are more resilient financially, and they weather economic downturns better than people who don’t graduate. And, throughout their lives, people who graduate are more likely to be economically secure, more likely to be healthy, and more likely to live longer. Face it: A college degree puts a lot in your corner.”

Did you choose a course because it is what you are passionate about? Was it because it was the decision of your parents to you pick a course that they feel suits your future the best?

Picking a college degree is the biggest decision you have to make in your life. For most people, the future of their lives depends on their choice of a college degree. In more ways than one, it is possible to visualize your life one or two decades later with your choice.

Is it better to let your choice today dictate your future, or do you dictate the future with the choice you make today?

Choice Today Dictates the Future

In some families, parents choose the college degree their child takes. In other cases, it is the child who decides which degree they want to take. Either way, there is something missing that has a profound effect on the future.

In school, we learned the importance of doing the things we love. In fact, Confucius says if we did that, then work will never feel like working. Because of this train of thought, young people tend to choose a college course based on their passion.

A lot of parents disagree with the choices their child makes. Among the top reasons for disagreements is practicality and potential for employment.

If that were to be the case, who should have the final say in choosing college degree?

Should it be the child because it is their life to live? Or, should it be the parents who have more experience in life and wisdom?

At this point, the most important thing to remember is that if there is a cause, then there is an effect. In other words, the life you live tomorrow is because of what you did today.

Instead of uncertainty, is it not prudent to know where you want to be?

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today,” Malcolm X famously said.

Dictating the Future with Intentional Choices

A teacher once shared this story with me.

“I have a colleague at work who has been teaching for almost three decades. She told me that on her 40th birthday, she was sad because she has yet to settle down. On her 50th birthday, she was sad because of the realization that she did not have much savings. As she is nearing retirement age, she cannot help but worry about her day-to-day living.”

“How did you feel about that?” I asked the teacher.

“I realized something too,” she replied. “It is as if I saw how my life would be like. If I continue to teach, then I might as well kiss my dreams goodbye.”

In her case, she chose to be an educator. After graduating, she went on to teach in a school. Unfortunately, it would be a few years later before she had that realization. In other words, she allowed her past choices to dictate her life.

As you can see, choosing college degree has an effect on the life you want in the future.

For you to know that then you have to visualize yourself decades from now. Imagine your ideal lifestyle then create a path beginning with the college degree you choose today.

Before you decide, talk to people who are working in the same field that you like and ask for guidance. They can give you an idea of what it is like to be in their profession. Think of it like they are giving you a peek into what your future could be like if you choose to do what they did.

You have the power to dictate the future, so use it.

Choosing a University

In a previous post, I had written about choosing a job that offers growth and opportunities. The idea here is to have a job that offers the highest potential for promotions. Unfortunately, not all jobs have a high ceiling. Some have a low ceiling, which is why underemployment rate is high.

For instance, there are around a million call center agents all over the Philippines. There is no doubt in my mind that not one of them dreamed of becoming one when they were choosing college degree to pursue. But day-to-day living is a reality of life, hence many have sought jobs in the BPO industry.

It is also a fact of life that graduates of the top universities in the Philippines have better opportunities than others. For most graduates, they have to send tens or hundreds of job applications. But for the achievers in the top universities, they choose the companies they want to work for.

In choosing a college degree, you have total control over your decision. But choosing a university is not the same. Standing between you and your choice of university is the college entrance examination.

Conventional wisdom says that you should take college entrance exams at two or three universities. If you pass them all, then you choose one that is right for you. Taking several college entrance exams is a way to ensure that you should pass at least one of them.

The last you want to happen is to fail and ending up enrolling in a university you never considered, to begin with.

Passing College Entrance Examinations

How hard are college entrance examinations in the top universities?

In one parenting forum, most of the advice given were that if you did well in high school, then you should pass. Although subjective, there is truth in that advice.

But there are others who say it is easy, and I think that is irresponsible. If that were easy, then why is it that far more people do not get accepted? In fact, the consensus is that only a little over 10% of new students gets accepted in top universities.

By any grading standard, it is reasonable to say that more than half of those who took exams will pass. But universities can only accommodate a limited number of students. For that reason, they are likely to pick the top scorers.

When you look at diplomas from different universities, what distinguishes one from the others?

The name of the university.

As you can see, passing UPCAT, ACET, and DCAT are not about the grade. The name of the game is to get accepted to the university of your choice.

The most important time of your life begins as soon as you graduate from high school. Yes, you do have complete control over choosing college degree, but that is not the case with a university. Even so, you have more than enough time to increase your chances of getting accepted.

“There are no guarantees or crystal balls for the future, and there is no absolute way to know if you are or are not making the right decision,” says Kennedth Dino, author of the 12 Commandments: A Guide for Entrepreneurs. “Give tomorrow the best possible chance that you can.”

How willing are you to do whatever it takes to get into your choice of university?