​Secondary school is a really important time in every student’s life. These years can determine the path of your future, as you choose which university to attend, and what career to pursue.

In addition to impacting the student, this process also impacts the student’s family, and success usually lies in discussing the path to the university early and often. Here are four questions to help secondary school students and their parents begin planning for university together:

1. What Would You Like To Achieve At the University?

This question is an excellent opportunity to think deeply about the path that you would like to take with your life. For instance, are you a creator or a discoverer? Is the field you work in more or less important than other goals, such as making money?

At this stage in your life, you may not know exactly what your goals are, and that is all right. However, starting to explore your goals now can help you identify which schools will enable you to achieve your objectives.

You can also use your list of interests to select your subject combination and after-school activities.

2. What Will You Need To Do To Achieve Your Goal?

As you likely know, the key element to maximizing your time in secondary school is completing your course work (that is the syllabus)

When considering your course work, start by locating what classes are available in your school. For example, to study Engineering at the university requires that you have at least a Credit Pass in Further Mathematics. Does your school offer you the option of studying this? It’s the same for Technical Drawing and your desire to study Architecture, some schools do not offer this option, these are some of the things to consider. To get this information, you may want to check universities’ requirements in the JAMB brochure

 Science, Arts or Commercial: Which is Best For Me?

3. Are There Existing Circumstances That May Affect Your University Attendance?

As you consider your university options, remember to factor in the circumstances of your family. Cost is an obvious factor to keep in mind, as is your comfort in living close to, or far from home. If you care for a family member, you may decide to study at a university in your state of residence.

Depending on where you live, this may dramatically impact your school choices. For example, a student who lives in Lagos has more options than one who lives in Benue; because of the availability of high-ranking schools in Lagos and neighbouring Ogun state, so that even if you have to venture out, you will still be close enough to home.

That being the case, make a note to start researching your university of choice; it’s entrance requirements, tuition costs, housing options, and so on, as soon as possible.

4. What Can Your Family Do Now To Help You?

Your family will play an important role in helping you secure the university acceptance letter of your dreams. Family can act as both inspiration – to help you aim higher – and as a reality check to ensure that your aspirations are in your best interests. They can assist you in overcoming challenges and in researching prospective schools, but they may not initially know how to do so.

Begin a frank conversation with them and with yourself. Perhaps, with these questions, you will be able to focus on your hopes and needs, as well as that of your family – especially their input. They may help you come up with solutions or paths that you never knew existed.

See Also: 7 Steps to Being an Expert at Decision Making