Skip to main content

In a world brimming with possibilities and uncertainties, the concept of “Designing Your Life” emerges as a beacon of empowerment and purpose. As you stand at the crossroads of decisions, such as what subjects to study as part of the IB programme at The Global College, or what university course to study and at which university,  let’s delve into the transformative principles of this approach and explore how it can be a guiding light for students in their final years of school.

Understanding “Designing Your Life”

At its core, “Designing Your Life” embodies the application of design thinking principles to the art of living. Just as designers innovate, iterate, and craft solutions, individuals can harness these same strategies to mould their lives into a masterpiece of fulfilment and success. This approach champions curiosity, experimentation, and adaptability as the cornerstones of a purposeful life.

Concepts That Shape “Designing Your Life”

The idea that we are able to make and shape our life is one that was explored by authors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. In their book, Designing for Life, they explore a number of different concepts, including:

  • Curiosity Sparks Creativity: Begin with an inquisitive mindset. Explore different paths, interests, and aspirations to uncover what truly ignites your passion.
  • Prototyping the Future: Just as designers create prototypes, imagine “life prototypes” – small-scale experiments that allow you to test-drive potential career paths, hobbies, or university choices.
  • Reframing Challenges: Embrace challenges as opportunities in disguise. Reframe setbacks as pivotal moments for growth and learning.
  • Fail Forward: Rather than fearing failure, consider it a stepping stone to success. Learn from mistakes and adjust your course accordingly.
  • Work-Life Integration: Strive for synergy between your personal and academic pursuits. Seek ways to align your passions with your studies and future career.
  • The Power of Odyssey Plans: Devise “odyssey plans” that map out multiple possible futures. These dynamic plans help you envision different scenarios and prepare for contingencies.

Applying “Designing Your Life” to University Applications

As a student entering the final stages of school or college and about to embark on their university application journeys, “Designing Your Life” offers invaluable insights and strategies to navigate this transformative phase. Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Curate Your Interests: Explore subjects, hobbies, and activities that genuinely excite you.
  • Reflect on Values: Consider your values and how they align with potential courses and university environments.
  • Diverse Options: Apply to a mix of universities that reflect your interests, both academically and culturally.
  • Campus Visits and Virtual Tours: Immerse yourself in the university experience by visiting campuses or attending virtual tours.
  • A Lesson in Resilience: Understand that rejection is not a reflection of your worth but an opportunity to re-evaluate your options.
  • Seek Feedback: If possible, request feedback on your application to learn and improve for the future.
  • Stay Open to Change: Be prepared to adjust your plans based on acceptance offers and scholarships received.
  • Flexibility in Path: Keep in mind that university experiences can lead to unexpected opportunities, so remain open-minded.
  • Exploring Extracurriculars: Participate in clubs, sports, or volunteering activities that complement your studies and showcase your interests.
  • Visualising Scenarios: Create odyssey plans that outline potential paths, including alternate courses and universities.

In conclusion, “Designing Your Life” is not merely a concept – it’s a compass guiding you towards a future brimming with purpose and fulfilment. The principles of curiosity, adaptability, and resilience offered by this approach can be instrumental in shaping not only your academic trajectory but also their approach to life’s challenges. Embrace the power of design thinking and embark on a path of self-discovery that leads to a life uniquely designed by you, for you.