How do you see yourself in 5 years from now as a student?

Five years may seem like eternity when you are fifteen or twenty years old. Believe me though, time files quickly while you are still a student. And though life shouldn’t be only about goals, and achieving this or that (we should also bring some playfulness in our everyday dull existence), it is better having some goals, or at least an idea about what you will do in five years from now. Not only because one can hardly achieve something without knowing what they want to achieve. You should have a basic vision of your future also because you may face this question–either from your teacher, or while applying for a place in a study program.

As a rule of a thumb, you should aim for a vision which corresponds with your choice of school. What I try to say here is that it makes no sense saying you imagine excelling in Math and representing your school in athletics as a student, while applying for a place at a law school. That just won’t make sense because Math plays little role in law. It was just an example, but I hope you got my point. You should also aim for a positive vision. Of course, life isn’t easy, and anything can happen. But saying that you imagine struggling heavily to pass exams and stay at school won’t take you anywhere in your interviews…

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this interesting question. I tried to include some out-of-the-box answers on my list, just to make sure you find one fitting for your situation, and for the message you try to convey. Last but not least, remember that at most places they love students with personality. Saying something different than the rest of the pack can only help you–as long as it makes sense, of course :).


7 sample answers to “How do you see yourself in five years from now as a student?” interview question

  1. I see myself exactly as I see myself today–study every day, reading books, attending every lecture, trying my best. Sure enough, I’ll be five years older, studying in another place, meeting other teachers. But in my opinion your attitude matters the most, and I want to keep the same attitude to studying as I have now.
  2. I have a beautiful vision on my mind. Being in the last year of vet school, almost ready to start practicing the medicine, having like-minded smart people around, and doing something for the student community. And I imagine still enjoying my studies, because I really want to work as a vet, and believe I will enjoy the process–though it won’t be easy for sure, and I will have to study a lot.
  3. Honestly, speaking, I have no idea so far. Many things interest me, and I have not discovered my calling yet. In five years I may be studying at the college, but I may also be working, living abroad, I may do this or that. Sure enough, we learn something our entire life. Maybe I won’t be a college student, but I’ll be learning completely different lessons out there. And I can assure you that I still find life interesting, and look forward to my future. Though I do not know what it will be at the moment.
  4. I see myself as the best student in the class. That’s what I aspire to, and I am ready to make sacrifices to make it happen. Because my eventual dream is getting to one of the Ivy League universities, and in order to make it happen I cannot afford being the second best here. I am grateful for my talents, but as they rightly say, success is 10% talent  and 90% hard work. In five years from now I see myself a a hardworking student, achieving excellent results.
  5. Honestly speaking, I have only 4 years until I graduate from here, and I do not envision studying in five years from now. While life is unpredictable and you never know what will happen, I imagine myself already working, ideally in sales in five years time. I will still be studying, but not with some great educational institution like this one. Studying human personalities, sales techniques, and other fascinating stuff, I will try to become the best salesman I can be. At least that’s my idea of the future. Let’s see if it becomes reality.
  6. I see myself thriving at your school. But not only in the lessons, which I will no doubt enjoy. I also imagine taking active part in the community, working as a resident assistant, participating in events, having fun. Of course, I know I will have to study a lot to pass the exams and eventually graduate. But I also believe that once we organize our time properly, and do not waste time with social networks or computer games, we can handle quite a lot on every day.
  7. More than anything else, I hope to become a more complete personality. I still have my emotional struggles. Perhaps they belong to teenage years and we cannot really avoid them. But I believe than in five years time I will be more complete, having experienced more, seen more, lived through various crises. Of course, as many examples prove, we cannot really know what will happen–with our life or with the entire world. One has to count with the possibility of struggling. I can assure you though that I am ready to fight for my future, and will do all I can to achieve my educational goals.

* Special tip: Want to practice your interview answer later? Download TOP 3 answers to this question in a simple, one page long PDF, and practice anytime you want:

How do you see yourself as a student in 5 years, Top answers, PDF

Get ready for follow-up questions

When preparing your answer to this tricky interview question (or to any other question related to your future), you should realize that a discussion may follow. You present them some educational goals, or perhaps your idea of a student life you hope to live in five years. Sometimes it may be enough, and nodding their heads they will move on to another question.

But if they find your goals too ambitious, or simply hard to reach, or if something doesn’t make much sense in their limited minds, they will come up with some follow up questions. Perhaps they will ask you how you want to achieve this or that, or what makes you believe you can become this or that when you now struggle with your grades. Thinking about possible questions and objections, and how will you react to them, will help you avoid embarrassing silence in the interviews.

Not everyone can be the best student

Something many young people (and even more often their parents) do not understand is that in every class you have the best, the average, and also the worst students. Sure enough, parents always want their children to thrive. To earn good grades, get a great job, or to eventually win an Olympic medal, or at least a national championship, should they enroll in some sports team.

That’s not how it works in life, however… It is a huge misconception thinking that one is “a looser” if they do not excel in this or that. You can still have a great and satisfying life as a student, or as an employee, being the average person in the classroom. Not the best, not the worst, having good interactions with people, making friends, and making the best use of your talents.

What I try to convey here is that you do not necessarily have to see yourself as a best student in the class in 5 years from now. Sure, if you have the talent and commitment and good background back home, you can aspire to become the leader of the class. But you can also present a different vision, focusing more on your relationship with fellow students, and positive involvement in the community. Because such life is in no way less valuable than the life of the best student! Keep it on your mind when deciding about your answer…

Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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