Last week our Bondi Junction office played host to HSC CoWork’s inaugural University Information Night. The event was a great success, and provided invaluable information direct from our university student coaches, to our vision-orientated HSC students. In case you missed out, here’s the lowdown on the lessons of the night!
- Think about what you want to get out of university: Unlike school, university is not compulsory. Nobody is going to choose your degree for you, nobody is going to force you to go to class, and nobody is going to hold your hand while you find the lecture theatre. University requires maturity, as does the decision to go and of what to study. So put on your adult hats and have a good think about what you want to get out of university! This doesn’t necessitate knowing what you want to do when you graduate. Next to nobody knows what they want to do with their life when they’re 18. Or when you’re 25. You’ve heard it before, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. So just embrace uncertainty, and do what you’re interested in. Want to know more about how the body works? Do Medical Science! Want to know more about how the education system works? Do Education! Want to know more about history or anthropology or digital cultures, do Arts! You can’t go wrong following your passions, so start with what you love and see where it takes you.
- Don’t be afraid to think out of the box: There are so many options of what to study, where to study and how to study. You can study a Bachelor of Business at Usyd, fulltime. Or you can study a Bachelor of Social Welfare at Southern Cross part time. Or you can study a Bachelor of Engineering and Biomedical Science at Monash, taking a gap year in the middle to hike around Siberia, transferring to a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at The University of Southern Queensland to study by distance education from your cave home in the Kimberly! Dare to be different. Regional universities can be great fun and tend to offer a more engaging and relaxing student experience for a lower ATAR requirement. If you decide you don’t like the course or university you initially chose, as many students do, you can always transfer. Or you can do another degree, such as Law or Medicine, post-grad. Also, make sure you give gap years a good consideration. There are infinite ways to study at university, so do yourself a favor and think outside the box.
- Uni life is about much more than your studies: As much as I love my studies, I’d go mad if it was all I did. Campus life is so much more than those five minute chats standing in line for the library microwave. Clubs and societies can be the best thing about university, so sign up for everything, and see where it takes you. As part of a university arts festival I performed spoken work poetry in the graffiti tunnel. At UNSW O Week Senior Coach Quan ran around like a madwomen in a bright yellow tshirt to welcome first years. Coaches Ronnie and Lucy live it up in their heritage listed, party houses, AKA college. Team Leader Mash is well on her way to becoming the next Prime Minister by spending 30+ hours of her week serving as the NSW Director of the non-profit Oak Tree. And we all value the opportunity to extend our professional skills as part of the coaching team at HSC CoWorks. Being a university student is about developing yourself as a person. Stretch and challenge yourself everyday by throwing yourself into new experiences.
- Uni may not be what you expect: Despite our best efforts, we’ll never be able to fully prepare you for your university experience. Some people love uni. But some people don’t. And that’s ok. It could indicate that you’re doing the wrong degree, or studying at the wrong institution. It could also be because you don’t have the right balance in your life. Or it could be because uni can be really hard. It can also be really isolating and demanding and you might end up wishing you were back in high school. If that’s the case you have to reassess your situation and see what you can do to change it. As I said at the beginning, nobody is forcing you to do your chosen degree. Whether you like it or not, you are becoming an adult and being an adult means making your own choices and taking responsibility for your situation.
- University is a privilege: Finally, university education is a privilege. There are 775 million people in the world who can’t read. Not can’t write a band 6 essay, or can’t solve a polynomial equation. Can’t read. We are all so fortunate to have the opportunity to study at university, and to study what we enjoy. So make the most of it! Do your readings, go to class, get engaged in real world applications of your discipline, and most of all, think about how you can use your knowledge to better yours and others’ lives. Education is one of the few intrinsically valuable resources in this world so make sure you treat it as such.
Best of luck making informed university choices! Remember that UAC applications close on 30th September, so make sure they’re finalized by then. If you have any questions at all about post-HSC life, please don’t hesitate to approach anyone on the team.
By Emily Baird, Senior Coach