Six things I wish I knew when I was choosing my degree
Choosing to study a degree is a crucial decision. Usually this decision receives input from a variety of sources, including family members, friends, school teachers, chaplains, people at careers expos and online (like now!). Hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about picking the right degree for you. Here are six things I wish I knew when I was choosing my degree.
1) Personality tests can be useful
If you’re unsure of what you want to do, consider your interests and passions. Some online personality tests can be useful, as well. Whether you’re more practical, theoretical, creative, like the outdoors or prefer to stick to the books, reflecting on a few of these aspects of your personality will give you a good indication of what you could explore further.
2) Always look at application deadlines
Once you’ve decided on the degree, check to see where else offers it or something similar and ask yourself where you want to go. Once you’ve decided on a university and a campus that offers your degree, the first thing to do is to check the application deadline. The last thing you want is to miss the deadline – sometimes you have to wait for a whole year until you can re-apply.
3) How important pre-requisites are
This is the ‘must-have’ experience to enter a particular course. For example, English is the only pre-requisite for most Griffith degrees, meaning that if you’ve studied an OP/ATAR level English in high school, then you can apply for these degrees. There are bridging courses available to gain the knowledge necessary to enter degrees.
4) You can upgrade your OP/ATAR
Cut-offs is the minimum OP/ATAR/GPA score needed to be considered for a place in a degree. Usually this is also listed on the university website. I wish I knew that you could ‘upgrade’ your high school score by doing a year of uni and using that GPA score to apply for another degree.
5) Be ready for placements, internships and opportunities
Placement opportunities are crucial in developing your experiences, expanding your network and hopefully securing a job after graduation. I was lucky that Griffith places heavy emphasis on placement and internships as I got to experience so much in my time here.
6) University is a marathon, not a sprint
There are so many different pathways out there to get to the career you want. In high school, I was very eager to start uni as soon as possible. I wish I looked at uni like a marathon and not a sprint. I thought of it like a sprint and just wanted to get uni over and done with, so quite early on I ended up almost burning out. The one piece of advice I wish I’d had is to do uni your way – take a break if you’re feeling burnt out, for example, take a gap year before starting your degree, or change up your status from full-time to part-time. Griffith offers a lot of flexibility in the way you study and supports you throughout your time here, providing you with services with bulk-billed health services, counselling and timetabling to fit your schedule.
By Steven Wey