Six real uni students on why they chose their courses, what attracted them to CDU and how they found the jump from high school to uni life.
Some people know from an early age what they’ll be ‘when they grow up’, and for others a ‘calling’ comes later in life. For these people, the first step – deciding what to do with their lives – is complete. However, not all of us are so decisive! If you’re thinking you’d like to go to university, but struggling to choose the career path and right degree for you, read on.
The flexibility of some courses allows students to experience a variety of different areas before having to make a final decision on a career
Kieran Marchant: As a high school student, I enjoyed all my subjects, especially chemistry, mathematics and physics. I knew that I wanted to do a science-based course because of my desire to understand the world we live in. From there, I was introduced to the field of engineering, which was a perfect fit for me because it involves applying science to real-world problems.
Back then, my biggest concern was having the confidence that I would succeed at the university level. In high school, the university and course selection process was daunting, due to the perceived pressure of this decision on the rest of my life. In reality, the flexibility of some courses allows students to experience a variety of different areas before having to make a final decision on a career pathway.
Studying engineering at CDU provides unique opportunities. The low student to teacher ratio helps students to clarify concepts and theories when they do not understand. This, combined with the lecturers’ open door policy and willingness to meet with students outside of class times, provides immense support to students. Read more from Kieran >
Kelsey Armstrong: I was motivated by the strong guidance, leadership and compassion skills that my teachers had towards myself and my peers, and I knew that I wanted to do the same thing when I got older. I definitely give credit to my school teachers for inspiring me to follow this career path.
I found that with my busy schedule I lacked motivation occasionally. But the support and guidance from lecturers and fellow students when things got hard was great. They really pushed me through the past 4 years and it's great to see such a supportive education group in the CDU community.
I want to put all the love and compassion I was given as a student at primary school into the kids of the future, so they can grow up wanting a similar career path, or strive to follow whatever career path they choose with the ultimate success. Read more from Kelsey >
Mark Munnich: It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do before I started. I decided to study law, as I was passionate about social justice issues and, in particular, Indigenous issues, and I wanted to make a change.
What I love the most about studying at CDU is the flexibility; the relaxed way of learning and delivery. I also love the support from the Office of Indigenous Student Support Services. One of the biggest challenges that I had at first was the ‘fear of failure.’ Because I didn't finish high school and dropped out half-way through year 10, I didn't know how to write an essay or what was expected in exams, and that really put pressure on me. My advice to others would be to use the support services that our university has to offer and to make the most of your studies. And if you ever feel nervous or anxious about beginning study, I say just give it a go! Read more from Mark >
It’s really nice studying something I’m really interested in
Rebekah Watson: I’m studying social work because I like helping people. I worked with refugees heaps while I was at school and I’m really quite passionate about advocacy. I knew if I took a gap year I’d probably not get back into it. I like CDU because it’s a small uni and you get to know you lecturers.
It’s really nice studying something I’m really interested in. At high school you get told what you have to study and don’t have a lot of choice. There’s a little more study involved than I thought and you have to take a lot more responsibility for yourself. At high school there’s a lot of ‘hand in your assignments, do your assignments’ whereas at uni you’re expected to know when assignments are due. But I actually really love that; when I get to take responsibility for something I do it a lot better.
I’ve found the course very comprehensive. A lot of the theory taught is related back to how it’s impacted in the real world and all the lecturers have lots of experience in the field and local area. Read more from Rebekah >
Jacob Schmid: I chose exercise and sport science because I have always had an interest in sport since I was a little kid, and also in the science side of most things. It was an easy choice really, as it ties in well with my sporting life.
I chose to study with CDU because they offered the most externally focussed exercise and sport science course available, and had very good reviews. To have the flexibility of picking up my laptop and studying wherever and whenever was always going to be essential for me.
It makes things so much easier to have access to all your units whenever and no pressure to attend classes at exact times. That flexibility is amazing. Read more from Jacob >
Feeling intimidated by uni is normal, but overcoming those fears and persevering towards a goal of graduation feels really good
Irene Lai: I used to dream about attending university (even as a child) but because I didn’t complete Year 12, I wasn’t qualified to enrol in Higher Education. When my personal circumstances changed for the better, I enrolled in the Tertiary Enabling Program to get the scores I needed. I passed the program, and was offered a place in the course of my choice – which I accepted!
Going to uni is nothing like high school; you’re officially considered, treated and respected as an adult. You’re treated equally, with your own responsibilities, and have the freedom to juggle work, family and school commitments on your own. It’s hard work but it’s fun and rewarding.
I’ve found the lecturers to be understanding and passionate about helping students. There are student support services at CDU to help you with any challenges you might be facing – even assignment writing – and the staff are friendly, considerate and helpful.
Look, feeling intimidated by uni is normal, but overcoming those fears and persevering towards the goal of graduation feels really good. Read more from Irene >