Life Update: My Thoughts On University/College and Aspirations For The Future

As I write this post, I will be finished my very first semester at University (or with my university; trimester). Even though I have only been at university for a short period of time, I definitely have my fair share of opinions and thoughts on my experience so far, and of university life in general.

Currently, I am studying a double degree of a bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Communications and Journalism.  I have always been interested in these two areas. From starting my first blog ‘Salt Currents’ about 3 years ago, to now, my love for writing, documenting and publishing my thoughts opinions on both novelty and important topics has only grown. I also consider myself very active in the realm of social justice and have always been inspired by photojournalists and other people in similar professions whom have been able to capture and document some of the most profound events in human history. In terms of business, marketing and entrepreneurship are the main areas that interest me. Marketing has always been my practical career option. It is a profession I have always seen as being practical, enjoyable, very suited to my work style and very in tune with the creativity I love to express in my daily life. Whilst I adore the idea of entrepreneurship and it will continue to be an interest area for me, it has always been the more unstable of the two pathways. While I believe would yield greater enjoyment and reward personally and financially in the long term, the short term involves a lot of uncertainty; uncertainly that, at this moment in my life, is something I simply cannot afford to have.

Overall, I know university is not for every person. In fact, I have quite a lot of friends who don’t attend university for a number of reasons. The main one being what they wanted to do was external of university e.g. TAFE or apprenticeship. I think the other reason that stood out for me was the argument that there is absolutely no practicality to investing your time and money into a university degree if you don’t know what you want to do. Undertaking university just because the Australian Government allows you to do so with ease, due to HECS, is futile. There is no point to accumulating large student loan debt, if you are not even sure there is a definite possibility for a job opportunity post-university. Save money and time for something that you truely feel called to do, even if that involves waiting.

In terms of positive and negative aspects of university life, I have a few main points for each category. The one area that I feel is a major benefit of university is the people you meet. I am lucky that with my chosen courses I am able to interact with some of the most communicative and extroverted people on campus.  Not only does it allow for personal growth through interactions with like-minded individuals, but it allows for connections to be forged with people who are going into the same industry as you. With most degrees, but especially business and communications, networking is key. Being able to market yourself, your likeness and personality to others and have it make an impact is vital to your success in the industry. It makes things exponentially easier when you have connections already forged!

Another positive about university life for me, is that I love to learn. I have a really strong growth mindset and constantly have the desire to learn new things and expand my capacity of knowledge. The great part about university is that you are always learning new things from your different classes and even socialisation, which can often bring about intellectual discussions that a high school setting may have restricted. In addition, you are learning on your own time. It is flexible in every aspect and the onus is on yourself to do the work and make time to learn. If you do not show up to class or a lecture, there is a 9/10 chance no one will care. You make your own decisions about how and when you choose to engage in learning at university.

If you are still not convinced of the positives of university; then I think one of the other main areas I think sold it for me was the opportunities. You are in the presence of world academics who are at your disposal. I personally think they are the best route to opportunities, considering most of them work currently or formerly in the profession they are teaching on in some capacity. This is especially valuable for job opportunities and pathways!

In terms of the negatives I have come across with university so far, there really is not very many that stand out so far. I know some people have negatives that involve timetable issues or classes they dislike, but overall I have not been effected in a significant way negatively by any of those issues. The closest aspect that I would consider a con is that you are not going to like every lecturer or tutor that you have, and while you can often change classes, sometimes (for lectures) there is only the one option. I can tell you from my experience so far that if you don’t understand the way a particular lecturer or tutor teaches and explains aspects of the course content, you are not going to learn it from them. I think what makes up for that, especially in my case, was peer assisted learning classes, which involve former students teaching and going over content to assist you with understanding it. However, I stopped going by the end, because I just couldn’t deal with the subjects content itself. Nonetheless, they are truely so helpful and if you have something similar offered at your university I highly recommend actually attending the classes if you don’t understand the course content from your main tutor and lecturer (learn from my mistakes).

While university for most is a period of emotional fluctuation, I have been lucky with a very flexible and smooth sailing course so far. Obviously I am highly under-qualified to speak on university as a whole, so I can really only speak as a first year student. However, I will say that I am loving the direction my course is going and I cannot see myself changing my opinion towards one of negativity any time soon!

My aspirations for university have also evolved as I have begun university, as I think my expectations and hopes for myself have heightened professionally and my goals for career paths have been solidified far more than they were during my late high school years. Basically, I am wanting to either go down the road of marketing, with aspirations of becoming a marketing manager or director or become someone in the communications realm in the PR sector of an E-commerce brand. These two areas are very interrelated so I think there is certainly room for moulding of the two. Aside from that, I would also love to start my own business. However, that is a long term goal and one that I definitely want to wait a while to begin. Overall, I have already had a lot of thoughts as to what I want my life to look like post-university, but for now, I think I will stick to just university and focus on getting through my lengthy four year degree! I will update you all if any new thoughts come about of course!

Stay tuned for travel content coming your way starting next week as I am jetting off with my friend to New Zealand (honestly my dream travel destination for many years). I am so pumped and excited to not only experience the amazing scenery of this naturally beautiful country, but am excited to share all my experiences on here too! Until next time!

– Joshie

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