Here Are The Steps You Can Take If Uni Doesn’t Feel Right
We all know that studying is tough, but reports show that 1 in 3 people drop out of uni, highlighting that uni isn’t the right choice for everyone.
There’s no one-size-fits-all to education or employment and it’s vital to find what works for you. Here are some suggestions to help you find your path and stay on track to a kickass career.
Take some time to think about the original goals and expectations you had before starting uni, and reassess if they are still valid. Does the content interest you? Is the workload too high? Or do you want to completely change pathways?
There are no right or wrong answers with brainstorming (unless your only solution is to become President of the Moon because I have some bad news). Sitting down and re-evaluating your aspirations will help you know how to best proceed, and prevent any panicked decision-making. Getting another perspective and talking with a career counsellor can also help unlock what you really want to do.
It’s okay to change your mind
People change their minds. It happens. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’ve gained more knowledge during a course of study and you’ve decided you want to do something else. So don’t beat yourself up about switching courses, chances are you’ll end up happier in the long run.
Talk to people in the know
This may seem obvious, but chatting to people working in the industry you are curious about is the quickest way to get firsthand information. It moves the entire landscape from being a vague hypothetical career to real life.
Some industry bodies suggest utilising existing social networks or finding a mentor to help guide you in the right direction. This can be mutually beneficial: a lot of folks enjoy helping others, especially if you shout them a coffee and a croissant. Helping people makes people feel important and good. It’s nice.
Attend open days
It’s not only uni’s that have open days. TAFE NSW often holds open days, which are a great way to speak with teachers and students about other options. Recent reports show vocational training can be a more flexible and affordable option while leading to similar employment outcomes as uni.
These days, TAFE NSW offers over 1,200 courses, degrees or diplomas. Walk in with an open mind and be willing to listen, but also have some questions ready if certain areas are already peaking your interest.
TAFE NSW also offers short courses throughout the year which can act as a helpful taster of an industry – think of it as trying on different hats, and seeing what fits. (This is even more appropriate if you’re planning to study millinery.)
Try an internship
Internships can be a useful way to test the waters of a workplace and broaden professional networks in a short amount of time, and can lead to employment. Recent research suggests interns make more effective career decisions, as the internships have helped them gain valuable feedback on their work as well as insights about personal priorities within workplaces. Some courses and degrees are even linked to work placements to help you gain real-life experience.
Some sort of exploitation is not unheard of with internships, which is another reason to opt for an internship through a registered course. Always consider all options and check in with regulatory bodies if you have a hunch that things aren’t quite right.
Do what’s right for you
A recent report by the Foundation for Young Australians estimates that today’s young people will potentially have 17 different jobs over five careers in their lifetime. There are countless possibilities out there and if you’re feeling lost, you just haven’t found your pathway yet. Many adults still don’t know what they want to do when they grow up – you’re doing the right thing by taking the time to reflect and investigate options that are right for you.
You don’t have to be Einstein to know that if you do something you love and study something that will lead directly to a related career, then that’s a pretty good start!
Keep in mind that many people experience challenges during study and while entering the workforce – people just don’t always talk about the struggles. It’s tempting but ultimately not helpful to compare yourself to friends’ choices, and if they are decent mates they’ll be supportive through life’s transitions (and shout you dinner if you’re between jobs).
So remember you can move from one course to another and may be able to get credit for your study (or life) experiences.
(Feature image: Community/NBC)
Life’s too short to waste on a course that’s not right for you. Listen to your instincts and make the switch to TAFE NSW today. Discover more here.