if I watch any Disney movies with you then don’t expect that we’re just gonna “watch it”. no. we’re gonna sing the songs, know the choreography, memorize the lines, and I expect you to understand the references. Because once you agree to watch with me, there is no turning back.
Hello! It’s #optomstudies here again with another Sunday Study Tip on university life! This will be a multi-part series that hopefully will give a unique insight, since I can go on and on about university, and I love giving advice and helping others :)
PART 0: CHOOSING A DEGREE
Here I’ve put together a list of 20 things that you might not be told outright when choosing your university degree. @exeron
General Starting Tips During High School
It doesn’t matter what subjects you do in senior year, so don’t worry about bonus points, as long as you get a high enough ATAR so that you can keep your options open. Play to your strengths.
But! On the other hand, don’t take history and visual arts for your HSC and expect to be at the same level as your peers when you take a B Science (Advanced Mathematics) degree. You need that calculus knowledge. (Most of the time this isn’t a problem, because most people will choose a degree that aligns with their interests in high school). Again, play to your strengths.
Keep on top of your extra-curricular activities in case you need to go for an interview like with medicine.
Some degrees like optometry, medicine, law, etc. require additional exams like UMAT, so find out early, pay for the tests and mark it down on your calendar so that you don’t forget.
Up to you whether you want to pay extra for coaching, but anecdotally, I didn’t do any coaching and did fine. I had many friends who did coaching and ended up doing poorly.
Choose a good university. Promise it actually counts at the end of the day. There are cases of people getting employed with low credit averages at big companies because they go to a good university.
Decide What Kind of Career You Want
Most importantly, it’s best if you pick your degree based on the job you want upon graduation. What you study at uni is just a means to an end. It’s a business decision that you are making - trading a few years to get a better career and better income at the end of the day.
Consider practical aspects of the job you want. For example, some of the things that I like about optometry is the fact that you aren’t sitting down the whole day, it’s a job that’s great for locum-ing and part-time work if I have kids in the future, and it makes for a good conversation starter when people ask you about optometric myths (no, looking at green grass does not help your eyes, nor do eating carrots, and having a nightlight doesn’t make you more short-sighted). These are all things that aren’t written down on a piece of paper somewhere, but are things that you can figure out by thinking about the everyday facets of the job itself.
Figure out your career values. These are things that you don’t want to compromise on due to personal integrity, as opposed to areas of interest. Some examples are:
Autonomy and independence
Achievement and advancement prospects
Prestige, status and respect
Risk-taking and excitement
Material benefits a.k.a. $$$
Structure and organisation
Don’t “follow your passion”, just “get good”. A lot of people also tell you that you should “follow your passion”, but most of the time you have limited experience concerning the types of occupations in the world, and most of the time there isn’t anything that you’ve developed a strong passion for. You might have a bunch of interests like me; when I was in high school, I enjoyed every single subject, because I just enjoyed learning in general, so the only thing I could think of was literally to become a full time uni student. This video really sums everything up quite well, so I’ll quote from it.
When you work hard at something you become good at it. When you become good at something you enjoy doing it more. When you enjoy doing something, there is a good chance you will become passionate about it.
Start By Choosing a Good University and Faculty
Choose a Commonwealth-supported university. Don’t saddle yourself with excess debt from a private university unless your grades were so bad that you needed to pay money for a university degree. If you have the choice, don’t opt for these.
Go to open days! I seriously think I wouldn’t have chosen optometry if I didn’t go to the UNSW Open Day. The guy was just really persuasive about the benefits of the career.
Ask graduates! If you’ve got a retail job and have the opportunity to chat with people about their jobs, see what they like about their job and how they got there.
Opt to specialise. For example, if you are aiming to be a financial data scientist, then go for a B Economics and major in econometrics. Sounds simple, but people always argue about choosing a general degree like Commerce so that you have a broader choice and keep your doors open. This is only good if you don’t have an end goal in sight. Specialising shows employers that you have direction and are driven.
However, if you have absolutely no idea what you want to study then at least choose a faculty that you find palatable, try and do your research, or take some core courses that allow you to discern your major. If all else fails, just get the UAC book of degrees and cross out what you don’t want to do LOL
After Starting the Degree
If you start a degree and you find the first semester or two isn’t what you were imagining, unfortunately that’s what happens to a lot of people. Uni isn’t a vocational school that jumps straight into the professional skills. So if you want to be a pediatrician who nurses cute children to health at the end of the day, sorry but you’ll have to start with basic sciences. I’ve seen a lot of people jump ship just cause they didn’t like the first few courses.
Go for Honours if your degree has the option. Just looks a lot better in the eyes of an employer that you’ve tried challenging yourself with a research honours project. A 1 year trade off in studying is worth it.
Don’t worry about the length of the degree. Three years will be over before you know it, trust me! And honestly, university is actually a really great time period. Many of my older cousins reflect on it and say that in a way, it was some of the best times of their lives, because you don’t have the responsibility of the household bills and full time work just yet.
Don’t be afraid to change your degree after the first year. Some microeconomics - it’s a sunk cost.
Don’t think: “Oh I’ve already spent this much time studying this degree, it will be a waste if I change degrees”. Think: “if I spend any more time in this degree that I don’t actually want to study, then I’ll be wasting my future”.
You aren’t “wasting” your ATAR by choosing a degree that has a much lower cut-off point. For example, if you wanted to shape the future of children by becoming a teacher, you aren’t “wasting” your 98 ATAR by going into teaching, even if the cut-off is 81.
Don’t let other people influence your options. Look, if you’re going to change your uni choice just because someone you don’t like is going there… you’ll barely see anyone except for the people in the same degree as you after 1st year is over. Likewise, parents give advice, they don’tshouldn’t mandate life choices like what you study.
Good luck with your university applications. Hope you all get into the degree that you’re hoping for! Hit me up if you have any questions :)
MY WEEKLY STUDY TIPS
WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE UNIVERSITY STUDY TIPS SERIES
Other than being on the badminton team to get out of having to take a gym class, you steered clear of sports. You hated the people, the double standards, and most importantly the fact that most of the school’s budget went to sports. You took part in theater and choir and dance and art and practically any visual/performing arts activity the school had to offer. By the end of your freshman year, you were helping out at the local elementary and middle schools that were putting on plays. Star basketball player, Zach Dempsey’s little sister was apart of play productions at her school.
After coming to one of her plays that you’d helped put on, you noticed Zach has made an effort to come over and speak with you. He seemed a little shy, but the two of you carried on a conversation perfectly fine. The week after that, you noticed Zach making an effort to talk to you every day. You didn’t think anything of it on the first day. Or the second. But things got suspicious after that. His friends started being nice to you. Justin started walking you to some of your classes, Sheri complimented your makeup. Marcus even offered to help you study. None of these people had really talked to you before. You stayed guarded. Your best friend had a history of dating jocks, but other than that, jocks had nothing to do with your personal life.
On this day, your best friend had gone home sick, the two of you didn’t drive, so you usually walked home together. With her absence, your earbuds became your friend for the walk home. You were still walking down the street in front of the school when you were jolted by a honk. You looked over to see a car driving by you slowly. The back seat held none other than Zach and Marcus. Justin filled the passenger seat, while Bryce drove.
“Need a lift home, Y/N?” You hear Bryce say, laughing under his breath. All the boys were staring at you, obviously waiting for an answer.
“Um, I’m fine, but thanks.” You went to put your earbud back in and continue on your walk.
“Got homework to do?” Justin asked. You swallowed. Not making direct eye contact with any of them.
"A lot, which is why I’m gonna get going.” You put the earbud in quickly this time. Walking off at a fast rate. They were, of course, in a car though, and you couldn’t exactly speed walk away from a car under most circumstances.
"We could get you there faster.” Marcus laughed. You could hear their various comments no matter how loud you played your music. Finally, you yanked both earbuds out.
"I’m really not trying to be a bitch. Really, I’m not. And I know none of you are used to hearing the word no. But there’s a first time for everything. No, I do not want to ride with you. I want to walk home, alone, listening to the music I want to listen to. I’ll see all of you at school tomorrow.”
You looked up at the sky, dark clouds were taking over, as well as winds. You, being in a short sleeve T shirt, crossed your arms over you chest and sped up, wanting to get home before the rain started. A minute later, you looked over and they were gone. You breathed a sigh of relief.
"Uh, Y/N?” You jump, startled once again. You look up to see Zach walking next to you. He grinned at you.
"I’ve been here for a solid minute, and you haven’t noticed. What is that you’re on, twitter?” You glared at him, walking even faster now.
"This could probably qualify as harassment. Where’d the car go?” You look around in the surrounding Parking lots and on the streets.
“I told them to go on without me. I wanted to talk to you.” He rubbed the back of his neck nervously, still looking at you.
"Yeah, okay.” You mumbled, staring at the ground. You suddenly felt drops on your arms and on your head. It was beginning to rain.
“Shit.” You found yourself mumbling again.
You walked faster, not wanting the papers in your backpack to be completely drenched. You soon realized that Zach was a lot faster than you and could keep up with you. And suddenly, you had his letterman jacket draped over you.
"I’m fine.” You grumbled. He simply chuckled.
“You’re soaked.” He corrected. You rolled your eyes.
"And now you will be to.” He was in a tight blue T shirt, his arms crossed like yours. He smiled at you.
"Better me than you.” You gave him a side eye glance. He wanted to play gentleman, did he?
"Since when do I exist to you?” You adjusted the jacket to where it covered your head.
“What are you talking about? We’ve been friends since elementary school.” You scoffed, pursing your lips.
"Aren’t we friends?” You could feel him looking at you. You walked faster, he knew you weren’t friends before this. He knew you hadn’t talked since you’d been paired up in seventh grade science for a project.
"Do you really think we qualify as friends, Zach? Do you really think that?” You looked up at him. He looked a little hurt, but maybe like he knew you were right.
"Look, I know we just started hanging out but-” you stopped abruptly, catching him off guard.
"Hanging out? You call you and your friends following me around for a week straight ‘hanging out’? I call it creepy.” His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed hard. He hadn’t expected you to be so harsh and brash.
"I’m sorry okay? It’s just, my sister loved working with you so much and it just reminded me of some stuff.” He pushed his now sopping hair out of his face. You were a block away from your house, so you started walking again.
"Stuff being?” You persisted, though you walked ahead so you couldn’t see his reaction.
"It reminded me of why you’re the only girl I’ve ever really had a crush on.” You stopped. Sure, you were in front of your house, but you also couldn’t move. Zach Dempsey had a crush on you? Key word being had, but still.
"How? When? Where? W-” he cut you off this time. You were still in front of him but you heard him let out a sigh.
"Justin and them- they’re better than they seem. But they don’t get biology, or why I love it. Do you remember when we were paired up in Ms. Milton’s class in middle school for a project?” Zach looked at you. You opened the white picket fence that shut you away from your yard, walking inside the property.
"You can come in, Zach.” You held the fence open. He shuffled quickly inside. He looked surprised that you’d even invited him in. You walked up the path way and up to your porch, unlocking your front door.
"It’s not fancy like yours, but it’s home.” You held the door open for him once again and he walked inside, looking around.
"I’ll get you a towel.” You ran up the stairs, soon coming back down, handing him the towel. You gestured for him to follow you as you walked into the living room to sit on the couch. He sat next to you.
"What were you saying about Ms. Milton?” You didn’t want to let on that you knew exactly what had occurred in Ms. Milton’s class.
"Well- we were partners for a project. And- I let you pick the animal we’d do the project on. You picked whales. And I became so interested in sea life after that project. Now I wanna be a marine biologist. It all started in Ms. Milton’s.” He stared at you. He was serious. He’d been in love with you since the seventh grade.
"Yeah? Well you stopped talking to me in high school. I stopped mattering to any sports player once high school hit.” You didn’t make eye contact with him.
"Okay. Well, I thought I’d never have a chance as soon as I became a basketball player. But I’ve liked you so much- ever since middle school.” You looked up he was scratching the back of his neck.
"You do that when you get nervous.” You pointed out. He laughed a little.
"Oh yeah? When you’re anxious or nervous, you pick your nail polish off.” He was right. That was a nervous tick you had. Maybe he wasn’t such a liar after all.
"Listen, I’m sorry if the boys started to bombard you. They just- they hook up with a ton of girls and they were worried because I wasn’t into any girls they sent my way. When I finally told them about my.. thing for you, they went a bit nuts.”
You laughed a little. Justin and Marcus fucked anything that walked at parties. Bryce’s dad set it up so he could order strippers and prostitutes to come whenever he wanted. Zach was different from his friends. Everyone in the school knew it.
"Do you wanna stay for dinner Zach?” You blushed a little as you looked his way.
"Sure, but can I take you out for some food tomorrow night? Just us?”
You felt yourself blushing again. Defensive? Sure you were. But your heart was already fluttering at the idea of going to dinner with Zach Dempsey.