I made it! I finished my Bachelor of Business in Marketing, with a minor in Creative Advertising, and, wow! It feels great!
Throughout the last three years of study the end of my degree has always seemed like a distant, hazy place. So far off, obscured by the mountains of lectures, tutorials and study that it wasn’t worth thinking about. That was until a few months ago, when I commenced the last semester of my degree, and suddenly I could see the end and it all felt real!
Like most new students commencing their first semester of University, I was both excited and anxious about what lay ahead. Everything was so new and overwhelming – memories of my first day at high school flashed across my mind and I felt like that well worn phrase of “a little fish in a big pond” was tattooed across my forehead. I was surrounded by new people, new subjects, and living a lifestyle so very different from the often mundane routine of high school.
Some people cope better than others with the new responsibilities and comparative freedoms that uni life brings. Unlike high school, there are no more teachers there to spoon feed and nurture you along through your course. While the lecturers will do their best for you, you have to accept the responsibility for knowing where to be, when the next assignment is due and organising to be there for (most of) the lectures. It’s 100% up to you to stay on top of everything and manage the study load with part-time work, and of course, the partying.
A cool aspect of university life that I hadn’t previously considered is the opportunities it presents you to meet and mix with a diverse range of people of different ages and backgrounds; something very different from the school classroom. Because of this you can find yourself working with a whole gamut of people you might not normally consider socialising with.
I was always one of those kids who enjoyed school. I gained great satisfaction from trying my hardest and doing well. I went from Year 12 straight to university and now, after the completion of 15 years of formal education, I suddenly find myself free from that routine and free to set my own course in the next chapter of life. Although I’m overcome with a sudden relief of no more reports to write or exams to study for, it feels like …I’m venturing into unknown territory. Exciting? Yes, but daunting at the same time.
When I let people know I am in the last semester of my degree, their first reaction is almost always “So what’s your plan for next year?” To be completely honest, I find this question both scary and stressful. I’m not sure what next year holds for me. Sometimes I answer it with a simple “I don’t know yet”. Sometimes (if I’m feeling more adventurous) I describe a more elaborate plan of how I’ll reach my dream career. But truthfully, I am so happy and proud to have completed this degree, and although many other graduates have already applied for jobs and internships in their chosen field, I’m excited to have no plans for a little while. I plan to do some travelling next year, and embrace this new found freedom with no approaching due date in the back of my mind (sounds like a dream!) I do of course have plans for the next year or so to put my degree to good use, and hopefully start working in the business world.
For me, the most enjoyable and rewarding part of my university degree was making new friendships to share the experiences with. Uni gave me a new friend in my first year, Kelsey, who luckily enough was doing the same degree and for the following years was in the majority of my classes. I have no doubt that my three years at USC were more enjoyable because of her. Whether it be stressing over an assignment that neither of us quite understood, or receiving good marks on an assessment piece, it’s all so much better when you have someone to share the roller-coaster of emotions with.
So, to all the students starting their own university experience, and to the ones still plotting away, my best advice for you is to enjoy the ride. Don’t be in a rush to finish. While your degree is the ultimate goal, it’s the friendships and precious experiences you gain along the way that also help shape you for life beyond USC.
Oh, and I almost forgot! Most importantly! Be prepared for when the new class timetables are released! Because, unless you like going to class at 7pm on a Friday night, you’ll be left with a timetable that has you going to uni every day of the week, at all hours of the day.
By Sienna Roberts.