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Changing directions, changing degrees?

8 Feb 2017

One of the most common questions we hear from new students – and their parents – is “What happens if I choose the wrong degree?”

Deciding on a future career is a big step in a young person’s life, and many students worry they’ll get to uni and realise they’ve made a mistake. So what do you do if this happens to your child?

First, don’t panic. A lot of new students feel this way, and it doesn’t mean their university experience is doomed to fail.

Encourage your child to think about why they are not enjoying uni. Is the course content not what they expected? Is it difficult to stay motivated or keep up with readings?

Many students take a few weeks to find their stride, and in the meantime it can be helpful to talk to an academic skills adviser or attend peer-assisted learning sessions. Here your child can meet second or third-year students who are studying the same program and get help with content and assignments. Often, once students have settled in and are feeling more confident about their study skills, they’ll realise the program they’ve chosen is the right one after all.

Some students do change their minds about what they want to study. If that’s the case, they can make a free appointment with USC’s Career Development team to chat about career interests and which programs are best suited. Student Central also has a dedicated program advice team, who can help students decide whether to change programs.

It’s important to note that in order to apply for a USC program change students need to have completed at least one semester of study. Planned program changes should be discussed with Student Central before applying.

Finally, remind your child that there is no such thing as choosing the ‘wrong’ program. The first semester is a time to develop critical thinking, writing and communication skills that will have long-lasting benefits – even if they end up graduating with a different degree.

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