In April, I attended the USC graduation of my youngest child, and I was super proud.
I’m sure every graduate at the ceremony walked out excited about their future and with a huge sense of achievement, and so they should too, because let’s face it, completing a university degree is big commitment over a long period of time.
Watching all those smiling graduates made me pause and think about what motivates people to go to university.
Now, I could talk about the many different benefits of university study, perhaps the increased employment opportunities for graduates, for example, but I think university study is essentially about creating a bright future.
University study is about love and about passion.
When you choose to study at university, you follow your passion and study something you love.
You might undertake university study to gain qualifications for a job you will love - a Bachelor of Education to become a teacher, for example – but it is the passion for that job which is your motivation.
And while achieving the degree is important, studying at a university is also about the people you will meet and the thinking you will do, because every student who attends university contributes to the body of learning at that university.
Yep, studying at university is about the future.
At university, you study with like-minded people who share your passion. My daughter who studied a Bachelor of Science said she found her tribe at university, and loved talking cool science stuff with people who talked about nanorobots and how an immune cell worked. The exposure to some of these discussions gave her a new insight into science study, and helped her with her research choices. Her study built on her passion.
My son who studied a Bachelor of Laws debated with his study buddies, developed his negotiation skills, and expanded his passion for all things legal.
For me, from my first university degree (eons ago), I was exposed to different ways of thinking, and I questioned everything, and I learnt how to analyse and research.
Now I am not saying that love and passion are only in universities, far from it, – because in fact, it is often the life experiences we have before starting university which build the passion and prompt us to enrol. We develop a passion in a certain area, and then go to study higher education to enhance our knowledge, to learn more in a specific field, to gain professional qualifications and study among peers, essentially, to feed the passion - to know more.
Universities offer the opportunity for higher education, to research and to gain professional qualifications.
They offer the future, all wrapped up with love and passion.
And that is why all those graduates looked excited.
About Dr Janet Lee
Dr Janet Lee received her Doctorate of Creative Arts from USC. She is also mum to four children who have all completed their undergraduate degrees at USC. Janet lives on the Sunshine Coast with two dogs, some very spoilt chickens and her wonderful, noisy family. Janet is a regular contributor to USC's Parent Lounge.