It’s a pretty symbolic feeling taking off that school uniform for the final time. The euphoria of finishing the HSC doesn’t seem to stop until it is halted by that overwhelming decision one needs to make about their future.
I remember the feeling entirely. Staring down at the monstrous UAC book mindlessly flicking through page after page attempting the nearly impossible task of determining my future at 18 years of age. My avoidance and frustration defeated me to the point that I came to resent the UAC book. It should have been an exciting process of research, anticipation, and revelation, but in the end it simply became a burden. From the naïve and trusting perspective of someone who had just finished the HSC, I remember thinking ‘I have to choose the right course…’. But what did that even mean?
Instead of tapping into the things we love and enjoy, we retreat to job prospects and careers in an attempt to answer the age-old question that every adult seems to ask you “What are you going to be when you grow up?”
projectHUNI was born out of this exact frustration. It wasn’t just myself and Lucy who were disillusioned with the process of going to University but our friends, peers, and siblings were slowly falling into this same trap of learned helplessness. So we began giving talks to Year 12 students in their final year of school. These talks involved sharing our lived experience about Uni, our stories, our anecdotes, and our speed bumps. This kind of student to student interaction has become an engaging and familiar way for students to learn about Uni amidst the focus of their HSC studies. We are now working with ten schools all around Sydney.
So what should we be doing in Year 12 to prevent this? Think about what grinds your gears when you listen to the news, the things that you enjoy learning about at school, and the people that inspire you. Everyday we spark up conversations about things we love without even realising it. We should be thinking about the next step and not 5 years into the future. There are so many vital elements of a student; our abilities, charisma, interests, skills, emotions, and psychological make-up that are at risk of being routinely ignored by studying something we don’t enjoy.
Recently, projectHUNI released the Course Resource, which reinvented the way Year 12 students choose their University course. The Course Resource helps students choose a course based on their interests and passions rather than the narrow criteria of ATAR or institution that is currently used. Since it’s release in August 2016, this innovative method has helped hundreds of students choose a course.
If you know anyone who happens to be in the midst of that stressful combination of trying to study for the HSC whilst deciding their Uni course, show him or her the Course Resource. The worst it can do is confirm to them a few courses they don’t want to study.