Current university students share advice on what they would do differently when choosing a course

The Careers Department

The Careers Department

Jun 17, 2019 — 3 mins read
We spoke to students on campus at the University of Sydney and asked them what they would tell a high school student who doesn’t know where to start when it comes to choosing a university degree.

These are just a sample of hundreds more first-hand, tangible pieces of advice from current students and people working across 32 industries, found only on

Simone, 23, studying Law/Arts: “Think about your dream job, try to find people who are in that job and then trace back to what they did at university. Basically, follow your interests but also think about it long term. I started studying law because I was interested in it but I knew I didn’t actually want to be a lawyer. I’ve enjoyed my course, but I do wonder now if should have thought about my long term career more.”

Brenda, 19, studying Media and Communications (Advertising): “I think it’s good to look into the environment of the uni and to speak with people who are studying the degree that you’re looking at. That’s probably the best way to get a feel for the course. But, of course, it’s all really subjective so, I would suggest students think about what they want out of their course and university generally.”

Tiff, 21, studying visual Arts and International Relations: “If I was speaking to a high school student, I would tell them not to let an ATAR make you feel like you can’t do the course you want to do. In school I think it gets drilled into your head that if you don’t get a certain mark, you won’t get where you want to be. But once you leave school you realise that the world just opens up. If you want something enough, you put the work in, and you’re really passionate, then you will get there.”

Chrissy, 18, studying Chemical Engineering: “I would definitely tell high school students not to fall into the trap of choosing a university just because their friends are going there. For me, one of the best parts about my first year of uni has been making new friends and forcing myself out of my comfort zone. Some of my friends from high school are at uni together and they haven’t met many new people because they are always together, which I think is a shame. At the end of the day, you should choose the uni that’s right for you, not the one that’s right for your friends.”

Yash, 23, studying Economics/Arts: “Definitely look at the NESA endorsed university handbook! It’s a really thick booklet that has a list of every course at every university. Then have a think about the current courses you’re studying for the HSC and try to find something that matches with your interests. You should hopefully have a general career ambition, but you don’t need to overthink it by trying to envision super specifically where you will end up. Focus on doing something you’re passionate about and I think that will lead you where you want to be.”

For hundreds more first-hand, tangible pieces of advice from current students and people across 32 industries, join

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