Mitch: Don’t let your fear of being first hold you back

Blogger image: Mitchell HaighAfter studying a Tertiary Preparation Program, Mitch enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce, while working part-time in the finance sector. He is a member of the USQ Council and USQ Student Forum and is looking forward to pursuing small market export opportunities in Asia after graduating.


Doing something for the first time can be a great feeling, especially when it’s something epic, like going to North Korea for the first time, getting your first car, quitting your first hospitality job or finishing that triathlon that seemed like a good idea beforehand. While I can say I’ve done all of the above, one thing I can’t say I’ve done yet is graduating from university.

 

The prospect of graduating from uni is so exciting that I simply cannot wait. All those late nights spent studying, trying to do online quizzes from my iPhone, making some of the best friends in my life and drinking so much coffee I couldn’t type because my fingers were shaking so much will all be worth it. It’s a prospect I will look back on and be proud of myself for, because I didn’t think I could do it when I was first considering uni.

When I was in high school I wasn’t the most academic student because my social life was more important to me. This caused me to fear going to uni as I never thought I would be smart enough to succeed at studying. Upon realising my true passion for finance but not having the core mathematical skills to undertake university, I took to the Tertiary Preparation Program to enhance my skills and knowledge so I could confidently undertake further studies.

It’s always hard to do something for the first time, especially if you don’t have anyone to follow or copy and have to write your own story. It’s the same with being the first in your family to go to uni, because there’s no one to truly give you an idea of what it’s like and the struggles you’ll inevitably face.

Two of my sisters enrolled in uni before me although both dropped out before graduating. One realised her passion lay outside of study and the other stopped studying to start a family. Considering none of my siblings have completed uni, it adds to the excitement of being the first in my family to hopefully graduate. I think my story was different to my siblings due to my stubborn personality; I wasn’t going to let any circumstance I faced inhibit my desire to complete uni. That’s not to say I didn’t ever consider dropping out, but my friends and family helped keep me true to myself.

My family have been there for me the entire length of my degree, which seems like an eternity when you study part-time! Without their support, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now, so close to graduating.

I can honestly say that studying at uni has been an incredible experience and while it’s not quite over, I feel I have already come so far compared to the person I was when I started. The prospect of standing up on the stage and having my family cheering for me on graduation day is the motivation that will see me through to the completion of my degree.

If you’re sitting there reading this and thinking that it’s too dangerous to do something for the first time, embrace that fear, because I can guarantee you that studying at uni is a decision you’ll never regret!

Find our more about Mitch's story and discover how you too can Unleash your Fearless.


Related:

Katie: The family guide to university

Dan: How to avoid family awkwardness when talking about uni

Emma: What to expect when you have no idea what to expect