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uni-life 4 min read

Top 5 misconceptions about life as a uni student

By Kristie 31 Aug 2019
Two young students smiling and walking together.

Before you or someone you know goes to university, you always hear a million and one things about how life will change and what it will be like. The biggest thing for you to consider is: how much of it is true? Here are five super common misconceptions about what it’s like to study at university and the reasons I think you should kick these lies to the curb.

1. You will never get a job unless you choose a good degree 

So many times I have been told ‘good luck getting a job as a primary school teacher, there are too many people in that occupation these days.’ Straight away, I threw this comment in the ‘not valid’ basket. When it comes to career paths, I believe we should all do what we want to do and feel we have the ability to do. After some hard work, determination and a positive outlook, I cannot see why an industry wouldn’t want you. The key is to be on the lookout for opportunities to develop your employability skills and grow in your career from your very first year at uni. 

2. You need to be rich to study at uni 

‘Only the rich kids go to university and college in the movies, so I won’t be able to afford it.’ Wrong! There are many government and university-funded initiatives that can help you with the costs of study. Take a look at the Australian Government Study Assist and USQ Scholarship websites, for options to help you finance your study goals. You also have the option to study part-time and externally at USQ, which gives you more flexibility in your work life to manage a regular income and still be working toward your degree modes.

3. You need to have extremely good grades to get into uni 

In Year 12, I remember the OP being spoken about as if it was the be-all and end-all. Even though it’s always important we strive to do our best, sometimes we just can’t manage to achieve the OP we need, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into uni. There are actually other avenues to uni available to those who want to study. For example, USQ offers the Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) and the Accelerated Entry Pathway Program (AEPP), which allow students to gain a sneak-peek into university life and develop their writing, computer and general study skills. The biggest bonus of successfully completing these programs? They are FREE and you receive guaranteed entry into selected USQ programs, as long as you meet all other necessary requirements (like English proficiency)!

4. Uni is a massive party every single day

There are definitely perks to uni life, especially the fact that you don’t have to always follow a strict routine. However, most courses require you to do 10 hours of study a week EACH. Yes, your maths is right. That means if you’re studying 4 subjects a semester, you need to be completing 40 hours of study a week – the same workload as a full-time job! Sometimes you may even have 3 assignments due in the one week. If you want to party while at uni, being organised is definitely a skill you will need!

5. A job is a disadvantage to study 

I used to think this until I needed to get a casual job. It may sound silly, but going to work is a nice little distraction for me as I can take a break from thinking about uni, while earning $$$. My best advice: take on a job based on what you think YOU can handle. I found working approximately 10 hours a week was reasonable with my other commitments, but try not to bite off more than you can chew.  

When you first come to uni, everyone you know will share their own thoughts, experiences and opinions with you and while this is often done with the best of intentions, it can make it really hard to sort fact from fiction and know what to expect. Hopefully, lifting the lid on these five common misconceptions has started to clear things up.

For even more honesty about the expectations and realities of study, check out Emma’s blog for new uni students.

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