I Hope You Find What You Are Looking For …
On the day my University offer came out, you would have found me perched on top of the brick pillar that housed our mailbox, waiting for the Postie to come past on his bicycle (Yup – this was the era before online offers and text messages). Right on schedule, at 1:13 pm, he rounded the bend in our street. After stuffing mail in number 7 and 9, he looked up and spotted me with a friendly wave.
Coming to a halt in front of our house, he playfully made a show of searching his mail-bag. “Nope,” he said. “Looks like there’s no mail for you today,” and made to move on to the next house.
I think I knew he was messing with me, but a small spike of anxiety erupted regardless. “Oi” I shouted.
Smiling, he turned back with letter in hand and reached up to hand it to me. “Good luck,” he said. “I hope you find what you are looking for.”
And with that, he pushed off down the street.
Everything about NEXT is designed to help you to find what you are looking for. NEXT is accredited study exploring the three biggest questions we spend most our lives answering: 1) Who am I (dentity)?; 2) What do I believe (faith)?; and 3) Where Am I going (vocation)?
Numbers, Grades and Forms
As I walked down the driveway with a University offer scrunched up in my hand, I was struck by the fact that that 10-second interaction with the postman was perhaps the most human and personal part of the whole Uni-application process. Up until that point, it had been prospectus’, grades, course descriptions, scores, and application forms.
Somewhere in the bowels of a University admin building, a faceless human had made a decision that my academic performance had been satisfactory enough to warrant my acceptance in their institution.
But they didn’t know anything else about me.
They didn’t know what I was looking for, hoping to become, wanting to achieve.
They didn’t know what I cared about, what I was passionate about, what my interests were.
They didn’t know whether my introversion would make finding new friends difficult.
They didn’t know that I was moving down a career path that was entirely different to my father and his father before him.
… And they didn’t know that I would hate my first year of Uni, that I would defer second year in order to figure myself out, and that I would change career paths 3 times in the years that followed Uni.
All they knew was a number. And for some reason, they thought that that was all the information they needed to let me study at their institution.
And how disempowering. I had worked my butt off in year 12. I had achieved a decent enough score. But in the end, I was at the mercy of the faceless humans, maybe even some computer program that ultimately determined what I was able to do, or not do.
Becoming a part of NEXT starts with a conversation NOT an application form or an ATAR score. What we are most interested in is getting to know you as a person, and you getting to know us and what NEXT is all about. From there, we can both make an informed decision about whether NEXT is a good idea for you or not.
But What is Uni Actually Like?
It is not just first round offers that have come out today. The Minister for Education has also released information relating to how students go at University. On average, 1 in 3 students never finish what they started, and at some universities, more than half do not complete. And reportedly, the situation is worsening.
The minister’s advice?
“We’ve heard too many stories about students who have changed courses, dropped out because they made the wrong choices about what to study, students who didn’t realise there were other entry pathways, or who started a course with next to no idea of what they were signing themselves up for,” Senator Birmingham said.
“To the thousands of students anxiously checking emails, text messages, newspapers and mailboxes this week to learn what your future study options might be, I urge you to take your time to understand those options.”
While we agree with the minister, we would also add:
“And make sure you have a deep understanding of who you are, what your values, convictions and spirituality are, and how these come together to form a sense of calling. Researching and understanding courses and options is important, but without a sense of how God has uniquely wired you, and what His purposes are in the world you only have half the story”
The Difference NEXT Makes
At NEXT, we trust you to make a wise decision about your future.
Enrolling in a uni course as a grand experiment to figure out what you want to do in life is one of the most expensive risks you will take. It is also a great way to end up as one of the Minister’s non-completion statistics.
When you join NEXT, it is not on the basis of a number. Before ATAR scores and application forms is a conversation that takes place between real humans (with faces!) where you are empowered to decide what is best for you.
Just one of the many reasons why NEXT is such an epically different year – and one that will set you up for life.
Start a conversation with us today, and take control of your future.