Choosing your Future … Not Chancing it
I was talking to a year 12 graduate just before Christmas. He had received his ATAR score and was now hoping for a University offer. Like many year 12s, he had some idea about a future career, but was mostly very uncertain. So this young man had hedged his bets and made preferences that were quite diverse: Prosthetics, Arts (Literature) or International Relations.
So I inquired how he planned to go about making his decision. On what basis had he come to make these preferences? And if he got multiple offers, how would he choose between them?
“I dunno,” came the reply. “I guess I’d choose which ever Uni makes the first offer.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Well, then at least the pressure to choose will be over. I’ll have a spot, and I can get on with it”
I hesitated before I asked the next question. His parents were nearby, and I didn’t want to appear disrespectful, but I thought it important to ask anyway.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but that sounds like you are entrusting your future chance. Wouldn’t you rather choose your own future, rather chancing it?”
It wasn’t a sales-pitch. It was a question of genuine concern. I couldn’t hear any of his personhood reflected in this decision – nothing of his character, his faith, or his agency.
But my friend just looked at his feet and shrugged.
I Hope You Find What You Are Looking For …
My University offer came by snail-mail. Yes, I am that old! I was waiting at the mailbox that day, and as the Postie handed over the envelope he said “Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for.”
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 grades, course descriptions, scores, and application forms.
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 (identity)?; 2) What do I believe (faith)?; and 3) Where Am I going (vocation)?
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?
On average, 1 in 3 students never finish what they started, and at some universities, more than half do not complete. Last year, the Minister for Education released a report investigating the transition into University. The then minister’s advice to students making the transition is quite interesting:
“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.