PEDESTRIAN.TV has teamed up with the University of Southern Queensland to help you figure out what you want to do, no matter how old you are. If you want to scope out a degree to get you heading in the right direction, check out USQ for a bunch of courses that'll have you feeling smart.

It’s not uncommon to have absolutely no clue what you want to do when you finish high school (beyond sleep for approximately a month because holy heck it’s a hard slog), so if you’re one of those people who didn’t want to dive straight into uni then we totally get you. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you’re ready to make a massive commitment like going to university.

We went directly to the source and had a cheeky chat with some university graduates from all over Australia who waited until they were in their twenties to knuckle down on those big books, to show you that you can get wherever you want to be even if you change your mind or don’t know quite what you want to do just yet.

Besides, it’s a whole different world going to uni as someone over 20, and you’ve got to get the scoop on what it’s really like to balance an adult life with study, a social life and somehow managing to get a full eight hours of quality snooze time.

Jodie, the mama bear

I wasn’t sure if uni was ever going to be right for me, because I hadn’t coped very well with the structure of high school and thought it’d just be more of the same. But when my daughter started high school and started talking about her own prospects it convinced me to give it a go later on in life. I found that it was beyond anything I could’ve imagined. I was able to make my own decisions and structure it in a way that worked for me. As an adult I know I’ve been far more successful at uni than I ever would’ve been if I had started straight from school.

Jackie, the pathways student

I somehow mustered up the courage to walk into USQ’s Springfield Campus. My interaction with the staff on the front desk changed my life. I was immediately enrolled in a pathway program known as TPP (Tertiary Preparation Program)Fast forward a few years, a few meltdowns, tears, fears and sometimes moments where I just felt like throwing in the towel, and I can proudly say that I have completed my degree. 

USQ didn’t just arm me with the skills I needed, but provided me with mental, emotional and even financial support in the form of a scholarship. I am capable of so much more than I could ever have imagined. I am an amazing woman who was able to successfully navigate through life’s adversities to come out feeling on top of the world.

Shari, the confidence builder

I tried to do uni in the creative field straight after high school but I didn’t do very well, failing mostly everything. For years I thought maybe I was not very smart and kept myself from success by sabotaging myself (really quite scarring). When I went back as a 24 year old I was getting high distinctions and distinctions and graduated with a pretty decent GPA. So I just think that’s something to think about for young students who maybe aren’t doing as well as they feel they should.

Rowan, the break-taker

I began my journey at university straight out of high school, eager to gain my independence and to grow a career I would be excited for. Along the way, I struggled finding a degree that best suited my interest and took a break as to help find those interests. USQ was very understanding and supportive throughout the entirety of my student life and helped me face those challenges head on with confidence.

I soon found myself joining interests in a dual degree, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Electrical and Electronics & Mathematics. USQ’s support for my learning has helped me grow my interests into a passion.

Craig, the online student

I was working a full time job but I wasn’t happy with the direction I was heading. Doing an online course meant I could still get by with my full time income and I could set my own hours. It wasn’t always easy but it was worth it and thanks to the support of the university, my family and my wife I’m now fully qualified and able to move onto a different full time job in an entirely different industry.

Chloe, the social butterfly

I knew what I was interested in and what I wanted to do but didn’t know how to go about it. I ended up travelling a bit, working in various jobs in admin, advertising, and retail whilst eventually beginning to shoot freelance photography work on the side. I decided I wanted to apply for uni again in my late twenties when I realised how unhappy I was being stuck in retail.

It was definitely interesting going back to uni as a 28 year old as most of the people I met were between 18-20. Luckily I’m someone with a highly social nature and I’ve always had friends both older and younger than myself, plus due to the close-knit nature of the art school you spend a lot of time with the same people in classes so you make friends pretty quickly.

Pop on over to check out USQ’s course options if you’re feeling motivated.

Image: Shari O'Dwyer