It’s wildly common for people to ask for advice when it comes to uni and truth be told, it’s a smart move.
You can either be like me, who didn’t ask for any help whatsoever and subsequently ended up down at the uni pub ignoring 40 overdue assignments, or you can actually get your HECS debt’s worth and try to be as involved as possible.
But, I still strongly recommend asking students – good or bad – for advice over your family, and here’s exactly why:
Other students usually care less about you than your family
On the surface, this may seem like a bad thing, but people who don’t give two shites about you can give the most objective advice. At least when it comes to uni – refrain from asking them about your love life.
You see, if you’re speaking to your loved ones about what you should study/what uni you should go to/what career path you should go down, they’re more likely to consider their own feelings as well as yours.
Prime example: if you express interest in a uni that’s interstate, your mum might get clucky and push for a closer uni so that you don’t leave her forever but, that closer uni might not be the best fit for you. See what I’m getting at here? Your family are selfish. Maybe. I dunno, I haven’t even met ’em.
With a student who doesn’t care, they’re likely to ask you questions about what you want and give you information based off that. No muss, no fuss.
They’re living through the experience right now
Take it from me, uni life can change rapidly. I took quite a long hiatus (*cough* three years *cough*) and when I returned, it was no longer cool to be late to class, or to smell like stale smoke, or to hand in assignments late.
If I rocked up to a lecture 10 minutes late, I’d cop greasies so fierce I almost burst into flames.
So, it’s wise to speak to someone who knows what’s happening in real-time. I’m not discounting the advice of former students per se, but would you rather learn the ins and outs from someone holding the map, or from someone who barely remembers where the emergency exit is?
Sorry I don’t know what happened there, the map metaphor quickly took a downward spiral. Hopefully you still get the gist, though.
You can talk to people actually studying what you might be interested in
Starting uni can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you aren’t quite sure what you want to study.
Instead of winging it though, pick a couple of courses that tickle your fancy and then sniff out students who are knee-deep in those courses.
A solid alternative is to talk to people employed by the uni (kinda like permanent students), coz they’ll be able to sort you right out.
Don’t get discouraged from doing something you want to do just because it seems like it could be challenging.
Older relatives may have a warped sense of the current working climate
It’s all well and good for your 65-year-old relative to sit you down and chat to you about your future, but as soon as they start bringing up the fact that they were able to support their entire family on a single-person income sheering kangaroos, it’s time to yeet yourself out of there.
Plus, who out there has had to explain to someone that the reason you’re sitting at home on your laptop all day is because you’re looking for a job – people still expect you to be out there with your printed resume, knocking down doors like it’s bloody 1954.
Students have a much better understanding of the future, specifically what jobs will be available (or unavailable), and it’s a safe bet that half of the jobs that are available would be a foreign concept to a lot of ’85 graduates.
You’ll be less likely to ignore what other students are saying
Pretty much what it says on the box – everyone tends to tune out familiar voices, intentionally or otherwise.
Get a fresh voice to give you fresh advice.Image: Ladybug