Why Not Getting Your First Preference Isn't So Bad

Posted on 17/11/2016

Sometimes we can overthink the big life decisions…

I’m guilty of this. When I was deciding which university I wanted to study at I had my heart set on one in particular, and I wanted it so much that I went for early admission. I actually didn’t even come up with an option B. For the entirety of year 11 and 12 I had planned on attending this university, but by the time I got to decision time it just didn’t seem like a great idea. Here’s why:

It’s better to have options

Approaching uni with an open mind is the only way to go. You probably spent a lot of your senior years imagining up scenarios and ideas of what university would be like – and the real thing will likely be very different. Never assume that there is only one university for you, the truth is that there are heaps of uni’s you could fit well with. Plus, having a few universities considering you is never a bad thing!

What you think you want might change

When I was applying for university I wanted to go to a particular uni so bad. I focused on it all year, and pretty desperately set my mind to it. But by the time my results came out I realised how many more options were in front of me. I banked on the fact that I might not do too well, and so went for a uni that would accept me. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by my marks, I was able to add a bunch of uni’s to my preferences that I had never even considered, and that was an exciting prospect.

Research is key

Like I said, never assume uni is going to be the way you’ve built it up in your head. Sure, there will be some similarities, but you’re never going to get it spot on, so make sure you research your options. Read up about the university and its reputation with your chosen subjects. Some uni’s specialise in business, others in medicine – finding the university that’s right for you is so important, so never assume it will have everything you need – do some reading.

Putting your chickens in one basket won’t end well

While it’s awesome to have a set of goals, don’t make them too narrow. I can’t tell you how awful the feeling will be if you bank on one uni and you don’t get the offer you were after. Never ever put yourself in a position to be left without an option. You deserve to go to a uni that you like! That means being a little more open-minded about what’s out there. There are universities all over the country, just make sure you’re covering yourself if you don’t get your first choice – there are plenty of places that want you to be their student!

My point here is this: don’t narrow your view as soon as your life is about to open a lot of doors. The most options you’ll ever have in your life start when you finish high school, and to this day it’s the most freeing feeling I know. Don’t squander it, set yourself up for success.

Good luck,

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