Three students, three change of preference stories

The path to university isn’t always a straight one.

You might not get the mark you need for your preferred course, you might decide taking a gap year sounds ideal, or you might start your degree and realise it’s not for you. And sometimes, it’s all for the best.

Here’s how three ACU students made it to university, their way.

Annabelle: A change of scene

Although she lived in regional Victoria, Annabelle Millear was all set to study physiotherapy at ACU’s Brisbane Campus after Year 12. Instead, the opportunity to take a gap year in the UK came up. While she was away, she realised that living so far from home wasn’t what she wanted in the long term. So she decided to switch to the Ballarat Campus on her return – which is just an hour from her family’s farm.

“Because ACU has so many campuses, it was easy to change,” Annabelle said. “I reapplied again through VTAC and I was offered my place in Ballarat. There are so many course and job pathways out there and you might not get it right the first time.”

Najd: Trying again

For Najd Hussein, the road to university wasn’t what she had planned. “I always wanted to study law but I didn’t receive the ATAR I needed,” she said. “So, after crying and numerous meltdowns, I changed my VTAC preferences to a Bachelor of Commerce.” Already unhappy with her degree, uni got off to a rocky start for Najd.

“I was at a different university with a really big campus and I made no friends during my first year, which affected my results,” she said. “I decided to work hard in Semester 2 so I could transfer to a Bachelor of Laws at ACU the following year.” This quickly became a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws double degree so she could receive credit for the units she’d already completed.

“Changing your mind or changing direction at university is more common than you think, so you’re never alone,” she said. “The only difference is that the journey is a little different to what you had originally planned.”

Caitlin: Finding out what fits

University wasn’t something Caitlin Meany thought much about during her senior high school years. Looking for a way into the Australian Public Service, Caitlin completed a Certificate III in Business Administration while she was still at school and began working in a government office as part of the Australian School-Based Apprenticeship (ASBA) program.

She quickly found out that working in an office was not for her. Becoming a teacher had always been in the back of Caitlin’s mind and she decided to look into studying a Bachelor of Education at ACU. “The advantage of completing my ASBA was it became so much clearer to me about what I wanted out of my career,” she said. “I haven’t looked back once since starting my degree.”

If you’re thinking about moving in a new direction or you’re not sure where to start, head here for more information about pathways to ACU.


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