Within a Cooee! Advice Tool

I’m thinking about uni, but I’m still not sure, conversation starters directed towards regional people who are considering university as an option.


Being Regional

I’m Thinking About Uni

I’m at Uni:Now keep going!

Like a Rollercoaster

For school leavers: gap year, ATAR

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking a gap year or going straight from school to uni, which are very individual decisions. Here are perspectives from both standpoints:

I would say school might be tricky at times but to just stick in there and do as best as you can, try not to worry too much about the ATAR but just keep your head down and do as best as you can … What I wanted to be able to do was to be able to support myself to not have to rely on my parents as much so I had a gap year last year and I worked as a dental assistant at one of the local dentist’s and I managed to save up quite a lot of money which was really helpful now – I feel like I’ve got that safety net and I just feel a lot more confident living on my own

Cassie is 18-20, from remote NSW and is in first year of Psychology. She moved 500kms from home to attend fulltime on campus (until COVID). She also works a casual job, and is from working class background.

I went straight into it. I didn’t want to take a gap year … I heard some stories about people losing motivation during gap years or losing sight of what they want to do and finding it really hard to get back into the habit of learning so I decided that I’d go straight into university and get under way with my degree

Keiran is 20 from outer regional NT. He went straight from school into Engineering, in 4th year studying fulltime on campus. He had to move interstate for study.

  • I had two years off … it was pretty much just working as a sports trainer. I just wanted to get a feel on if that’s the pathway I really want to go down, so I just used the two years working as a sports trainer with my local clubs, just to get a grasp on what it might be that I will be doing if I do complete this degree, and what I’ll get out of it. This 100 percent helped me decide! (Eleanor)

    Eleanor is 18-20 from an outer regional area, in 1st year Exercise Science, full time and on campus. She is first in family, from LSES and working class background. She also works part-time

  • I think I’ve matured a lot; coming in to teaching as a 21 year old is different when you’re just a fresh 18 year old and you’re already trying to navigate being an adult, so I think I’ve definitely just got those three years of extra maturity in me (Tamsin)

    Tamsin is 21 from an outer regional area. She had a 3 year gap, now in 1st year Education, fulltime in blended mode. She is from working class background, and she has part-time work

  • I think we’ll have an increase probably of students who will stay local next year, see what’s going to happen first. And we’re trying to work out how to support them and ensure that they do continue on that study trajectory because usually regional students, if they take a gap year, often they won’t go on to study for many, many years. The workforce is just too attractive. (Amy, staff)

    Amy (staff) has been manager of a regional campus for around 8 years

  • I tell young people that their ATAR will not define them – no matter what their results at school, there’s a university pathway for them. (Gayle)

    Gayle is 41-50 and in her first year of Business, online part-time. She is first in family, and from a LSES and working class background. She also works fulltime at a regional centre supporting students.