Tertiary study is what millennial’s such as myself have been conditioned for. So much of a teenagers identity is wrapped up in their education. When you think about it, from the young age of 4 or 5, they spend six hours, five days a week for 270 days of their year in one schooling institution. So when the notion of tertiary study is proposed to graduating students, it seems that the natural response is to continue studying.
Although it appears to be an individual decision by students, I can’t help but question if these students are continuing study at their own ‘independent’ choice, or if are they studying to progress alongside an expected ‘societal norm’?
In the final year of my school education, the mention of further study would creep in to almost every conversation I had with anybody. Whether it be friends, family, teachers or parents, their main question for me was: “What are planning to study after school?”. This is something I too have been a culprit of asking, although, I had never analysed where this question comes from. Is it purely natural curiosity of myself and others? Or is the fact that studying after high school has just become an essential normality in my society?
Is tertiary study subliminally influenced?
I intend to answer to this question through analysing existing statistics and conducting a survey. The statistics will present the amount of students completing HSC compared to the amount of students enrolled into undergraduate university degrees straight out of school. I will also conduct my own survey that requests answers from university students of all ages within my social society. I want to know why they decided to continue with study, if they continued straight from school into tertiary education and if they felt expectation from family or friends to proceed with study after school. I also plan to identify if students have changed their degree after being at university.
In my own experiences, proceeding from school into a university degree was an expectation of my parents. The message to continue on was subliminally encouraged and over years of being exposed to this, a University degree became a personal aspiration. However; when it came to the end of my high school era, I had no clue of what I wanted to study. I went straight from school into a degree that I was not certain of. I changed my discipline three times, and moved universities once. I personally wanted to study, it was embedded in me to do so. Expectation from others transformed into what I personally expected for myself. Changing degrees and universities has been apart of my ‘educational journey’… but was it all really necessary? Has education merely become expectation?