Ask LH: Am I Taking Too Long To Qualify?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m 21 and about to belatedly finish year 12 exams. I am also studying a Diploma of IT which leads straight into year 2 of a BA with a technology focus. I live out of home and work to support myself. In order to work enough to survive I can only study two units per semester.

Here’s the problem; come the last semester before I am due to finish the diploma I will still have three units to finish. If I split that up, I won’t start university proper until Semester 1 2015, which means I won’t graduate until 2019 or so.

This really scares me. Do you have any advice? Should I just bite the bullet and continue on? Or should I find an alternative path? Thanks, Education Dilemma

Bro student picture from Shutterstock

Dear ED,

It sounds like you’re determined to maintain your independence and not mooch off your parents. Well, good for you — you’ve successfully circumvented the ‘layabout student’ stereotype, which should serve you well when it comes to finding a future employer. Well done!

Our advice is to stay focused and stick it out — in the grand scheme of your life, an extra year isn’t really going to make that much of a difference. After all, plenty of people indulge in a gap year before entering university. Others wait for decades and enrol as mature-age students. It’s probably not as big a deal as you think it is.

That said, if you’re truly apprehensive about waiting until 2015, find out if your course offers midyear enrolments — this will allow you to get started in the second half of next year. Alternatively, you could try taking on one extra unit per semester to speed things up. Bear in mind that most schools allow students to drop units within the first few weeks without any penalties — so it can’t hurt to give it a trial.

If any readers have additional advice of their own, let ED know in the comments section below.


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