Your Degree Decision Won’t Define Your Life – Changing Degrees & Universities | Advice for NCEA

Your Degree Decision Won’t Define Your Life – Changing Degrees & Universities | Advice for NCEA

August 29, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


– Uni applications are
right around the corner and you might be feeling a lot of pressure to make the right decisions
about your degree. In this video, we’ll be talking about why the decisions you make now won’t dictate the rest of your life and how changing your degree
is an option that you can take. So we’re here with Maddie today,
who has changed her degree. Maddie, can you let us know
what you previously studied and what you’re currently
studying at the moment? – Yeah, so I first started
studying engineering down at Canterbury and I was doing a chemical
engineering degree. And then I just, I did not like it. I didn’t enjoy it at all. So I switched – I moved back to Wellington and I started studying a chemistry degree so a Bachelor of Science. And yeah, that also wasn’t for me and so now I’m still doing
a Bachelor of Science ’cause I’ve got enough points but I’m studying psychology
and criminology now. – Cool. Can you explain how the change was from Canterbury up to Vic, did you cross over any
points there as well? – Yeah, so I kind of
thought that changing from an engineering degree to a
completely different degree would be so hard, it
would add on so many years and I really didn’t want to do it but I talked to my mom about it and we went to Vic Uni and we kind of talked to the
course advisor and stuff. And it actually was so
seamless, it was so easy. Pretty much all of the
points I did for first year engineering we’re cross creditable so then it added on no
extra time to my degree which was really nice, yeah. – That’s really cool and then
you were able to transfer from doing science – was it
chemistry up at Vic again? – Yeah. – To psychology? – Yeah, so again that was super seamless. I thought because psychology
was like less of a science-y subject and more of an artsy subject that it would not be
cross creditable at all but I went and talked to
another course advisor and she said, “No, it’s all
completely cross creditable.” And it, yeah again, it
didn’t add on any time which was really great, yeah. – And you talked a bit
about how it wasn’t for you. How did you know that
something wasn’t for you and how long were you into the
process and realized it wasn’t? – I think it started ages ago so I picked science subjects
when I was at school and I was kind of like,
oh that means I have to do a science-y degree. And I was like, oh I should
probably do engineering. So I went and I studied
engineering and pretty much straight away, I knew that
I just wasn’t gonna enjoy it but I kind of had that mindset that I’ve spent so much money on halls, I’d done the big move down I’d spending money on my first year I’d made so many friends I was like, oh, I can’t change now sort of thing And so I actually just
stuck it out for half a year and then I just decided I was
just not enjoying it at all. I was like, what’s the
point of studying a degree if you’re not gonna actually enjoy the job that you’re working in, yeah. So it was about half way and I thought I should probably switch. – Cool. And comparing how you felt then and really stressing out,
this isn’t what I want to do. How do you feel now that
you’ve changed your degree? – Oh my goodness, as soon as
I started studying psychology I just… It was instant.
I knew that it was just I wanted to go to my lectures. And it’s almost like a
self-fulfilling prophecy so I didn’t want to go to my chemistry and my engineering lectures so I didn’t really do well in them and that made me not like it as much and then I started studying
psych and I loved the content that we were learning
so I went to my lectures and then I did well on my tests and then it was like, yeah. It’s just like that cycle. Yeah, and even just my
mental health as well has completely changed studying a degree that I actually enjoy. – Cool! How do you think students should
be feeling around the whole there’s a bit of a stigma
about changing your degree. What can you say, speak
on that a little bit? – Yeah, well even I felt
that stigma so much. I thought the degree you choose
is the be all and end all and especially in year 13,
it’s kind of drilled into you that you need to pick your degree, you need to apply for halls. But it’s not like that
at all, it really isn’t. If you’re 18, you can’t
really be expected to know what you wanna do for
the rest of your life and if you don’t know, it’s fine. It’s totally fine not to
know what you wanna do and there’s so many other
options when you go to uni to explore different
career paths and stuff and just because you chose like,
science way back in year 10 doesn’t mean that you’re kind
of committed to doing that for the rest of your life, I guess. – Cool. Maybe just one more question. If you had any advice to
give to high school students who are thinking about going to uni and maybe aren’t so sure about
what they want to study yet what kind of advice
would you give to them? – I would say that your first
year, you should treat it as almost like a trial year. That sounds kind of bad but you can do some papers It’s so much more free than school. You could choose some papers in business, you could choose some
papers in psychology, you could choose some papers in chemistry and kind of try them
out for your first year, see how you find them and then if you really like psychology then maybe go down that route and kind of forget a bit about chemistry and stuff and it really is it’s not hard, it’s not
hard to change degrees and it’s not hard to explore
different papers and stuff and kind of just keep your options open and see what you like
and what you don’t like ’cause it really is the time for you to find the niche that you really love. So just have fun in your first year. – Cool. Okay, so let’s take an example. Let’s say you did your first
year in a Bachelor of Science or a BSc in marine biology and you want to switch into
a Bachelor of Arts, or a B.A. For a B.A. degree, you need
to have 360 points in total and 240 of these points
have to be from B.A. papers. But let’s say you did your first year in your Bachelor of Science
and you got 120 points from that first year. You can cross credit 100% of
these credits into your B.A., making up the rest of that
120 points that you need. Even if you’re further down the line, you should still be able
to cross credit a lot into a general degree, such as a B.A., a Bachelor of Commerce or a BCom, Or a Bachelor of Science, B.Sc. Transferring into specialist degrees, such as law, medicine or engineering is a bit more challenging
but it is do-able and transferring out of specialist degrees is usually no problem. The university that you
decide to go through will have course advisors
that can guide you through this process and tell you exactly what it is you need to do
and what the implications will be if you change your degree. Ultimately, just remember. You are not stuck in a situation and there is always a plan B. The degree decision you make now won’t determine the fate
for the rest of your life. You can change your degree, it’s all good. Just relax.