Although physiotherapy and education are quite different career areas, the similarity between them is at the heart of Hayley’s motivation: helping others.
“I’ve always been very involved in other people’s lives, checking how they feel and if they’re okay,” Hayley says. “I’ve always wanted to help people out, and teaching is all about that. When I was doing placement the other day, I taught students how to do subtraction when they carry their ones. Even something as simple as that was the best feeling ever.”
Doing practical placements has confirmed to Hayley that she’s right where she’s supposed to be.
“When I’m on prac and I get to see the kids and interact with them, and when I get an opportunity to teach, it just feels very natural,” she says. “And when I do assessments — even though they’re not the most fun part of uni — I really understand the theory. It makes sense to me. Whereas, if you put a sheet of anatomy questions in front of me, I’d be staring at it for three hours and still have no idea what I’m doing!”
Having a passion for what you’re pursuing can be the key to seeing it through and finding success. For Hayley, it’s the driving factor of her study.
“It’s not just that education and teaching make sense to me — it’s that I love it so much,” she says. “And because I’m so well-suited to teaching, I’m much more engaged with my studies and with my placements than if I had tried to do something that I’m less suited to, like physio.”
To students who aren’t sure which career to pursue or which area to study, Hayley gives this advice:
“Take a deep breath. Pick the area that you’ve been offered and that you think might suit you. And if you don’t feel like it fits you after a semester, there are so many ways to transfer between areas, especially at JCU. It’s so easy to switch it up and find the place that suits you best. You’re going to be okay!”