But RJ knew that the Medicine/Surgery degree wasn’t his only hope, and so he sought to choose a different interest and a different degree to accompany it.
“I was interested in Chemistry all throughout high school, so I thought a degree in science would be best for me,” RJ explains. “At first I wanted to do a Bachelor of Science, but then I saw the Bachelor of Advanced Science and decided to give it a go because I thought it would be more challenging.”
Majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics, RJ has found his suspicions to be correct. “It is challenging, and some of my subjects are hard. But some of them are easier. And even with the harder subjects, the degree is enjoyable,” RJ says.
“Having that balance of challenging but rewarding is really good.”
RJ also points to the choices he gets to make with his degree as something that he values. “I can focus on what I want to learn based on what I’m interested in. The structure of the degree isn’t as rigid as other degrees.”
He attributes his enjoyment of his degree to the university as well. “The environment is really good. I can get motivated when I come to the uni. The open space is less restricting, and it puts me in a mindset to learn.”
Clearly, RJ is satisfied with the degree that he has chosen, but medicine was his dream. Doesn’t he wish he could still do it?
Not necessarily. “Medicine had been a dream of mine,” RJ says, “but I think that Advanced Science is actually better for me personally because I can take different classes and learn a lot of subjects. Sometimes I think I’m actually glad I ended up doing Advanced Science instead of Medicine.”
Having almost finished his first year in Advanced Science and looking forward to what the next two years of his degree will bring, RJ is excited about the new things his future will hold. The key is that he’s embracing the freedom that comes from having many different paths that he could take.
“At the moment I don’t really have a plan career-wise. I think that doing Advanced Science will help me find what I like and what I’m interested in and what I’d want to pursue once I have my degree.”
"Do some research before you go for your second preference, but don't be afraid to try it. Also, try finding something completely different from your first choice because you might find you enjoy it more."
RJ Ballada, JCU Advanced Science Student