College of Arts, Society and Education

Publish Date

27 November 2019

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Last minute switch was the right choice

Unsure if you should change your preferences? Sydney Layt switched her preference from a Bachelor of Dental Surgery to a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) just a week before offers were sent. The high achiever may have changed late, but she’s glad she did, having found her passion in education.

Sydney’s initial decision to pursue dentistry stemmed from her own desire to challenge herself, as well as encouragement from her school, friends and family.

“It was only in the last year that I really started to want to do dentistry,” Sydney says. “I achieved very high grades in school and I got a lot of encouragement and a general push from both school and family to do a ‘harder’ degree. That encouragement made me want to do work placement. I did a placement at a dentist and I got really excited by it and I think that’s what really started inspiring me to do dentistry.”

Sydney Layt
Excursion of shoolchildren
Sydney Layt found her true calling with a Bachelor of Education degree

A hard look at her options just a week before first offers landed in inboxes helped Sydney better understand her choices. With the time to think on her own, she realised dentistry, while a worthy pursuit, was not her passion.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, since year five,” she says. “Even though I got really focused on dentistry, teaching was always my backup plan, it was my second preference, and it never really went away. When it came down to it, I wasn’t necessarily doing dentistry for the right reasons. In my work placement I’d just seen teeth extractions and stuff, and I think I got focused on that, when there are other parts of being a dentist, like consultations with patients.”

Going with her gut

For anyone aspiring to study at university there will be plenty of input into what to study, but ultimately the student has to make the final decision.

“I think I was just doing dentistry because it was kind of stereotypical,” Sydney says. “All my other friends who achieved really high grades were doing medicine. The other two duxes of my school are both doing medicine this year and I think I really got, not peer pressured, but that was the stereotype for me to follow and I think I got a bit caught up in that. I re-evaluated and knew I wanted to do education so I changed a week before offers came out.”

Sydney was initially nervous about her last-minute decision, but hasn’t had cause to regret going with her gut.

“I’ve really been enjoying it and I’m really excited for the future and getting a career in teaching. I’m really excited for it,” she says.

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