Learned folk. I am one of them. I am not what they call a “layperson”. Ugh… Shudder.
LAY people. I suppose it’s a descriptive term, is it not? Do they just lay about all day? I wouldn’t know. As I said, I’m not one of them.
Yes friends, I have walked the prestigious halls of a University. I have worn the gown and mortarboard that distinguish me from the rest of society. Twice, in fact. I can use letters after my name.
I am… Tertiary Education.
Some choose to enter the workforce directly after their secondary education ends. Some even leave schooling early to do so. They may own properties now, but I own books. And an embossed certificate. Two, actually. I know about life.
You see, when one enters the institution of a University at the ripe old age of 18, one can be sure to be fulfilled in their quest for omnipotence: the knowing of everything.
Gods of the campus, also known as lecturers, are easily recognised by the glow they emit from their very beings. They have done the hard yards in life. They have studied an undergraduate degree, followed by a Masters or Doctorate, and stayed on to impart their knowledge onto the next generation of students. Some have entered lay society, but quickly found they were bored by the unintelligent masses and returned to what they know as home: the lectern.
It is with great pride and skill that I provide you with a general guide of various courses Universities have to offer. Choose wisely, grasshopper. You will forever be marked by your faculty.
Arts: you may not know what to major in, but rest assured, the Universe does. Great plans are ahead for you. If you choose philosophy, you will soon discover that due to your ability to think, you undoubtedly exist. Cogito ergo sum. Just imagine how much you’ll exist if you one day secure actual employment. Do not be overly concerned with the idea of employment though. There is no shame in being a perpetual student. Your homemade scarf will serve you well in the many winters you will spend at the University café, with Descartes in hand and a soy, free-trade, organic coffee to fuel your pondering.
If sociology is more your style, you will begin to have the authority to objectively watch members of the human race and inform them of why they do things. While others live the mundanity of life, you will spend many a sun-drenched afternoon in front of a computer, theorising about the role hegemonic masculinity has in war and competitive sport.
Creative Arts: Arts, but creative. Poetry, music, theatre, painting. Oh how ghastly and commercialised the world is! What a terrible conformity. Here you can share ideas with kindred spirits about how to be different. On weekends you will trawl opp shops for the items of clothing that will unleash your creative side. Retro sunglasses. An indoors hat. Mismatched socks. It is all but a piece in your journey of self-discovery. Your body is an artwork.
You will haunt art galleries and theatres and marvel at how abstract everything is. In hushed tones you will whisper to your felt-hatted confidante, “what did that mean?”, but of course it is all subjective.
Science: Never has there been a more exciting area to hone your focus on. Growing little bacteria in petri dishes is set to be the newest craze since the Bonzai. You will excite members of the opposite (or same… politically correct) sex at parties with detailed explanations of the differences between cohort versus cross-sectional studies.
Being such a broad faculty, science lends itself to many niche areas, such as geology. If you think you’ve seen it all, wait til you get to examine rocks under microscopes. Don’t get me started on sediment!
Medicine: You may not have a full grasp of the English language, but you can spot a virus a mile away. And you will in fact use the “mile away strategy” when eventually entrusted with patients. The trick is never to get too close to them. Avoid all physical contact. And conversation for that matter. A five-minute consultation is usually all that’s required. Remember to provide a diagnosis. Accurate or not, they asked for diagnoses, and diagnoses they shall get!
Nursing: Your desire to help people is rivaled by your equal desire to meet Dr. Derek Shepherd. Society thinks you get to dress up all sexy and flirt with patients, but in reality you will get to dress all frumpy and clean them of their own bodily fluids.
Don’t worry, after a few years on the job, you will become somewhat desensitised and develop the skill of selective hearing. You will be able to drown out the sound of the ominous patient buzzer whilst simultaneously listening to a complete run-down of nurse Anne’s weekend in the Hunter Valley.
Psychology: Never has a student been asked, “What am I thinking” as much as a student studying psychology. And in fact, you can tell them! “Nothing, you vacuous waste of space. Unless of course you have an Oedipal or Electra complex, in which case you’re thinking inappropriate thoughts about your Mother/Father”.
Science? Art? Science? Art? Psychology gives the best of both worlds with metatheory of the mind as well as electrode-filled fun in the EEG labs.
Bleeding hearts will take up psychology to heal the masses, but most likely end up working in the HR section of a company, advising which personalities should NOT be seated together at the work Christmas party.
Health and Nutrition: Never has it been so appealing to dish out healthy-eating advice than prior to your first attempt at cooking a meal. You will spend many an hour completing meal plans for people whilst simultaneously demolishing a three day old pizza from the Uni bar.
Education: You belieeeeve the children are our future. At least, you did until your first practicum. At that point you will begin to sway toward the notion that children are the devil.
If you make it past the undergraduate degree, you will be suitably qualified to pass judgement on every parent who passes through your classroom. Parents will in turn pass judgement on your lack of ability to teach their five-year-old children to recite Shakespeare and learn the entire times tables by rote.
Engineering: The rest of society has zero clue what it is you actually do. No, really. You use maths and like, design stuff? You’re smart, but that’s all we really know.
Once every couple of years, a female will land a place in an engineering course. Do not lose focus. Class test averages will plummet during those years.
Mathematics: The under-appreciated, under-enthused group of students. During the time that most high school students were trying to get away from this subject, you were secretly dreaming of algebra. Whilst you may not hold your own at parties, you are sure to know the quickest way around the campus using Pythagoras’ Theorem.
Law: Line up ladies! This is your chance to win a shot at marrying George Clooney. Oh wait, he’s taken. Never mind. I hope they had a prenup! You know, prenuptial agreement. Otherwise known as a premarital agreement or antenuptial agreement.
After familiarising yourself with law via re-runs of Law and Order, you have already worked out your closing speech, as well as a killer (‘scuse the pun) outfit to sway the jury. Who said justice couldn’t look good?
Never mind all the hogwash written in the textbooks. Legislation is ever-changing anyway. Upon completion of your first semester, you will remain adamant about representing yourself in the matter of a train fine at the local court. Move over amateurs. You will show this Magistrate who’s boss.
Commerce: kslslkdfnhols…. Oops! Sorry, I fell asleep at the keyboard. Next topic!
Sports: The underworld of University education. Spending your days on the hockey fields or doing laps of the pool. Similar to a black market, other faculties long to run raids on your faculty, hoping to discover that your notebooks have merely been filled with doodling.
Why are you so tanned?
So, there you have it. A basic and concise guide to choosing a University course. Best of luck!
Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash