Confessions of an eternal student – is a Postgraduate degree worth the time?

Confession #1: I love studying

In fact, after being a tertiary student for half my life, I think I can almost qualify as an eternal student.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a super nerd who enjoys doing hours of homework. And assignment deadlines still give me anxiety. It’s just that I have always been the type of person who wants to know things (I’m pretty sure my parents were driven insane by my endless “But why?” questions).

For me, the payoff for studying is knowing (and being able to do) new things.


Confession #2: I have done a lot of courses (and most of them I finished!)

In my adult life, my career has taken a lot of directions.

After high school, I wanted to be a photographer, so I took some photography courses, then I decided that was more of a hobby for me than a career. Then I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do, but I had plenty of “But why?” questions, so I started a Bachelor of Arts.

When I finished that, I had the opportunity to start a PhD, but the timing wasn’t right, so I took a break and went out into the world to see what it offered (or perhaps just to decide what I was going to study next- lol!)

After a couple of years and various positions, I decided to go back to uni to pursue postgraduate studies. And thus, I completed a Graduate Diploma in Education so I could become an English Language teacher (that’s where I learned fancy words like ‘thus’😉).

And this is where you would think that my compulsion to study might have ended- but, no (refer to confession #1). It was only a few years before I was questioning things again, not so much “But why?”, it was more “But how?”

There were things I wanted to learn how to do in my career as a teacher, but I felt I didn’t have the knowledge, so I went back to uni to do a Master of Education.

And of course, you would assume that that is where the story of me and uni ended- but, of course, I went back for more. And now I’m studying a PhD (what can I say? The timing was right! 😊)

Confession #3: Every degree I studied opened a door I didn’t know existed.

In the degrees I have completed, the reasons for studying were initially kind of vague- I wanted to study because I wanted to be able to do more. What the more was, wasn’t always clear (in fact, it was never clear at the beginning). I just knew I had more to offer, and in order to do that I had to develop myself.

But the surprise for me (and maybe it should have been obvious) was that once I had developed my knowledge and skills in a certain course, I came out with the possibility of taking new directions that had not been visible when I began the course. For example, my PhD research led me to my current role working in Student Transition, Achievement and Retention (and editing this blog!)

So if you are thinking about doing further study, it might be worth checking out what is on offer. And the perfect place to do that is at La Trobe’s Postgraduate Expo on Tuesday 9th October.

By Todd_Sampson.jpg: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographerderivative work: Puramyun31 (This file was derived from: Todd Sampson.jpg:) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
You can register for a range of sessions, including career counsellors, future of work panel and even a keynote by Todd Sampson (you know that funky guy from TV shows like the Gruen Transfer– yeah him –>).

For more info, see:

Check it out to see what possibilities are on offer! Who knows what doors might be unlocked once you embark on a new path?