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September 12, 2011 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


Elle went to a school that ranked sportiness as next to godliness, where the principal once remarked, “I don’t see why anyone should study languages. Everyone speaks English overseas”.

Uther went to a school that tilted so towards the left that, in Year 13, he effectively took Media Studies twice in parallel—once as Journalism, once as Film & TV. As different as these schools were, they were united in one attitude: if you scraped UE, you would E U. Schooling was presented as an inescapable narrative. Just as high school followed intermediate followed primary, so uni came after those. So, we both dutifully trod our way here to Vic—not because we necessarily wanted to, but because we should have.

There is a parallel universe somewhere where we didn’t go to university and, recently, we have been trying to work out whether we would be better or worse off there; whether the thousands of hours and dollars we’ve invested in our tertiary educations have been worth it. Elle thinks that, in all honesty, the most rewarding and valuable work she has completed at university has been for Salient. She now has a portfolio of published work; contacts in the media industry; and a LinkedIn profile. It does seem like this will contribute more to her being able to pay rent in future than whatever mark she got for Media Studies 101. Parallel universe Elle (‘Parallelle’, if you will) has had her investment in tertiary education returned in terms of practical experience that would have not been possible had she not been part of the Vic community.

On the other hand, while Uther does certainly owe his not-living-at-home to Salient, every other bit of his life comes rather directly from within his classes. He formed a theatre company with his closest classmates, and their work is based on practices they first discovered in class. All his paid work in theatre has come directly from his study and the people he met during it. Other Uther (‘Uther’, if you will) would not only miss his experience but most of the constituent parts of his life: he would be someone else entirely.
Tertiary education can seem so often to be a burden—to be nothing more than a heavy weight to be borne for three or four years of your life, like a mud mask of lead. But tertiary education is more than just learning, and more than just the stuff you do while at uni. It is more than a moment; it is more than a lifestyle. It is a boulder in the river of your life that diverts it another way entirely. It is true that some people are better off doing apprenticeships, or entering the workforce straight after college, but it needs the addendum that such a decision being ‘better’ or ‘worse’ for someone is, more often than not, a false assertion. If we hadn’t gone to uni, we wouldn’t be better or worse. Just different.
We love you all individually,

Uther Dean (BA (Hons) in Theatre) & Elle Hunt (Kit-E-Kat Certificate in Beginner Gymnastics)


About the Author ()

Uther makes theatre. Elle grew up on a boat. Together they edit Salient.

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  1. Fidelia says:

    I didn’t know where to find this info then kobaom it was here.

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