Prove your humanity

Grok Magazine sits down with Vi-ezra Gonzales, a returning UniReady student who intends to pursue a major in Psychology after completing her bridging course, as we begin to talk about her personal experiences with frequently changing her course of study, followed by why altering one’s career path should never be looked down upon by anyone. 

It should be noted that this interview was conducted entirely online due to our interviewer needing to undertake COVID-19 self-isolation requirements.

For starters, we ask Vi-ezra about why she chose to enrol in Curtin University, as well as whether it was something she decided on during high school or after she graduated. “Actually, I was originally enrolled into the OnTrack bridging course at Murdoch University, as I had planned to go there since mid-Year 11.” Having provided us with her honest answer, she goes on to explain what made her change her mind. “I decided to go to Curtin because I heard better things about it. I also went to the open-days for both universities and found that I liked Curtin a lot more.”

Reflecting on early days, Vi-ezra initially planned to take up a course in Forensic Science, as she describes it to have been her dream career since she was fourteen. “I grew up watching quite a few crime shows which really helped influence that goal of mine. Weirdly enough, the final push for me to actually consider pursuing Forensic Science as a career was Barry Allen from The Flash. I used to be obsessed with that show and thought it was the coolest job ever!”

However, it hadn’t taken very long for her to realise that it would take an extensive amount of time and dedication to pursue a career path that she was only mildly interested in. “My reasons for wanting to study Forensic Science were honestly not a good enough pillar to me, especially since the main reason was pretty much “oh yeah, I liked that superhero show”. And so, I ended up losing interest in forensics quite quickly.” 

By the time Vi-ezra realised that Forensic Science was no longer in her books, she found that she’d been placed on conditional status due to scarcely failing her first attempt at UniReady. Nevertheless, once she received another chance to pass her remaining units, Vi-ezra decided to take the opportunity to tailor her career ambitions. Despite still being in the medical field, she opted to study a major in Nursing, which prompted us to ask her where this aspiration derived from. 

“Honestly, the majority of my family are nurses. I guess my grandma was the biggest role model for me in this circumstance.” She responds. “I wanted to work as a paediatric nurse, as I love kids and thought being able to help them in some way was amazing. But this dream of mine only lasted a few months and had died out very quickly, as I eventually came to realise that both Nursing and Forensic Science had centred around me wanting to make my family proud, and they were never subjects I was fully interested in.” 

Struggling to come to terms with being a people-pleaser at heart, Vi-ezra found it extremely difficult to find passion in her second choice of career. Having been unable to motivate herself, while also finding it hard to balance her studies with her part-time job, she ended up failing UniReady again and decided to focus on her work until the new year came around.

Image Credit: Vi-ezra Gonzales

As she yearned for a fresh start and an opportunity to explore her options, Vi-ezra soon left Curtin University and enrolled at South Metropolitan TAFE to pursue a course in Fashion. Due to Fashion being situated in a more artistic field, we inquire Vi-ezra about what inspired her to undertake such a massive change. “Fashion has actually been a big dream of mine since I was little. Many kids dream of owning their own fashion line and living in Paris or Milan. I was definitely one of those kids.” As she reminisces about her childhood ambitions, Vi-ezra briefly mentions how she was always more of an artistic child rather than an academic one, and that it made sense for her to trial out the arts as a career at the time. 

“After doing the course for around two months, I realised that I didn’t have the same drive compared to other students in my class. I also came to understand that Fashion was honestly not that much different from my previous two courses – it also fell into the category of me wanting to impress my family.” She confesses. “I decided to drop out, mainly because I didn’t want to waste any more time and money on something I really wasn’t planning on pursuing in the future.”

Redirecting our focus onto the present, Vi-ezra has since re-enrolled at Curtin University with plans to complete the UniReady bridging course and subsequent intentions to pursue a major in Psychology. With this being the third time that she’s changed her mind on what course to study, we ask Vi-ezra about how she came to be interested in Psychology.

“Psychology has been something that’s been lingering in the back of my mind since Year 9. I always found it interesting and heard amazing things about the course, as well as what sort of career opportunities it can bring.” Although truly intent to remain on this new path of hers, Vi-ezra still brings herself to acknowledge all sorts of possible outcomes. “A part of me feels like I’m just settling on it for the sake of settling, but I know that even if I don’t like it, I can probably jump into a different course. Or I can do what I’ve done previously and just drop out and go into something completely new.”

Knowing well that a constant change of plans can be very frustrating to go through with, especially when close friends or family can often have a strong opinion on one’s life choices, we question Vi-ezra on how she personally copes with the environmental pressure. 

“Not so much my friends, but my family have always had a huge impact on how I feel whenever I’ve decided to change plans. I have received many negative remarks about my decisions, but I do not – nor will I ever regret them.” She affirms. “People will always want to put in their five cents even when it’s not necessary. If anything, my family’s pessimistic remarks drag me down and put me in a bad mental state. However, I just have to remember that this is my life and I’m free to make my own choices whether they like it or not. They can just deal with it.” 

Image Credit: Vi-ezra Gonzales

Reaching the conclusion of our interview, Grok Magazine asks Vi-ezra if she has any suggestions for Curtin University students who are considering changing their course of study. “My advice would be to do whatever you want, no matter what anyone says. At the end of the day, this is your life. You don’t want to be five years down the line wishing you had changed your mind when you wanted to, so it never hurts to try new things whether the people around you like it or not.” Alongside such passion, she continues to provide us with logical reasoning as to why one’s course of study should never be the be-all and end-all.

“If you want to change your course into something completely different, just do it. In my opinion, you wouldn’t be thinking about another course if you were fully engrossed in the one you’re currently in or thinking of doing. It doesn’t hurt to consider it and do more research. It’s your life and it’s going to be your career, so do whatever you want.”