On the wrong train to ‘somewhere’

Trains are great to use as analogies for things and for my recent switch to UniMelb from FedUni it is most apt.

I’ll give you some background: I received a first round offer, as you probably read earlier, to attend UniMelb this year and accepted that offer within the week. I had a Scholarship trip to go to Singapore with FedUni, which had been planned and needed my attention and I had decided to be strategic and logical about it rather than allowing emotion to cloud my judgement when choosing between the two.

The decision was not an easy one, nor was it one I made without thinking everything through. It seemed at times that people misunderstood my intentions or reason for leaving FedUni; that somehow I was looking at the reputation of UniMelb or the prestige.. which I suppose I did when I applied but not when I weighed the two options. But thinking is only part of what should come into decision making… the other part is how it feels.

FedUni offered me the chance to participate in leadership and projects and provided subjects that will get me my degree. I would graduate with an understanding of Economics & Finance. The electives are more business oriented but would broaden my degree.

UniMelb offered me, and still does, brilliant subject material in the study of Economics. I would be able to graduate with a deep understanding of Economics and Econometrics & Finance. The breadth subjects or electives were also excellent and include Chinese 1 & 2, Eurovisions, Auslan and a variety of other subjects.

What an opportunity to go to UniMelb right?

It’s an opportunity I was really proud to have been afforded. But one that after two weeks I’ve decided to put on hold.

Here’s the deal... It’s an economic thing… There’s a trade off I face here that was just too great for me to accept. I’ll put it to you using trains:

UniMelb is like a Metro train that is packed at peak hour and going limited express to ‘somewhere’. It’s shiny and new and is quick as an express. I’ve run to get it to make a career connection. I’ve squeezed on and am heading to ‘somewhere’ but I can’t hear where it’s stopping and everyone is going to the end of the line. Now I hear you say, why not ask the other passengers on the train where we are going? Well… most of them are just like me with little idea and are just riding the train to get to ‘somewhere’.

FedUni is like a Vline train that, even when it is jam-packed, you can sit on the luggage stands or sit on the floor. Now this train is going to ‘somewhere’ too but it’s not in such a hurry about it. I didn’t have to rush as the schedule is more solid and there’s a conductor to confirm where it is going and make sure all is ok. I know this train well and where the best seats are quiet carriage, double seats and as we travel further the train begins to empty out. I get to chat to other passengers or have a laugh with the conductor. It’s comfortable.

I’ve been on the UniMelb train for 2 weeks now and on Tuesday night I started to think I was on the wrong train, on Wednesday I realised it was true… I wasn’t going to ‘somewhere’ I was going the wrong way for me.

So I stopped the train. Got off. Slept in on Thursday and visited FedUni… and on Tuesday I’ll be heading back to my Vline train where I can laugh with my conductor and chat to other passengers and do the leadership stuff I am missing.

I don’t regret the choice to travel UniMelb rail and I’m keeping my options open for the future but for now I’m settling into my seat with a good text book to go ‘there’.

Wish me luck


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