Why Occupational Therapy?

“What do you want to do when you graduate?” It’s the infamous question heard over and over by graduating Year 12 high school students. As many of you would know from experience, the answer is most commonly, “I’m not sure”.

I experienced countless career plan changes and found that I could never quite settle on any. All I was certain on was that I wanted to study at university. The ‘what’ and ‘where’ were still very much undecided - that is until I went to the 2015 UQ Open Day.

Coming from a small home town I was shocked at the size and in awe of the beauty of the St Lucia campus. Feeling inspired I promptly decided that this was where I aspired to study.

UQ sport

Now for the hard part - what to study?

Still, the question remained – what would I study after high school graduation? I talked to many different faculties and subject areas to keep my options open and see if anything jumped out at me. Once I reached the allied heath programs my ears pricked up and I really started getting excited at the thought of being an occupational therapist.

I spoke to a current occupational therapy student – an area I had heard of but didn’t really know anything about. She told me how they use creativity and problem solving skills to help make people’s lives more meaningful. It is a holistic career, she told me, with a variety of differing practice specialisations in which you can work.

With a new sense of purpose, I did more of my own research and participated in some work experience at my local occupational therapy clinic during grade 12. I loved it! I finally knew what I wanted to study and pursue as a career. My passion for helping people and my love for problem solving led to know that the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) was the right path for me.

After being accepted into OT at UQ, I was lucky enough to receive the UQ Excellence scholarship which provided me with invaluable financial assistance and allowed me to live on campus at one of the residential colleges.

Transitioning from high school to university certainly has its challenges but with the right support, guidance and a good attitude, you soon get used to life as a uni student.

My tips to help you settle in

  • Prior to starting university, practise driving or catching public transport to the campus so your first day is a little less nervy.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – there are plenty of friendly faces around who will be more than happy to help to answer any questions you may have.
  • Familiarise yourself with blackboard and mysi.net websites and learn how to navigate the pages effectively.
  • Get your uni timetable booked in as early as possible, this will allow you the greatest flexibility to work around any other commitments e.g. part-time work.
  • Don’t miss market day and sign up for a club if you are keen to get involved and make some new friends.
  • Download the UQ Nav app to help you find your way around campus – it will be your best friend for the first few weeks.

Good luck and enjoy the whirlwind of fun, excitement, change and possibilities.

OT Studfents


*Some photographs supplied courtesy of Stella Setiyawan, Emmanuel College Photographer in 2016.*

Last updated:
3 April 2017