How I went from having no idea what to study at uni to studying physiotherapy

Like many students starting university, I had no clear direction during high-school of what my life would look like after graduation. Uni felt like the great unknown - I couldn’t even imagine what would come next. Which path would I choose to follow? What would I do with the rest of my life? All of a sudden, there was so much sense of responsibility.

After a mix of experiences during Year 12 and pondering the above questions for many months I finally ended up deciding on the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours). While it’s been a wild ride at times, I can confidently say that I’m extremely happy with my choice.

How I came to my decision to study physiotherapy

There wasn’t any one career or degree that I had my heart set on, so here’s how I came to my decision:

  • Firstly, I asked myself, “What are my favourite school subjects?” My passions led me to visual art and biology.
  • Secondly, I thought about, “Which of these subjects lead to careers which I could see myself still being interested in in 20 years’ time?” Biology was the clear winner.
  • Broadening my search I considered, “What paths stem from biology?” Research, health promotion, environmental science, animal science and frontline health were some of the things I came up with.
  • And finally, I picked the path which interested me the most, frontline health.

So, all I had to do now was choose a health course which interested me. Easy right? As I discovered…not so much.

One of the problems many students have with making big decisions is being absolutely spoilt for choice. It’s a great problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. I started looking into as many different health professions as I could think of and eventually made my decision by weighing up the lifestyle/career direction that I wanted for myself.

Why I decided to become a physiotherapist

I was initially drawn to the nature of the work, the human body and injury/problem based approaches. The thought of studying anatomy might initially turn some people off, but honestly, it’s amazing. You’ll never appreciate your body more in your life. I have found that I love how physiotherapy always aims to treat to the root of the problem and does so through a logical process of elimination. Additionally, the job of a physio is very diverse and interesting - physiotherapists diagnose, treat, and work with clients with a range of conditions; chronic pain, stroke rehabilitation, post-surgery therapy, neural disorders, disabilities, elite athletes, children, elderly. Their scope is extremely broad.

In case you are still undecided on studying physio, here are some of the other points which attracted me to the program.

  • Physio's work in a variety of workplaces ranging from hospitals, private practice, schools, nursing homes, on the road for home visits or even in research labs.
  • Every client you see is different (you won’t be bored, I promise).
  • The job is incredibly rewarding. People come to you with all sorts of problems that you can help resolve or manage.
  • Physio is a career which allows you to work independently or as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Most importantly, through reducing pain, stiffness, and injury you have the ability to help others move and increase their quality of life. Hope this insight into my decision-making process helps inform you and maybe even trigger some ideas for your future career.

Last updated:
10 May 2017