Quick quiz for aspiring students

Q: What do Queensland Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser, coffee king Phillip Di Bella, television personalities Eva Milic and Natalie Gruzlewski, Olympic gold medalist Sara Carrigan and Wallabies star Berrick Barnes have in common?

A: They all studied at the same university. For these and many of the nation’s biggest achievers, Griffith was the university of choice.

Many Queensland and interstate Year 12 students will look to follow in their footsteps when they finalise their university preferences today.

Today (Thursday) is deadline day for aspiring teenagers and others who wish to re-order their preferences for the January 12 offer round.

One teenager, already recognised as a high achiever, is in no doubt about what Griffith University has to offer, and he should know.

“I really liked Griffith, especially after the massive leap of faith they took in me,” Michael Kelly (17) says.

“We had world-leading lecturers in topics teaching and state-of-the-art labs we got to use.

“We pretty much had the best of the best. Griffith was the place to be.”

For those who don’t already know, Michael (pictured), a Gold Coast resident, started studying at Griffith’s Nathan campus when he was just 12 years old and is believed to be the youngest Australian accepted into university.

He graduated from Griffith University last month with a Class 2A honours Bachelor of Photonics and Nanoscience.

Today marks the last chance for thousands of university hopefuls to finalise their study preferences.

For some, missing out on a first preference may have been hugely disappointing. But the joint winner of the 2011 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Griffith University Teacher of the Year encourages a much more positive perspective.

“By accepting a second or third preference and working hard you may be able to move across to your chosen degree program within six months or a year,” Dr Jessica Vanderlelie says.

“What matters is getting a foot in the door.”

It is also never too late for a change of heart, says Dr Vanderlelie, an associate lecturer and graduate advisor at the School of Medical Science.

It may be that some students choose their university course because they have an OP score high enough to get in, but it may not be a career to which they are suited.

Or perhaps they simply haven’t considered fully all their options. Fortunately, it’s all a matter of choice.