Are you bright enough to go to university?

Are you bright enough to go to university?

Are you bright enough to go to university?By Heather Bunting

When I was in my second last year of high school Miss Anderson, our headmistress, came into our classroom to tell us that our year level was not very bright and that only a couple of students in our year level would be bright enough to go to university.

She suggested we seek other career choices. Although this was back in 1969 when fewer girls went to university, the effect of her words was that I understood I was not very bright and certainly not bright enough to go to university!

Eight years later I was repeating some school subjects to support a friend and a lovely history whose name I unfortunately can’t remember asked if I had considered university. “Oh no”, I said, “I’m not bright enough to go to university.”

“Well”, she said (and I still remember her words all these years later), “some of these essays you are writing are of university standard and I think you should consider it”. Although I was sceptical, later that year I send away for a university application – at that time one of the local universities offered courses by correspondence.

As I struggled with the application process I recall telling my flatmate if a person could manage to fill in the application they would probably get the degree, because the application process seemed so difficult! Slowly over many years I completed my first degree at university – what a joy it was to graduate!

Many years later, I finished my fourth university degree, attaining a Masters Degree. I’m even contemplating a PhD in the years to come!

I sometimes think back to those words of Miss Anderson’s and the wonderful history teacher who changed my view from “I would never be bright enough” to “I might be bright enough; I can give it a try!”

How easily young people can be led astray by the unfortunate choice of words by adults! I was lucky to have someone in my life who saw me differently – thank you to that wonderful history teacher! My life was transformed.

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