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Forth year, Bachelor of Laws
'If you don't have balance you burn out and that's no good! Everyone wants you to succeed.'
I found trying to balance between study and family to be one great challenge. Trying to keep up with working, doing little bits at a time and then before you know it it’s exam time. Looking after my daughter and getting to the right lectures meant I had to be so organised with time; I have a whiteboard system so that I know where my daughter and I are meant to be.
As a mature-age student who was living locally I knew I had to make a real effort. I volunteered in various programs Deakin had to offer such as the Host Program and the Jump Start panels, talking to students about starting uni and the Deakin University Commerce and Law Society (DUCLS). I think it is essential to have some downtime to pursue your other interests through participating in extracurricular activities to enhance your studies and wellbeing. It’s harder if you’re studying law to achieve this. Exercise is my big thing – I go running at least 3 times a week and find if I don’t do this I go a little stir crazy. If you don’t have balance you burn out and that’s no good! Everyone wants you to succeed.
Getting up and talking to fellow students, many of whom were much younger than me, was another way I made friends. Once we got talking it was funny that the younger students were just as apprehensive about talking to me as I was about talking to them – it is scary for everyone starting afresh! I have made some great friends and can honestly say they have taught me many things (I still occasionally need help translating text messages!). I think you need to go in with an open mind and respect other people and their opinions even if you don’t agree with them.
I am terrible with names but I always made a point of smiling and saying hello; it costs you nothing, and people respond to that and before you know it you’re talking to people and making friends.
Studying a Bachelor of Law at a regional campus is fantastic. The opportunity Deakin offered meant I didn’t need to relocate away from Warrnambool. I am not in a financial position to relocate to the city, so this has been a wonderful opportunity that I would never have had otherwise.