Meet Kelly, an external student who will be graduating in 2019 with her Bachelor of Science. Read how she has taken study head-on while moving interstate and what motivates her to keep on with her studies.
I decided that I would leave full time work and begin studying in 2017 and really commit 100% to achieving my dream
What motivated you to take on study?
I really want to pursue a career in medicine and since I didn’t complete high school and haven’t studied in years, I needed to first complete an undergraduate degree before applying to medicine. I had been talking about this for years and the only action I had actually taken so far was an attempt at TEP. I decided that I would leave full time work and begin studying in 2017 and really commit 100% to achieving my dream.
What has been the most challenging aspect of studying?
There have been quite a few challenges studying externally. Certainly, the obvious one of balancing work and study commitments. Last semester I also had 2 interstate moves which really challenged me mentally to keep going and to prioritise things. I would do big blocks of study to work ahead so I could do the 4 or 5 day journey driving to Adelaide from Darwin and then to Perth from Adelaide a couple of months later.
The first year can often be the most challenging – how did you find the first year of study?
This first year of study has been a big learning curve. I spent the first semester doubting every assignment and thinking I was probably doing things wrong or approaching study inefficiently. I wasted a massive amount of time worrying. I wish I backed myself a little more because it all ends up being okay and if you’re putting in as much effort as you can, then it will always pay off.
If you can only focus well for an hour, don’t sit there for 5 hours! Do an hour and then do something else for a while and come back.
What is your top study tip?
If you are internal, make full use of peer assisted study sessions (PASS), The Academic Language and Learning Success Program (ALLSP) and the workshops being run. If you have internet, attend all the lectures in person (online) and do your own research (I love Crash Course and College Info Geek on YouTube). Make use of additional resources offered and just try to focus. If you can only focus well for an hour, don’t sit there for 5 hours! Do an hour and then do something else for a while and come back. One style of study doesn’t fit for everyone so figure out what works for you and makes you enjoy it most.
Do you have advice for others that might be experiencing the same thing?
Try not to worry too much and try to be adaptable. If you have a bad day or a bad week and you feel like you haven’t done anything, put it behind you and just focus on what you can do that day.