Writer: Sandra Saad
Student, Lauren, 19, opens up about the difficulty she had adapting to uni life and how it was harder than she expected.
I’ve wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little. Halfway through year twelve I changed my mind and thought about going into nursing, but I went back to teaching pretty quickly. My careers’ counsellor actually put me off nursing. She told me nursing would involve a lot of cleaning bums, and injections, and all the horrible things that come with it.
The transition from year twelve to uni was really different. The teachers in year twelve would help you and they would actually discuss the tasks that you needed to do. Whereas, uni teachers just talk a little bit about it, they don’t really explain anything and there are things I don’t understand.
I didn’t really know what to expect from the course but I expected uni life to be a lot more — not easy— actually, yes, easy, laid-back and relaxing compared to year twelve, where I would stress a lot over essays and SACs and all that, but I found it the opposite. If I had the chance to go back to year twelve, I would not mind doing it again and I never thought I would say that.
There are obviously good things about uni. I would say making my own timetable is really good because I can use my own schedule. Meeting new people is good, although I struggle with that at times. I’m a very shy person and to find someone I can be comfortable with and can easily get along with and has common interests is hard to find, but I eventually found them.
I’m doing a Bachelor of Education P-12 at Victoria University Footscray Park. The course has a lot of assignments that require essay writing and I didn’t really have that many friends in the beginning, or know anyone to help me. I found it overwhelming and stressful. I felt unmotivated and I didn’t want to do the assignments. I tried going to the teachers but they weren’t helpful, they would say ‘go ask your peer buddies’. But I didn’t have any because I didn’t find people approachable.
I looked into other courses but I never actually applied for any or spoke to any teachers. People would try to encourage me to stay in the course, but then when I would have assignments I would have that overwhelming feeling again and everything that people said to me would fly out the window. Every day I would come home and be at the point of crying, telling my parents that I didn’t want to do the course anymore and I would see the panic in my Mum’s eyes. She was just as stressed as I was. I felt like this pretty much the whole of the first semester.
I finally had placement at Deer Park North Primary School and I was with grades one and two. I loved the kids and their energy; I knew I wanted to be in that environment when I finished uni.
So I stuck with the course and then started talking to people a lot more, and made friends. Now I’ve got people that I call, message and ask about assignments. I don’t leave assignments to the last minute because I feel like I have that support group.
It’s definitely been a hard adjustment but it got better, and I know that the goal of becoming a teacher far outweighs the negatives for me.
Sandra studies Professional Writing and Editing at VU Footscray Nicholson.