THE decision to become a tertiary student can be both career and life changing.
Many Medowie residents have taken the next step in their education by enrolling in a university degree and, with Semester One starting at the end of February, preparations are under way for the 2017 academic year.
Data released by the Department of Education and Training shows that over 1.4million students were enrolled in university study in 2015 and that number is rising yearly.
While the majority of university students are still school leavers, mature age students are an increasing percentage of the student population.
For Medowie local, Ms Eve Pratten, the decision to enrol in a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Newcastle was career based.
Ms Pratten, who is enrolling as a mature-aged student, told Medowie News Of The Area, “I am currently an Assistant in Nursing (AIN), but wanted to go further with my career and this seemed like a good start.”
Supporting her on her studying journey is “my best friend of 21 years”.
“[She] is doing the degree with me so that is definitely great motivation and support,” Ms Pratten said.
The two women have prepared for study by completing the University of Newcastle’s Open Foundation tertiary preparation program and were subsequently accepted into the Bachelor degree.
Ms Pratten is aware of the challenges that will come with study, having previously been enrolled in a Business degree, adding, “My biggest challenge will be trying to juggle work, university, and raising my daughter.”
“It’s hard to get a work/study/life balance at the best of times, but now I am doing uni full time, I think I get three days off a fortnight that I am not working or going to classes.”
There are a range of support structures available to students, including student clubs, the student union, free academic support from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, free Library sessions, and free Counselling to name a few.
Students do not have to feel as those they are alone in this exciting, but challenging, experience of university study.
By Heather SHARP