Catherine Wagg | Making the decision to move to the big smoke

The decision to start a university degree is challenging to say the least. Not only is it the start of, hopefully, an exciting career but there are so many other changes to negotiate, especially if you come from a rural area.

The opportunities for further education in rural areas are limited and often not available in many areas. This means that many students have to travel to pursue their goals and ambitions or they stay in town and therefore do not realise their full potential because the move away from home is too daunting.

For me, I put off going to university for a year because I was unsure of what I wanted to do career wise. So I took up a business and administration traineeship in my hometown. The end of the year came around and I had to make the decision to stay and work or go off to university. I knew that I had the capability to study at a university level and after a gap year, I had more direction in my career. However, the decision to go to university came with many uncertainties and challenges and it seemed easier to stay at home and continue study through work.

One of the biggest concerns for me was where and who I would live with. I didn’t know anyone who was in Adelaide that I would want to live with and I certainly didn’t want to find a place online and live with a stranger. Where do you even start looking for somewhere to live?

Luckily for me, Flinders University provides on campus accommodation options. I have always been independent and knew how to cook and clean so I chose the self-catered option. However, for a lot of people, the catered option is better because it eases the transition into university life. Just like at home, meals are provided so that students can get used to studying at a university level without the stress of cooking.

Not only does living on campus provide somewhere to live, but there are always people around, people that are or were in the same situation, starting university, moving away from everything they know and finding their way around study and living in Adelaide.

I’m not sure how I would have coped at university had I not moved in on campus, all I do know is that I would have missed out on a major opportunity and some fantastic friends.

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