My first few weeks at Flinders University!

Dominique at Flinders smaller smallerBy Dominique Birbeck

When I graduated high school last year, I had very little idea of what I wanted to study. All I really knew was that I was interested in having a career in the health care sector.  Luckily, Flinders University was there to help me. In fact, Flinders has been there throughout most of my secondary schooling, where I have been involved in many seminars and open days. Flinders offered many events that were aimed at future students like me. They provided a fantastic introduction to the various courses and services on offer, and passionate past and present students were on hand to answer any questions that I had. I am excited to begin studying Optometry in 2015, which is something that I never imagined prior to attending the information session last year.

My first few weeks of university were daunting, as I did not have any of my school friends studying in my course. During O’Week I went to a variety of events and barbeques that allowed me to meet people that were also studying Optometry. I was grateful for this, as I had been worried that I would be a “new kid” on my own. O’Week was great fun and I now have enough free pens to last me a life time! As I walked around the campus at Flinders for the first time, I was inspired by the lively and vibrant feel and just couldn’t wait to start.

The first week of classes was what I had expected, but bigger, a lot bigger! Most of my classes in school had less than 30 students, but some of my lectures have 200 plus people all madly trying to write down notes! What has surprised me the most is how fast paced the lectures are; we learnt the same content in under an hour that would have taken a lot longer to learn at high school. Despite this, there is a lot of support here to assist me along the way and the lecturers and other staff are also happy to help. There are also smaller classes in my course called supervised studies. These classes generally have a more one on one approach, led by older students and are used to summarise the week’s content. There are also drop-in sessions, which allow students who may be struggling in a particular area to see one of the course coordinators for help.

My main challenge when starting at Flinders was finding my way around the massive, yet beautiful campus. There are so many buildings and foot paths and it is easy to get lost, especially with my terrible navigation skills! However by the end of my first week, I could find my way to all of my lecture theatres and laboratories. I was also helped during the first few weeks, as there were people stationed around the campus to help you if you got lost!

As I embark on a new chapter of my life, and close all doors that were familiar, I am eager to participate in both the academic and social opportunities that the University has to offer. Even in my first few weeks, I have been welcomed into the Flinders community with open arms and I cannot wait to see what the next five years have to offer.

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