My name is Claire Lawrance and I studied a Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Animal Behaviour). I recently completed my Honours year (2019).
I started uni the year after year 12 and it was an adjustment walking into my first lectures and not knowing anyone. What I soon learnt though, was that many other students felt the same way I did. Although it may sound simple, making the choice to sit next to someone in a lecture and starting a conversation rather than moving to an empty row was how I began to form friendships. You always have a common connection with other students because you are in the same topic, learning the same content, working on the same assignments, studying for the same exam and often I found that talking about this with fellow students soon led to finding other common interests. Whilst it may seem daunting at first, university is an exciting opportunity to meet and connect with a diverse range of people when you embrace it.
I was fortunate enough in the third year of my degree to have the opportunity to spend two weeks in Fiji as part of a New Colombo Plan scholarship. I gained valuable field experience contributing to an on-going research project studying the bird life whilst being immersed in a new culture in a beautiful part of the world. I was also able to gain advice from the academics on the trip and our accompanying professor became the supervisor of my honours project the following year.
In my first year of university I used the services of Flinders Connect for assistance with my timetable. It was helpful to talk to students who were already studying at Flinders University and were familiar with the system.
Embrace your time at university and be open to all the new experiences and opportunities it has to offer. It is exciting being in a degree with other students who are passionate about that area of study too. I would encourage students to spend time on campus as much as possible to make those connections with people.
My best advice, although it might be a bit of a cliché, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It can be exciting to learn about an area you chose to study, so never hesitate to find out more or seek clarification.