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When reality hits on starting a five year degree

When reality hits on starting a five year degree


For many students, you may have just begun your first year of university! Our newest contributor, Hayden O’Rourke, shares why he decided to take the plunge and move to Port Mac to study Law and how he’s being coping with the change!

Written by Hayden O’Rourke

It wasn’t until I was cruising down the highway from Coffs to Port Mac that it really hit me.

I was about to start university.

That’s when the nerves kicked in.

I rocked up to campus unsure of where to go and what to do, anxious about meeting new people and living away from my family for the first time.

Then I met my Resident Leaders (RL’s) Ann and Jake, who I can only describe as energetic.

They were outgoing and friendly and instantly put me at ease, they even
somehow got me to dance in the dorm dance-off which is something I never thought I would do but ended up being a lot of fun.

It didn’t take long before Camo dorm started to feel like my home away from home, filled with amazing people and close friends.

Dancing in the rain with Camo Dorm.

I moved to Port Macquarie to study Law and Criminal Justice, a five year degree.

For years I have been trying to find ways to help other people, whether it be through Surf Lifesaving or just random acts of kindness to improve someone’s day.

It seemed fitting that I pick a degree that would give me the chance to help people on a daily basis.

I have already been offered a job that will allow me to help assist and protect vulnerable families both within Australia and internationally which has given me the drive to be as successful as possible whilst studying at Charles Sturt.

Late night study sesh in the Library.

However, a five year degree is a huge commitment, and although I’ve been loving my time in Port Mac, I still can’t help feeling homesick.

Sometimes I can’t help feeling a little sad thinking about home, and my friends and family back in Coffs Harbour.

When I’m feeling like this though, I often call home, or go hang out with my new friends and dorm mates and this almost always makes me feel at ease.

It’s easy to just curl up and hide in your room, I know I did this on my first day, but I found that getting out and getting to know people is the best way to deal with homesickness and allow you to make the most of your time at uni.

With friends at Hydro Golf

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