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Author Topic: Never Give Up - a university journey journal  (Read 22443 times)

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KatherineGale

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Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« on: December 22, 2019, 09:01:45 pm »
+23
I genuinely have no idea how to start this :)

I have just accepted an offer from Deakin for Occupational Therapy and am ecstatic! If you told me two years ago that I was going to be leaving home and going off to study OT, I would have laughed. My hearts been set on medicine since I was 8, maybe earlier. I'm still just as determined to stumble my way into medicine, but I've learnt the hard way that sometimes, to no fault of your own, life dictates a different path.

I decided early on in the year that I wasn't going to apply for Monash Direct Entry, a course I was determined for years to try my hand at. I didn't sit the UCAT, I didn't spend my year meticulously counting every mark, and when it came time for ATAR's to be released, I didn't spend the whole night wide awake as the time ticked towards 7 - all of which I certainly would have if medicine was my first preference. Instead, I focussed on my health - I've recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which I suspect I've had since early childhood, and fibromyalgia, which I've had since I was 12. I knew that I would've had a good shot at Direct Entry, but what would crush me more than not getting into the course, would be getting in and having to decline the offer because my health wasn't up to par.

Looking forward though, uni is a daunting prospect. It's completely out of my comfort zone.  No one in my close family has gone to uni and I have no clue what I'm getting myself into but I'm excited to find out :) I am looking at places to live - likely a share house - so I'll probably update this when I find somewhere. I have been on Deakin's HouseMe website, which has been helpful. I've never been to Geelong (why does my tablet keep auto correcting Geelong to Feeling?) but I have registered for the enrolment day on the 22nd Jan.  I'll update sometime after that and talk about how that went.

So, in the spirit of doing things out of my comfort zone, I figured I'd start this thread, so I can look back on this if I ever burn out or need to remind myself of why I'm about to spend the next couple of decades racking up debt and losing my mind over deadlines and assessments :)

And, don't mind the title - it's sort of just a personal reminder that I've been through a lot and can get through whatever comes next. It also used to be one of MND's slogans - I don't know if it still is - and given that my father passed away from motor neuron disease coming up on a decade ago (before any one really knew it existed), I figured it'd be a good way to really kick that reminder home.

How do I sign this off?  Please feel free to ask me any questions. I'll try to update fairly regularly once I get started next year, but might only post a few more times before then.





jkay__

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2019, 11:18:17 pm »
+8
Hey, this is incredibly inspiring, and despite all you've been through, you pulled through!! If you can get into OT, you can shoot for the stars the way you're right now. Your post also reminded me of my friend, who had crippling back problems throughout High School, but still pulled an amazing score and is now going for Medicine through a postgrad pathway (as you are too!).

Your adventure is definitely one I'm very interested in, as even with your shortcomings, you still hold your chin up so high!
Secondary Education (VCE)
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KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2019, 11:39:13 am »
+7
Hey, this is incredibly inspiring, and despite all you've been through, you pulled through!! If you can get into OT, you can shoot for the stars the way you're right now. Your post also reminded me of my friend, who had crippling back problems throughout High School, but still pulled an amazing score and is now going for Medicine through a postgrad pathway (as you are too!).

Your adventure is definitely one I'm very interested in, as even with your shortcomings, you still hold your chin up so high!


Hi jkay__!

Thank you, I really appreciate that.

That's another reason why I wanted to post this in a public forum - I know there are many kids/young adults/people in general out there struggling with health issues and the demands of studying. I myself had to do Year 12 over two years due to my health problems and as much as it frustrated me to have graduated high school aged 19 coming on 20, it was that or drop out, and that's okay.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see or talk to or even hear about many people who have similar struggles with health and study - I know they're out there somewhere :)  (probably even on atarnotes)  So if I can make even one person feel like they're not alone in their battle, then I can't ask for much more.

I mean, take it from someone who was treated like a hypochondriac by doctors and 'friends' and teachers for most of high school - because what 12 year old would have chronic back pain that leaves them bedridden after no injury and with nothing showing on scans or test?  - you can get through it and you can get some quality of life back if you keep persisting (also, getting a second opinion is always a good idea).

Sorry for the rant. I wish your friend all the very best. They sound incredibly resilient. I hope their health has improved.

Thank you again. Before I started this, I actually had a look though a couple of other threads and found yours. Really interested to follow along your journey as well!

yourfriendlyneighbourhoodghost

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 12:31:45 pm »
+4
I genuinely have no idea how to start this :)

I have just accepted an offer from Deakin for Occupational Therapy and am ecstatic! If you told me two years ago that I was going to be leaving home and going off to study OT, I would have laughed. My hearts been set on medicine since I was 8, maybe earlier. I'm still just as determined to stumble my way into medicine, but I've learnt the hard way that sometimes, to no fault of your own, life dictates a different path.

I decided early on in the year that I wasn't going to apply for Monash Direct Entry, a course I was determined for years to try my hand at. I didn't sit the UCAT, I didn't spend my year meticulously counting every mark, and when it came time for ATAR's to be released, I didn't spend the whole night wide awake as the time ticked towards 7 - all of which I certainly would have if medicine was my first preference. Instead, I focussed on my health - I've recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which I suspect I've had since early childhood, and fibromyalgia, which I've had since I was 12. I knew that I would've had a good shot at Direct Entry, but what would crush me more than not getting into the course, would be getting in and having to decline the offer because my health wasn't up to par.

Looking forward though, uni is a daunting prospect. It's completely out of my comfort zone.  No one in my close family has gone to uni and I have no clue what I'm getting myself into but I'm excited to find out :) I am looking at places to live - likely a share house - so I'll probably update this when I find somewhere. I have been on Deakin's HouseMe website, which has been helpful. I've never been to Geelong (why does my tablet keep auto correcting Geelong to Feeling?) but I have registered for the enrolment day on the 22nd Jan.  I'll update sometime after that and talk about how that went.

So, in the spirit of doing things out of my comfort zone, I figured I'd start this thread, so I can look back on this if I ever burn out or need to remind myself of why I'm about to spend the next couple of decades racking up debt and losing my mind over deadlines and assessments :)

And, don't mind the title - it's sort of just a personal reminder that I've been through a lot and can get through whatever comes next. It also used to be one of MND's slogans - I don't know if it still is - and given that my father passed away from motor neuron disease coming up on a decade ago (before any one really knew it existed), I figured it'd be a good way to really kick that reminder home.

How do I sign this off?  Please feel free to ask me any questions. I'll try to update fairly regularly once I get started next year, but might only post a few more times before then.

Hi!

I am so happy for you. You are so inspiring. I can't wait to see what uni life holds for you. I have no doubt it will be bright and fruitful. I'm also starting Uni next year and I am also so scared since it is way out of my comfort zone. I can't wait to read more and follow you along your journey, good luck (: not that you need it though, you are already amazing.
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KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2019, 09:01:51 pm »
+4
Hi!

I am so happy for you. You are so inspiring. I can't wait to see what uni life holds for you. I have no doubt it will be bright and fruitful. I'm also starting Uni next year and I am also so scared since it is way out of my comfort zone. I can't wait to read more and follow you along your journey, good luck (: not that you need it though, you are already amazing.

Hey yourfriendlyneighbourhoodghost!

I really appreciate that and am glad there are people interested in reading this! Good luck next year - I'm sure that it will turn out fine :) I think going out of my comfort zone is going to be a good thing for me, no matter how much I know I will dislike it at the time. I hope its also a good change for you!

I've built myself a nice, routine comfort zone the last few years. I haven't actually "gone" to school since early 2015 - my health got to the point where I could no longer attend school, so I studied with Distance Education. It's going to be so weird to be in a "classroom" with actual people again :) Just the thought of going between classes is giving me flashbacks, haha

And believe me, I need all the good luck I can get, so I'll take it! :)

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2019, 01:13:37 am »
+6
I figured I would give another update now that I've had some time to finish and think over my enrolment (it still doesn't feel real to be honest!). For Occupational Therapy the course is pretty set in stone, most of the units are the same for everyone. But because I have to go and complicate everything, I managed to completely change it around, of course :)


TRIMESTER 1
HBS109          Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology                         Waurn Ponds   
HSO102          Foundations of Occupational Science and Therapy A    Waterfront   
HDS101          Communication and Diversity                                          Online

TRIMESTER 2   
HSE102           Functional Human Anatomy                                            Waurn Ponds   
HSE208           Integrated Human Physiology                                         Waurn Ponds      
HSO104           Foundations of Occupational Science and Therapy B    Waterfront   
            
TRIMESTER 3   
HBS107          Understanding Health                                                       Online   
IND101           Introduction to Aboriginal Studies                                      Online


I'm still unsure about Semester 1 - I've been thinking about changing Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology to online, as the face-to-face time is a lot more demanding, and change Communication and Diversity to on-campus instead, but I am also wondering if going face to face will help me learn the work for Anatomy and Physiology better? At the same time though, if I'm missing every other class, I won't be learning much. What do you guys think? I am leaning towards changing it to online.

I decided early on that to try and keep up with the demands of uni, I'd do it over the three trimesters, rather than two, and I'm used to doing work online, so that'll be more familiar for me anyway.

I know I can't yet keep up with full time - I'm not going to try pushing past my limit again, because that made me drop from 4 subjects down to 1 this past year - but I'm on a new medication that seems to be working reasonably (but it makes me sick for two days straight each week). I don't want to drop down to part time unless I absolutely have to though, so the whole 3 trimester thing will hopefully help, and making it a balanced mix of on campus and online will also, hopefully, take that pressure off of me.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this :)

-----------------------------------------
Ah! I can't get the columns aligned! It's so frustrating, my apologies for anyone like me who is bothered by that kind of thing! I tried, but they're still slightly out I think :)


K888

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2019, 10:18:44 am »
+6
Congratulations on your offer and getting past all these obstacles life has thrown at you! I'm really excited to follow your journey through OT.
I'm sure you're already aware of it but make sure you register with your uni's equivalent of Disability Support Services (this is what its called at Monash, idk what its called at Deakin). I've been registered with them since first year for various health issues and they've been so helpful and supportive and have made uni a lot easier to get through.

Re: your anatomy unit - I'd assume you can always change it before census date? So maybe give it a go for a few weeks when uni starts and then you can decide whether you want to keep it on campus or change it to online.

Re: living in Geelong - haven't personally lived there but have been to visit (such a lovely place!). I'd recommend looking for a place to live using something like flatmates.com.au - its where I found my current housemate!

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2019, 12:32:57 pm »
+3
Congratulations on your offer and getting past all these obstacles life has thrown at you! I'm really excited to follow your journey through OT.
I'm sure you're already aware of it but make sure you register with your uni's equivalent of Disability Support Services (this is what its called at Monash, idk what its called at Deakin). I've been registered with them since first year for various health issues and they've been so helpful and supportive and have made uni a lot easier to get through.

Re: your anatomy unit - I'd assume you can always change it before census date? So maybe give it a go for a few weeks when uni starts and then you can decide whether you want to keep it on campus or change it to online.

Re: living in Geelong - haven't personally lived there but have been to visit (such a lovely place!). I'd recommend looking for a place to live using something like flatmates.com.au - its where I found my current housemate!

Hi K888!

Thank you very much! I'll definitely register with Deakin's version.

Yes, I still have a fair bit of time to change it if I decide to, but I sort of wanted to go into it with everything like that taken care of, if that makes sense. I don't want to really mess around and change it once I start if I don't have to, but it's good to have that option available.

I'll definitely have a look at that website, thank you! I've found a couple of places that look promising, but I am still keeping an eye out.

caffinatedloz

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2020, 07:33:29 am »
+5
Hey Katherine!
Just found your journal and I'm very, very interested to hear all about how you find studying OT, and learn more about you! When I was younger, I always thought that I wanted to be a doctor, but now I'm thinking that allied health might be more my thing. (I think) that the best bit of OT (depending on who and where you end up working with), is that children enjoy sessions with their OT's. Often doctors and physios are not liked at much by kids as OTs. With adults, it could be a totally different story, but I've heard similar things. Because OT is focused on helping an individual achieve something that they would like to, patients understand the purpose and can get behind it. Plus, the kiddos often think it's just playtime!

I hope that you find OT rewarding and enjoyable, and that your Uni subjects learning about it will be useful and interesting!

Looking forward to hearing more!

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2020, 02:37:41 pm »
+5
Hey Katherine!
Just found your journal and I'm very, very interested to hear all about how you find studying OT, and learn more about you! When I was younger, I always thought that I wanted to be a doctor, but now I'm thinking that allied health might be more my thing. (I think) that the best bit of OT (depending on who and where you end up working with), is that children enjoy sessions with their OT's. Often doctors and physios are not liked at much by kids as OTs. With adults, it could be a totally different story, but I've heard similar things. Because OT is focused on helping an individual achieve something that they would like to, patients understand the purpose and can get behind it. Plus, the kiddos often think it's just playtime!

I hope that you find OT rewarding and enjoyable, and that your Uni subjects learning about it will be useful and interesting!

Looking forward to hearing more!

Hey laura_

If allied health is more suited to you, go for it. I think allied health can be a lot more rewarding for most people - it's more patient interaction based, rather than how clinical being a doctor can be. If I wasn't so dead set on paediatrics, I'd happily spend my time as an occupational therapist - which is one of the reasons I decided to take it as an undergraduate course. I know I'm going to get so much from it and that experience is going to translate into better patient care when I am finally a doctor.

I might be wrong but I think being a doctor is hyped up a lot due to prestige and possibly monetary factors - not saying that applies to you, just that there is a general stigma around it that often doesn't live up to the reality.  I don't know, I'm not working in health care yet, but from the outside, I've always sort of seen allied health as patient care and being a doctor as treating diseases and illnesses, rather than patients (not all doctors are like that though). I don't want to be that kind of doctor though, hence my choice of undergraduate degree as opposed to something like science.

Sorry I got off topic :)

Whilst I am excited about all aspects of OT, I am one hundred percent most interested in working with children :) so I definitely agree! I want to be a paediatrician long term, but within that, I want to specialise in diagnosing, treating, guiding and caring for children with disabilities - and also their families because having a child with disabilities is a major shift in family dynamics, at least from my experience. I certainly feel naive looking back to when my niece was diagnosed with severe autism (and a plethora of other health issues because she is an ex-24-weeker). My family and I had no idea the rollercoaster we were about to embark on, and we're still learning, seven years later.

Thank you!!!


caffinatedloz

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 07:08:27 am »
+3
If allied health is more suited to you, go for it. I think allied health can be a lot more rewarding for most people - it's more patient interaction based, rather than how clinical being a doctor can be. If I wasn't so dead set on paediatrics, I'd happily spend my time as an occupational therapist - which is one of the reasons I decided to take it as an undergraduate course. I know I'm going to get so much from it and that experience is going to translate into better patient care when I am finally a doctor.

I might be wrong but I think being a doctor is hyped up a lot due to prestige and possibly monetary factors - not saying that applies to you, just that there is a general stigma around it that often doesn't live up to the reality.  I don't know, I'm not working in health care yet, but from the outside, I've always sort of seen allied health as patient care and being a doctor as treating diseases and illnesses, rather than patients (not all doctors are like that though). I don't want to be that kind of doctor though, hence my choice of undergraduate degree as opposed to something like science.

Sorry I got off topic :)

Whilst I am excited about all aspects of OT, I am one hundred percent most interested in working with children :) so I definitely agree! I want to be a paediatrician long term, but within that, I want to specialise in diagnosing, treating, guiding and caring for children with disabilities - and also their families because having a child with disabilities is a major shift in family dynamics, at least from my experience. I certainly feel naive looking back to when my niece was diagnosed with severe autism (and a plethora of other health issues because she is an ex-24-weeker). My family and I had no idea the rollercoaster we were about to embark on, and we're still learning, seven years later.
Thanks Katherine! I absolutely agree and I think we have a lot in common. I always thought I wanted to work in paediatrics before I realised that my specific passion was children with disabilities. Welcoming a child with a disability into a family often does cause a major shift in dynamics. With the NDIS, families have more access to specialists who can accompany them on the rollercoaster. I think that holistic family support is so important for good outcomes. It sounds like you have a real passion for caring people and there is no doubt that you will be an absolutely fantastic OT! I think that having personal experience will only serve to enhance everything you learn as you have a real understanding about etiquette and generally interacting with people with disabilities; (and yes it really is a lifelong journey of learning)! I really appreciate your wonderfully detailed reply! ;D

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 05:25:57 pm »
0
Thanks Katherine! I absolutely agree and I think we have a lot in common. I always thought I wanted to work in paediatrics before I realised that my specific passion was children with disabilities. Welcoming a child with a disability into a family often does cause a major shift in dynamics. With the NDIS, families have more access to specialists who can accompany them on the rollercoaster. I think that holistic family support is so important for good outcomes. It sounds like you have a real passion for caring people and there is no doubt that you will be an absolutely fantastic OT! I think that having personal experience will only serve to enhance everything you learn as you have a real understanding about etiquette and generally interacting with people with disabilities; (and yes it really is a lifelong journey of learning)! I really appreciate your wonderfully detailed reply! ;D

Thank you :)

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2020, 11:21:44 pm »
+4
Okay, update time!

Today I went down to the Waterfront and Waurn Ponds campus. I didn't go in, but had a drive around to get to know the area. It was even better than I was expecting - both campuses seemed inviting and whilst the waterfront campus was in an absolutely beautiful area, something about the Waurn ponds campus also had some charm :) I don't know, I like both! I love being near the ocean, but I am not a city person so the Waurn ponds campus seems more appealing. I guess I'll get plenty of time at both for the next four years.

My reason for tackling the two hour drive (each way) along the dreadful Monash Freeway (so glad I didn't have to drive) was because I finally locked in a house and signed a lease! It makes me feel better to have a place organised, because the other rooms were getting snatched up so quickly, I was starting to worry about getting any within my budget. Well, not only is this within my budget (though, in my opinion, still dreadfully overpriced) I have a walk in wardrobe and a TV in my room, and I'm only to be sharing with 5 other people rather than some houses that hold up to 14, but more importantly, it's only a few minutes walk from campus! Given my mum misplaced my birth certificate for a few years and I therefore still only have my L's, this will make life a lot easier for me, because I can just walk. It's also close to the shops, which is even better.

On a side note, I started packing yesterday. I asked my family to give practical gifts for Christmas and my birthday which just passed on the 3rd, and started buying some basic things late last year myself, so I've got a pretty good set up so far. I have a couple of things that I still need, but I think I'm pretty right considering I don't need to move until mid February. Still, I've got a pile in the corner of my room that is already starting to drive me mad, so I think I need to buy some more boxes or something :) I'm going to end up leaving a lot of stuff with my family, but they are going to end up moving sometime next year, so I figure I'll pack up the rest of my stuff too so it's easier.

I will, unfortunately, need to leave my precious book collection at home :( Except for school books, which I usually gave to the school for students that couldn't afford them to use, and a series of like 50 books I had as a kid of something I can't remember, I've kept every book I can remember, even ones from as a kid. I plan to keep doing this for the rest of my life - though I doubt hard copy books are going to be popular in the future - because I love being able to be able to look at them and see how my love for reading had developed and changed. So leaving them behind will be hard, but I can't cart around a couple of hundred books every where I go :) as much as I would like to haha

Also, side note, do you guys think it's impractical to bring large furniture into a living situation where you rent a room? I have a large whiteboard on a stand, because I'm a little eccentric like that :) and it really helps me to write up a big calendar and keep track of it easily. It will fit in the room reasonably, but I just feel a bit weird with the idea of rolling it through the front door when I move in haha.

Sine

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2020, 12:10:41 am »
+3
Also, side note, do you guys think it's impractical to bring large furniture into a living situation where you rent a room? I have a large whiteboard on a stand, because I'm a little eccentric like that :) and it really helps me to write up a big calendar and keep track of it easily. It will fit in the room reasonably, but I just feel a bit weird with the idea of rolling it through the front door when I move in haha.
If you know you are going to be using it and obviously, if it is allowed I don't see why not.

Also, you will only need to bring it in once and I doubt people are too concerned for a whiteboard especially if it will fit in the room.

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2020, 06:45:36 am »
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Hi Katherine,

Just found your journal. I think it's super inspiring to hear you put your health first in VCE and I'm excited to read about your pathway though the OT course and how you find it. Also can totally relate to clinging on to books! Even the smell of books is wonderful, but I'm sure you can buy a few new ones when your there  :D Also using a whiteboard for a calendar may be eccentric but I think it sounds kinda cool and very organised!
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