By Jocelyn Loo, current third year Bachelor of Behavioral Science (Psychology) student at QUT
For a very long time, I wanted to be a teacher because that was the occupation which was most prevalent to me while growing up. At the end of Year 11, I decided to pursue studying Psychology. There’s more to it than just wanting to be a Psychologist so it looks good on my resumé. Long story short, with the combination of some unresolved grief, the stress of trying to settle into a new phase of life, the common struggles of being a teenager and several other factors altogether, I fell into depression and anxiety. As dark as this all sounds, every bad story has a silver lining and rest assure this story has one. While I was in therapy, I received new insight into what was then a foreign world of mental health. The stigma of mental health that I held on to for a long time crumbled and instead I found a new passion. I discovered the power of conversation and the human mind became interesting to me.
Ever since the beginning of Year 12, I started to browse through the websites of different universities and took note of the prerequisites. I knew I wanted a local university and did not want to move interstate because moving countries was already a huge step for me. Also, I really enjoy the lifestyle here in Brisbane where it is more relax and slow pace compared to the other major cities in Australia. I wanted a university with a respectable reputation and that is recognised all over the world. I knew that I learn best through practical experience and so, that was an important criterion for me. Towards the middle of Year 12, I started to narrow down the options and to be honest, QUT was second on my list. When QTAC application was open and after more contemplation, I decided to go ahead with QUT because of the high recommendations from family, friends, and past students. When the OP results were available, I received the conditional offer from QUT. That is when it dawned on me that I was really going to university and would be studying something that I enjoy!
My overall academic experience here at QUT is excellent despite the occasional setbacks, which rarely happens anyway. I was honestly impressed with the teaching staff and the support services. I thought lectures would be scary and no one was allowed to talk, however, it was the total opposite. My lecturers and tutors were actively engaging and promoting discussions with students. This class setting helped me to speak up and to be bold in sharing my thoughts. Subsequently, the courage to share brought me to a place where I was able to lead student groups and even facilitate workshops for current, new or high school students.
In my second year, I applied for several roles within the QUT community because I wanted to give back, to gain experience and to make the most of my time here in university. Today, I have a job as an International Student Ambassador where I talk to prospective international students, teachers, parents and even international agents. Additionally, QUT has connections with many organisations and businesses depending on the undergraduate degree. Thus, I was lucky enough to intern as a research assistant at the Centre for Children’s Health Research. It has been a tremendous journey of growth as a person but also professionally. I never thought I was able to accomplish so many of my goals at such a young age. Because QUT has provided me so many opportunities to flourish, I am looking forward to my last year in my undergraduate degree to see where else QUT can take me.
Nonetheless, I have found that university is more than just academic achievement. Instead, it taught me so much more about how to navigate and respond when people come and go, when I didn’t receive the results that I expected, when rejection of an application occurred – it challenges me to never back down. Above all else, the greatest thing about university is having friends from all over the world who are studying different degrees. One of my best university moments are those where I get to celebrate my friends’ graduation. Seeing them put so much effort into their degree is inspiring but more than that, it forms a closer bond within us as we learn to go through the tougher times together. In the end, it all comes down to what you make of your university journey.