Graduation Time

With the end of another academic year, some of our editors and subeditors are now graduating. All agreed that early classes and the commute were the worst part of uni, but let’s delve a little deeper into their experiences.

Reanna Clark (Editor) – Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Criminology)

1) Why did you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?

Honestly, my initial impressions were because of the beauty of the place! I came and stayed at Unimelb for an ‘experience’ weekend when I was in year 10, which was designed for country and interstate kids who wanted to get an feel of the university. It was absolutely fantastic, and I actually met one of my best friends there! In later and more serious considerations I chose it because I wasn’t 100% sure what to do, so I thought the Melbourne Model seemed a good option for me.

2) Did anything surprise you about your experience?

How vastly different university is from secondary school. Also, how challenging it is. Coming from doing well in VCE into an environment where everyone else is also a stellar student was at times really hard to come to terms with. However, I found this a really great stepping stone in terms of personal development.

3) What has been your favourite memory?

Exchange. I love you Unimelb, but living in Europe for 6 months as part of my degree was pretty freaking awesome.

4) How did you get involved in university life?

It actually took me until my final year to really get involved! The Wom*n’s Department was probably my first point of contact, as well as volunteering through UMSU.

5) What are your plans for next year? How did you make that decision?

I am in the process of applying for Honours in either Psychology or Criminology (Psych is only available as pure Honours). So fingers crossed with that! I have chosen Honours as I would like to experience the process of research, as I think it is something I would consider as a career. Afterwards I am going to most likely take some time off to travel and work to really finalise what it is I want to do.

6) What would be your advice for first years?

Everyone is experiencing the same thing as you! The confusion, worrying about grades, and not having anyone to sit with while you eat your lunch (embrace it, eating lunch solo has its perks!).

Travis Lines (Editor) – Bachelor of Biomedicine (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

1) Why did you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?

For all the wrong reasons, really. It was prestigious, pretty and I had the score to go there.

2) Did anything surprise you about your experience?

Initially, what surprised me the most was how similar everyone was to the people at school. There were only two of us at my school who got over 80, so I had it in my head that having a high ATAR made you a different person. I very quickly realised how naïve that really was.

3) What has been your favourite memory?

In Spanish, our teacher had a tendency to say “¿por qué no?” to which our table would always add, in unison, “los dos” like the girl from the Old El Paso ad. I don’t know why that sticks out—probably because it’s a fairly nice summary of what Spanish class was like!

4) How did you get involved in university life?

Well, there is Unimelb Adventures… I also got involved in SWOT (Student Welfare Outreach Team) in second year. Initially, I was quite hesitant to get involved with things because I was (and still am) a little bit shy and wasn’t sure I had the time. Somewhat paradoxically though, the more I’ve got involved with extracurricular stuff the better I’ve done academically. Not sure what that’s all about!

5) What are your plans for next year? How did you make that decision? 

Medicine at Melbourne! I’m not really sure how I came to decide I wanted to do medicine though. All through my degree I had left it open as an option, but I was never certain I wanted to be a doctor. As I begun to realise that it might actually be possible, I wanted it more. Simple as that!

6) What would be your advice for first years?

Pursue your goals. At uni, there’s none of the spoon-feeding and hand-holding that goes on at high school. You really are left to your own devices. The sooner you realise that, the better the experience becomes emotionally, socially and academically!

Tara Grayson (Subeditor) – Bachelor of Biomedicine (Immunology)

1) Why did you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?

I decided I didn’t like the Monash campus basically and, living reasonably close to the university, it seemed like a pretty good option given I knew I wanted to pursue something in science. Plus it’s pretty and hey, Brunetti’s and Lygon St is 5 minutes away so FOOD.

2) Did anything surprise you about your experience?

I was surprised with how free I felt at uni – it wasn’t until I left school that I didn’t feel obliged to fit people’s perceptions of me. At uni, I could be anything and anyone I wanted to be and people didn’t care if you did stupid stuff or were the nerd. it was light-hearted and really easy to make some great friends.

3) What has been your favourite memory?

My favourite memory has to be spending time with my amazing friends that I have made. I went into a course knowing only a few people from school, but I came out with a tonne of friends that I hope to continue to be in contact with for years to come, no matter where we go once we graduate. These people helped me get through what was ultimately three stressful-but-fun years and they’re some of the best people I have ever had the fortune of knowing.

4) How did you get involved in university life?

I was fortunate to be involved in MUHI’s SWOT program this year as well as the uni’s debating society (mostly committee rather than debating – I’ve lost my argumentative streak over the years sadly, uni’s mellowed me). It really helps to meet new people from different courses and to make some good friends as well!

5) What are your plans for next year? How did you make that decision?

Never ask me to make decisions unless you’ve got an hour or two to spare waiting. I still haven’t decided what to do next year, but I am considering medicine or taking the year off. I’ll probably decide on the last day after eating a whole tonne of chocolate and sitting anxiously in my room.

6) What would be your advice for first years?

Don’t be so focused on uni work that you don’t give yourself the chance to go to uni events or take part in other activities with your friends. Uni isn’t just to teach you stuff, it helps form friendships that last a lifetime as well as being jam-packed full of memories. Long-term goals are fantastic, and do work hard during your 3 years, but don’t be so focused on the end that you miss out on all the great fun you can have on the journey getting there.

Danielle Croci (Subeditor) – Bachelor of Arts (Politics & History)

1) Why did you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?

To be honest, I put it at the top of my list as a bit of a pipe dream. Pretty campus, easy to get to by public transport and I felt like it had a good reputation for what I wanted to study.

2) Did anything surprise you about your experience?

I think I was surprised initially by how quickly the semesters pass. The first few weeks tend to be an easy ride and then all of a sudden you have no time! Also, I was surprised sometimes how willing people were to talk and make friends. Sometimes I’d sit there like ‘Should I say something? Am I being a nuisance?’ and it would usually turn out that the other person would want to talk too.

3) What has been your favourite memory?

I could talk about any of the shenanigans with friends made over the last 3 years but it would be hard to choose just one. I remember my first tute in first year for Power though where we were asked to talk about what power was. A girl in the class mentioned the Powerpuff Girls and our tutor didn’t know what it was. He was, however, incredibly excited by the concept when it was explained to him and we ended up watching videos of it on Youtube. It was that moment where I thought ‘wow, so this is uni.’

4) How did you get involved in university life?

It was only really this year that I started properly getting involved. Blogging for Unimelb Adventures has meant that I met new people and kept up with university life. I also volunteered for UMSU in different capacities and was an Arts Peer Mentor this semester working with first years. Spending an excessive amount of time in the Wom*n’s Room also meant that I made new friends and had some great conversations.

5) What are your plans for next year? How did you make that decision?

I’ve been back and forth throughout my degree but for the moment I’ve settled on applying on for Masters in Social Policy. If I get in and decide it’s not for me, I might take some time off or do Honours in History. Stressful times!

6) What would be your advice for first years?

As cliched as it sounds, uni is what you make of it. If you just want to come into uni for class and then go home and do your own thing, that’s totally fine! On the other hand, if you want to socialise or try out new things, now is your best opportunity. You can explore different parts of yourself, make new friends and learn different skills outside your degree by getting involved.


Congratulations to everyone graduating at the end of this year! Finishing university is such a fantastic achievement and you should all be incredibly proud! If you are graduating this year we would love to hear your thoughts on your experience at Unimelb.

– Danielle

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