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February 24, 2020, 08:26:37 am

Author Topic: Never Give Up - a university journey journal  (Read 1582 times)

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K888

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2020, 10:43:30 am »
+4
Quote from: KatherineGale
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.
Definitely not the weirdest thing you'll see people have in their rooms. Go for it! :)
2017-2020: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 02:27:50 pm »
+3
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.

Thanks Sine! Good point in that I only have to wheel it through once.

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!

Hi Chocolatemilkshake,

Thank you! Well, I tried my best to put my health first during VCE, sometimes it was easier said than done, but my health is in a better place now, at the end of VCE than it was when it started, so I'll take that as a plus, even if it was a long, difficult road.

I get what you mean about the smell of books :) I know its better for the environment to have books online now, but I must admit it was a difficult transition for me - someone who is more inept with technology than my 58 year old mother - to begin reading books on my tablet. Bear with me while my weirdness reappears, but there is nothing like the sensory experience of reading a book (the smell, the feel of worn paper, the sound of pages turning etc.) it just sets a different environment for reading.

Definitely not the weirdest thing you'll see people have in their rooms. Go for it! :)

Hi K888,

Haha, probably not! Just wasn't sure I wanted that to be my first impression on the people I'll be living with for the next year :) Oh well, they will discover I'm weird and a little eccentric eventually anyway, haha

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2020, 05:54:56 pm »
+3
Okay, update time.

Deakin students have been given access to a provisional timetable, so I've gone through and put together how, ideally, my timetable for Semester 1 2020 might look. I couldn't figure out how to add the timetable, so I just attached it instead (otherwise trying to line everything up would have driven me mad haha).

For those who don't want to click, I'll list it below (I just find timetables to be a lot clearer):

Monday
-Weeks 1-3 only WP HBS109 11:00-11:50 C1
-Weeks 1-3 only WP HBS109 04:00-04:50 C2
-Weeks 2, 5, 7, 9 WP HBS109 01:00-03:00 P1

Tuesday

Wednesday
-Weeks 1-11 WF HSO102 10:00-10:50 C1
-Weeks 1-11 WF HSO102 12:00-12:50 S1

Thursday
-Weeks 1-11 WF HSO102 09:00-04:50 P1

Friday
-Weeks 1-11 WP HBS109 12:00-12:50 S1
-Weeks 1-11 ON HDS101 02:00-04:00

Keys:
WP=Waurn Ponds
WF=Waterfront
ON=Online
C=class
S=seminar
P=practical
HBS109=Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
HSO102=Foundations of Occupational Science and Therapy A
HDS101=Communication and Diversity


Overall, I'm pretty happy with my timetable (of course, this is only if I get the times/days I want, which isn't guaranteed). If I do end up with these times, I think it's probably the best timetable I could ask for - other than the first three weeks, I only have classes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, except for every other week, when I also have a practical on Monday. I'm pretty happy that most days I'll also have an hour or so break between classes as it will allow me to have a break, or do a bit of study before the next class.

At the same time though, seeing my timetable in black and white has really solidified everything for me. I was feeling pretty confident, nervous and unsure, but confident that it'd be fine. Whilst I still have this confidence, I'm a little less sure of my ability to cope with the workload.

I was always going into this knowing that I would likely have to drop down to part time, but I really want to give it a go without dropping down (both because I'll have extra requirements from Centrelink - having to see a job agency every fortnight and that will wear me out further - and also because I want to be able to complete the degree within the allocated four years, rather than eight). The medication my rheumatologist has me on makes me feel pretty sick and dizzy a lot, so instead of adding more medications like anti-nausea, she's changed my prescription from pills to self-administered injections (my god, my poor future roommates aren't going to have a great first impression of me haha) to try and avoid some of those side effects. Hopefully that'll work.

It's the first three weeks (as the extra classes on Monday are making me a little nervous), and Thursday's that have me concerned. The longest I've gotten through a "class" in the last five years, was the year 12 exams, and even then I had the option to stop and take a break if I needed to - let alone to do 9:00-4:50 every week, and travelling 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back (the travel alone would be enough to put me out of action for a few hours most days)

In saying that, the best I can do is stay positive and give it a try. I can always drop down to part time, even though it's not what I want to do, if I can't cope with the workload. It just became a lot more real when I started mapping out the times and I don't want to have my health issues get worse because I've pushed myself too soon (again).

Being able to choose to do HDS101 online on whatever day suits me best also helps, so I'm tossing up between Monday and Friday. I think I'll do Friday for the first three weeks (as Monday's for the first 3 weeks are pretty booked up) and then swap to Monday's for the rest of the Semester as that way I won't leave it to the end of the week and then put it off and not end up doing it, but I've just left it on Friday on the timetable for now.

That's really it for now. I've got the Enrolment day on the 22nd (next Wednesday) at the Waterfront campus. I've booked a hotel nearby for the night before (I had some change from the bond for the house I signed a lease for as I had saved up more than I needed), because I don't really feel like getting up super early to get there on time (my sleep habits are terrible, so the time I'd usually be able to finally fall asleep is the time I'd need to get up and because my body hates me, something as simple as not getting enough sleep can set off a flare up, so I thought I wouldn't take my chances).

I'll probably give an update around then to talk about how that went - I'm really interested to see the campus in person and also to meet some people that I'll be studying alongside - I'm not exactly the most social person out there (if you can't already tell from my rambling in these posts, just know that I'm much worse in person hahaha) but I'm certainly going to give it a go.

I figure there will be a lot of other people more nervous than I am and if there isn't, I'd much rather focus on enjoying the experience anyway. To be honest, somewhere in the days on being pretty much homeschooled the last five or so years, I have lost the ability to really care too much about what people think of me :) Caring about what people think of you can also be a good thing like when you take into account being respectful to others around you, but I've also seen it be really destructive for others, when they care too much about what others think. I figure most other people will be too wrapped up thinking about what others think of them to care about me and how awkward I am :)

(sorry for the ridiculously long posts - this used to happen when writing essays for me as well, I'd sit down with not much to say and somehow finish off with far more than I really should have written haha)

I still feel really awkward typing this all out, so I really do appreciate the replies - it makes me feel like I'm not just blabbering on to a computer :) Let me know what you guys think about my timetable


K888

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2020, 06:21:21 pm »
+3
Quote
I figure there will be a lot of other people more nervous than I am and if there isn't, I'd much rather focus on enjoying the experience anyway. To be honest, somewhere in the days on being pretty much homeschooled the last five or so years, I have lost the ability to really care too much about what people think of me :) Caring about what people think of you can also be a good thing like when you take into account being respectful to others around you, but I've also seen it be really destructive for others, when they care too much about what others think. I figure most other people will be too wrapped up thinking about what others think of them to care about me and how awkward I am :)
Tbh I've found uni to be an incredibly un-judgy place. Noone cares what you wear or do, people tend to be understanding of most things and most people are pretty welcoming. I'd say I can carry out a convo with the majority of people in my cohort at uni quite easily, but that definitely wasn't the case in high school!

Best of luck for uni :) You don't really know how your schedule will go until you get in there but I found the first few weeks of uni probably the most tiring just because of all the new things to adjust to. Prep a lot of meals in advance if you can to save the energy of cooking!

As I think I've suggested previously, definitely get in touch with the disability support services people :) You could probs do it now given you're enrolled in the course, actually. And mention your circumstances to your lecturers/tutors too - if there's someone who oversees your first year of OT they'd defs be a good person to get in touch with! In my experience I've found everyone to be really understanding of medical conditions (and I reckon given you're doing a health-related degree too, that really helps with their understanding) so I hope you have the same luck :)
Good luck with switching your meds around - I hope the change to injections helps with those side effects!!
2017-2020: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2020, 12:01:57 am »
+1
Tbh I've found uni to be an incredibly un-judgy place. Noone cares what you wear or do, people tend to be understanding of most things and most people are pretty welcoming. I'd say I can carry out a convo with the majority of people in my cohort at uni quite easily, but that definitely wasn't the case in high school!

Best of luck for uni :) You don't really know how your schedule will go until you get in there but I found the first few weeks of uni probably the most tiring just because of all the new things to adjust to. Prep a lot of meals in advance if you can to save the energy of cooking!

As I think I've suggested previously, definitely get in touch with the disability support services people :) You could probs do it now given you're enrolled in the course, actually. And mention your circumstances to your lecturers/tutors too - if there's someone who oversees your first year of OT they'd defs be a good person to get in touch with! In my experience I've found everyone to be really understanding of medical conditions (and I reckon given you're doing a health-related degree too, that really helps with their understanding) so I hope you have the same luck :)
Good luck with switching your meds around - I hope the change to injections helps with those side effects!!

Thanks K888!

Yes, I'm expecting the first little bit to be the toughest. I love cooking, so I'll probably stock up on containers and spend a day before O-Week just cooking :) If I'm not careful I'll end up with enough food for a couple of months haha.

I will get in touch with the disability services. I was thinking about enquiring on Enrollment Day. Maybe I could meet with them in person, but it could be too busy.

Thank you :)


KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2020, 11:04:21 pm »
+9
Hey guys!

I had enrolment day today, so I wanted to give an update :)

I really enjoyed it. I hadn't been to the waterfront campus before, so it was great to have a look around (though I did get lost for a moment, haha).

I found a group on Facebook through 2020 Deakin Uni First Years, so I had a chat with some of the other students going to the OT enrolment day. We decided to meet up out the front, so it was great to meet them, along with a few others who hadn't been on the chat.

We ended up in a lecture theatre, with one of our future teachers giving us a bit of an introduction into the course. A lot of it were things that I knew, but I still think that it was worth going.

I spoke with the lecturer afterwards (I'm so sorry that I can't remember her name, but I'm so bad with names haha) she seems lovely, very approachable, and that's great considering she will teach one of the busiest units in T1&2 (and units in year 3&4).

Afterwards, I went to student central to ask a few questions - like about getting a DRC Plan for my health issues. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to speak with anyone that could help, but they gave me a number of emails addresses, so I sent off some emails this afternoon.

I've also felt a bit more concerned about the workload. The lecturer mentioned a number of times that just the unit she teaches is very full on, particularly in the first trimester. I considered dropping down to part time, but it will just end up too complicated with Centrelink (because going to see a job agency each week would be the same energy as going into another class, so it feels a bit counterproductive) and also because I've just been offered a scholarship and I don't want to jeopardize it by going part time - I was and still am simply shocked at the scholarship I received (a Deakin student support scholarship) for $7500 per year for four years! This makes me feel a lot less concerned, particularly as I just found out that every thursday, (that big practical I've been most concerned about that goes from 9:00-5:00), isn't held on campus every time - a lot of the time we'll be travelling off campus to various places to watch and eventually participate in practicals and we have to get there ourselves. Without the scholarship, there is no way I'd have been able to afford travel too and from this as I really struggle on public transport.

So I ended up deciding that of my three T1 units, two will be online, rather than one as I had previously stated, so I'll write down an updated version of my units somewhere below :)

I also didn't end up getting my student ID, though I could have (I just didn't want to wait around any longer as I wanted to avoid some traffic on the way home) so that's something I'll do online in the next couple of days.

My Units as they stand now (I'm indecisive so they could change still and this is just from the provisional timetable so I might not get these times):

MONDAY:
ON-HBS109 M1 10:00-11:00 (or whenever I want)
ON-HBS109 P1 12:00-03:00 (or whenever I want) every other week

TUESDAY:

WEDNESDAY:
WF-HSO102 C1 10:00-11:00
WF-HSO102 S1 12:00-01:00

THURSDAY:
WF-HSO102 P1 09:00-05:00

FRIDAY:
ON-HBS109 S1 12:00-01:00
ON-HDS101 M1 02:00-04:00 (or whenever I want)


laura_

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2020, 01:34:24 pm »
+2
That all sounds wonderful Katherine! I'm so glad you got to meet some great students and that your lecturer seems so approachable. Best of luck figuring out and adjusting to the workload! <3
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KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2020, 06:11:35 pm »
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That all sounds wonderful Katherine! I'm so glad you got to meet some great students and that your lecturer seems so approachable. Best of luck figuring out and adjusting to the workload! <3

Thank you :)

Also, just on an unrelated side note, I just realised how much I've still got to do before I go in less than a month!  Haha,  oh no..

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2020, 05:22:16 pm »
+7
Hey guys,

Okay, so a bit has happened since my last post.

Basically, I've been wondering more and more how I'm going to cope with just the day to day stuff - getting to classes, doing the school work etc. Stressing about it doesn't help, so I've been trying to figure out different options. I went through a good patch, but the last couple of weeks have been a lot tougher.

By making another unit online, as I mentioned I did in one of my previous posts, I was able to reduce this worry a fair bit. However it's been on the back of my mind a lot, and when I had a couple of bad flare up days - not as bad as the flare-ups I was getting, but still pretty bad - I knew I had to try and think of something else to help as well.

I thought for a bit that maybe I could get a taxi to the uni and back each day I need to be there (or at least to the Waurn ponds campus so I can get a shuttle bus to the waterfront campus) because taking that extra effort out of each day would make everything a bit easier but that really wasn't an option financially.

And then an amazing opportunity landed on my lap. I got a call from Deakin and they basically said that because they mucked up my student accommodation application - they offered me a room in Warrnambool when I got accepted to my course in Geelong - that they could offer me a room at Waurn ponds. This completely solves one of my worries, which was getting to the campus the days I need to.

And even better, it's a studio apartment! I've got a kitchenette and ensuite, and more importantly, I can control my environment. With the symptoms I get - photophobia, fibrofog, pain etc. - this is ideal for me, so that should also make this year of study a bit easier on me.

I mean, I certainly couldn't ask my stranger roomates to close all the blinds, not turn on any lights and hang towels up in the corners of the blinds to make sure no light gets through when I'm having a bad day (I had planned on just staying in my room, but there was always the issue of accessing the bathroom and cooking on those days).

I've spoken to my landlord and he was lovely. He understood my concerns and is trying to find someone else to take my room.

To reduce the concerns I still have about coping with uni, I'm sort of just tackling one symptom at a time :)

I still haven't figured out how to combat the fibro fog aspect of my health - basically I sometimes just can't think. It's really weird and I don't really know how to explain it. It's like trying to see through murky water. I can't concentrate, it feels like I'm out of it (kind of like when you go underwater and the pressure around you changes or when you've got a fever and everything is just distant), everything is just rushing at me and away from me at the same time, and sometimes when it's happening, completing the most basic of tasks like making sense of an email just becomes impossible. Hopefully I will figure out a way around this. It can happen at anytime and in the past I've just taken as long as I need to let it pass but that will be hard if I am in the middle of a class or practical.

I also really want to improve my memory. I've had terrible memory for a long time - I can't even remember since when haha :) I've recently learned that it's probably also due to the fibromyalgia. I've tried all the tricks but nothing really helps. I haven't given up though. I know writing things out a hundred times helps, but that can be hard as my hands cramp up. If anyone had any ideas, I'd love to give them a go :)

I also plan on going to the Waurn ponds campus gym as well. I think some gentle exercises on top of the stretches I already do will help to manage the pain.



KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2020, 05:50:57 pm »
+3
Put in my timetable preferences today. Fingers crossed :)

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2020, 03:51:37 pm »
+1
Put in my timetable preferences today. Fingers crossed :)

How have you tried to plan it?
Least days is a pretty popular set up but I guess might not be a big priority given your accommodation? 

KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2020, 09:38:04 pm »
+4
How have you tried to plan it?
Least days is a pretty popular set up but I guess might not be a big priority given your accommodation?

Hey Bri MT,

Yes,  living on campus certainly has made travel a lot less of an issue. When I was looking at my options, I was aiming for three to four days actually going in. I didn't want to condense it down too much because I probably wouldn't fair well, but I also want a weekday free for appointments and the like.

On my preferences, I actually only have two days of classes, and those are at the waterfront campus,  so there will be some travel. But I have decided to go into the library to do most of the online classes I'll have, so that I won't be stuck in my room and it will hopefully keep me motivated to get it done. I made my own little timetable,  given that I get my preferences, and I've scheduled them in as though they're actual classes and plan to attend them (albeit in the library), but I've also got the freedom to change that or do it at my own pace or in parts if I'm heaving a bad day health wise.

So if things turn out well, I'll have two half-days, Monday (Waurn Ponds library) and Tuesday (Waurn Ponds library) and two full days,  Wednesday (waterfront) and Thursday (waterfront).



KatherineGale

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Re: Never Give Up - a university journey journal
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2020, 05:52:55 pm »
+6
Update Time!

It's been a long week :)

On Monday I moved into the room at Deakin! It was a few hours drive because traffic was bad, and then when I got there, it was incredibly busy - getting a park was a bit of a saga in and of itself haha.

To get to my room, I had to line up and give my name. They then gave me a pack with my keys, some details about moving in etc. Then I lined up again in a different line and waited to get my photo taken. Then I had to go into another line, where I then had to sign the lease, go through some basic info, and then they got one of my residential leaders to take me to my room. So, all in all, a lot of waiting in lines :) The anticipation to move in had kind of worn off after the first hour and a half waiting, but I was still excited.

I didn't stay to look at my room for long because I wanted to start unloading all my stuff, but I was really happy with my room. It was bigger than I was expecting, so I was happy about that. They had a yearly planner poster for me to hang up and also a little pocket that I can stick to the back of my phone for my student id and other cards, which I thought was nice.

And then I had the joy of dragging all my stuff to my room haha. My mum drove, but she has health issues, so I was on my own with lifting everything in. It took far longer than I was hoping and I certainly regretted bringing so much - even though I really didn't pack all that much. But I got it all there in the end. And I also gained a sunburn haha. It was extremely difficult with my health issues and I knew I'd end up paying for it - and I did - but I brought a small trolley which helped a lot; I could just load stuff into the small baskets, push it to my room and then unload. Except the trolley is like those washing basket trolleys (I don't know what you call them?) that don't turn! Haha, I might have dropped a bit along the way when I shuffled it to try and get around corners :)

I went to the shops after that so that I had a little bit of stock for food and stuff.

By the time I got back, it was time to go upstairs for a meeting with the rest of the people in my building. The Residential Leaders were really nice and I met a few people who are in my building. We basically did people bingo and had to go around and find people to check of facts. I didn't do very well though haha.

After that, we headed down to the bus stop. People from the other buildings were also down there, already getting on the busses.  Once we were finally all on board, we headed to an arena and sat through a compulsory session about living in the residences. Then we came back and had pizza on the lawn.

Honestly, by the time I stumbled my way to bed, I was exhausted :)

The following days were full of another couple of compulsory meetings, a lot of free meals, a few voluntary activities - I didn't go off campus or do anything too exciting because my health issues were playing up a bit, which sucked. I sorted out a lot of stuff around campus - I briefly visited the library, I got my student ID, I started to unpack, went to the medical centre to get my files transferred, had a general look around the campus, I had to evaluate my room and then put in maintenance requests for anything that was broken, etc. just boring stuff really.

I still have a bit more to unpack, but I'm looking at just having a couple of more quiet days. I might read a book, put out a few homey things and settle in a bit more over the weekend. I had my first bad flare up since I've been on this medication, which was concerning because my rheumatologist recently upped my dosage, but I figured it was because I was pushing my body too much too soon, so I'm going to take it easy for a few days.

Now that I'm finally here and moved in though, I'm really pumped to get started on my course. Even though I've been so busy physically, I haven't really had any mental stimulation, so I can't wait to get into it all.

That's pretty much it for now. I'll probably give another update next week - I want to get into the routine of updating once a week.

Oh, and just a quick update on my health if anyone wants that:
I saw my rheumatologist a few days before I left and she was concerned because my inflammation markers were up a lot higher than they were when I first saw her. She was a bit worried at how much my disease had progressed just in the time I've been seeing her, particularly given the heavy meds she's had me on. So, she's upped my medication, will up it again in another month and then if my markers haven't come down much, she'll start testing out add-ons to see if that helps. I asked her if there was anything I could do to get myself to a better place, but she said no. That's why when I had that bad flare up, I knew it was time to slow down a bit - I need to learn to listen to my body and know when I've pushed myself too far. So, it's just wait and see for now. Fingers crossed things back off in the next couple of months, but to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if after all the stuff I've done this week my markers have spiked again :/ Oh well, I need to stay positive and just focus on why I'm here, which is again, why I just can't wait to get started!