Why Kacey chose to study social work

24 May 2022

Why did you choose your degree and what did you enjoy the most about it?

When considering my career path, I have always wanted a career that provides a purpose and positively impacts society. I have a passion for promoting change and working within the community in which I live. I want to work to support those that have been disadvantaged within society and aspire to have a positive impact on others. I had struggled with my mental health growing up and did not have many role models to “look up to” however I first-hand have experienced the positive impact that supports services (particularly social workers) can have.
I enjoy that my degree allows me to better understand legal practices, communication and society in various ways. I have gained a lot of compassion and a broad perspective for the diversity that surrounds me, and I believe what I learn in my degree should be common knowledge for all. If everyone knew the circumstances which others face, the world could be a more understanding and compassionate place.

What has been your learning journey to date?

During the completion of my HSC, I completed a Certificate III in Aged Care while completing a school-based traineeship at BUPA Kempsey, from that experience I was able to continue permanent employment as an Assistant Nurse which I have continued for the past 6 years. I then went on to complete my Diploma of Community Services. For the past 2 years, I have been completing my Bachelor of Social work with some sessions full-time study, while others I have done part-time. In between my university learning I have continued working weekends as a career at BUPA aged care and spent last year working as a Dental Assistant.

How important is having the CUC in your local town to you and why?

Firstly, the ability to study in a fully functional space without having to travel has been incredible. For the past two years, I had been driving 40min each way to the university which I often struggled with.

The space is a refreshing study space, and although so simple, the ability to log in to a computer without complexities and access printing so easily is just one less stress.

CUC offers students in the town the ability to embrace a safe and positive study environment, especially when studying online it is often difficult to find an appropriate study space. I had often felt incredibly intimidated when going to libraries and even my own campus, I was often too scared to ask for help when I really did need it and I struggled a lot feeling “out of place” I never knew anyone around me, so being in a space that is in my own community, with locals makes the world of difference.

When CUC was opened, I (along with others I spoke with) all thought, “it is about time!”. It is about time that locals that are working hard to better their education have the access to services that support and encourage that. The centre can also inspire others to access further education.

Are there any specific challenges that you face as an online regional student? How does the CUC help you to overcome these challenges?

I struggled with reassurance, not having many people to talk to about my studies and assessments often caused me to doubt myself. I struggled with Zoom and virtual learning, when Zoom meetings first begun to be the norm, I went months avoiding online classes, and opted to watch the recordings because I truly did not understand how to set it up properly and didn’t really have someone to show me.

A massive struggle I believe with online study is environmental influence which CUC helps overcome. Studying at home is extremely distractive. Being in an environment where you are surrounded by like-minded students is so important.

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