I recently wrote an article where I described my eighteen year old self as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I certainly was excited to start university but, it was a bit touch-and-go as to whether I’d even finish high school at one point. I thought I’d write this piece to give a raw perspective on how a man called Mr Wobbles (name changed but I assure you his name is equally fantastic), encouraged me to go to La Trobe by telling me to not go to La Trobe.
So, I made the choice to move from a public school to a private school at the end of Year 11. I loved Year 12. With new incredible friends, I was finally excited to go to school again. I started to love health and human development as well as legal studies more than anything I’d studied before. Learning about vulnerable people and the laws that shape our society fascinated me.
When the time came to look at courses for University, I was searching for law, legal studies, social work or even psychology. I was searching for the perfect course rather than the perfect University. Then I found it, a Double Bachelor of Laws/Psychological Science at La Trobe University. I was so excited I printed out a copy at the school library to show it to my dad that very same day. I became enraptured by this course and was so convinced that it was perfect for me that I memorised every detail and calculated every mark I needed to get to achieve the perfect ATAR.
Then, the time came for my obligatory meeting with the school pathways coordinator. I pranced into this little, stuffy office with Mr Wobbles, excited to tell him I know exactly what I was going to do for the next five years of my life. I told him I wanted to study a Double Bachelor of Laws/Psychological Science at La Trobe University. His reply was, “Oh ok, the ATAR for that is quite high, have you considered just starting out with Arts?”
I was shattered. I had many friends studying arts and I think the flexibility of the course is fantastic but, I was devastated by Mr Wobbles’s suggestion that I wasn’t good enough for my dream course. He continued “You’re not at a public school anymore, the standard here is quite a lot higher you’ll find.” Yep. He bagged me out to my face because I went to a public school before transferring at the end of Year 11. But, wait there’s more. He says “maybe consider a different university too” then suggested a university that he considered to be ‘better’. I was shocked. Unfortunately, I think his motivation was not to help me find a course or university that suited me, but to encourage students to go to a certain university.
I went home that day, upset. But, this was the first thing that prompted me to have a decent look at La Trobe. I did a quick Google search and discovered that La Trobe was established in 1964 and the University had an incredibly rich history. To be honest, I thought the motto “Whoever Seeks Shall Find” was very Harry Potter and this only made La Trobe grow on me. I decided that I was lucky to have found my double degree and was even luckier that I found it at La Trobe University. Mr Wobbles harsh words only made me more focused, more obsessed with my goal. So much so,& that I actually cried when I got my offer. Lame right? I’m not ashamed.
To this day, I believe La Trobe provides a quality education to all those that are willing to make the most of their time at university. La Trobe never judged me based on whether I received most of my high school education at a public or private school. I love seeing how multicultural the Bundoora campus is and I love that it is innovative and forward-thinking. Every student has the option to be competitive or take their course at their own pace with flexible study options. This is why I chose La Trobe.
P.S. I am still waiting for run into Mr Wobbles and rub it in his face.
Jo Rattray-Wood is a travel enthusiast and a lover of all things dog related. Currently studying a Double Bachelor of Law/Psychological Science while trying to save money for future adventures. You can find her on Instagram @jorattraywood or Linkedin at www.linkedin.com/in/joannerattraywood.