Before coming to Murdoch, I worked in hospitality. I started out as a chef, then moved into bar work for a while. I loved it, but I decided hospitality wasn’t for me in the long run, so I took on the challenge of university.
My mum completed a masters in Depth Psychology in her 40s, so she introduced me to the wonderful world of studying the mind. She was the one who first recommended I consider uni which, up until that point, I was convinced I would never do.
As someone who had read a total of three books cover to cover before uni, taking on a major that is 80 per cent reading was a really steep learning curve. That being said, I love the challenge of studying psychology. I’m fascinated by the human body and the brain, and how all of its components work together to produce what we call consciousness. I’d love to continue growing my understanding of the human condition after I’ve finished my course.
I try to keep in touch with my friends over Snapchat. I record silly little videos to brighten up their days a bit. It’s nice to see friendly faces and have a laugh while you’re isolating.
I stay connected with academic and work contacts with video chat. My lab meets twice a week on Zoom and I’ve had a few staff meetings over Microsoft Teams. It’s good to see everyone – and kind of fun to see my colleagues in their ‘native’ environment!
It’s so important to have someone keeping you on track. My girlfriend Cassie is my faithful study mate. She’s studying Screen and Theatre at Murdoch, so it’s nice to have someone around who’s getting used to online learning too.
We have two dogs, a cat, and a growing army of plant babies that are gradually populating our workspace. They help keep morale up!
I’ve found these to be helpful for me:
My supervisor Dr David Lewis and the Evolved Social Cognition Lab have been really supportive. The lab has been good at adapting to the changing situation, and we’ve been trying to schedule weekly online meetups to touch base. They’ve been a real lifesaver.
Murdoch has been doing a lot to facilitate online learning, such as using Collaborate for online classes. I get notifications and e-mails from the uni every week with links to different services and support payments. All of this helps minimise the detrimental effects of isolation for students.
I’ve never been an overly academic person and I’ve struggled with reading and staying focused all my life. My greatest achievement has been sticking seriously to my studies and being able to maintain above a 3.0 GPA. This is a minimum of a distinction or B average, which was enough to get me accepted into Honours. For someone who didn’t think they’d ever go to uni, I’m really happy with that.