My college experience

My name is Lucy, and I am in my second year of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at UQ. I am from Toowoomba, which is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Brisbane. To save me spending hours travelling up and down the Bruce Highway, during the semester I live on campus at The Women’s College (Women’s for short).

My high-school years were spent at an all girls school, and while I always knew I needed to move away from home in order to complete my degree at UQ, I wasn’t sure which college to apply to. My parents both went to college at UQ. My dad was a resident for three years at St John’s College (a co-ed college) and my mum also spent three years at Women’s (they did meet while they were at UQ, but that’s another story). They are both still very close with their college friends so it wasn’t a huge surprise for them, or me, to want the same “college experience”. As it was getting closer to my high-school graduation I was seriously tossing up whether to apply to John’s, as I wasn’t sure that being in another all girls institution would be the right fit for me. Then mum reminded me that I would have to be sharing bathrooms with boys, which did not sound like the most pleasant experience. This solidified my decision and I made up my mind I was going to apply to Women’s College!

Now, after 18 months living in the college I am so thankful for my decision. I absolutely love Women’s and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Not only is there an abundance of sporting, cultural and social activities on offer, but I have also found that it is a really supportive learning environment. There are three other girls at Women’s who do physio in my year as well as at least six or seven girls who are the year ahead of us. This means I have friends to; walk to class with, practise the numerous techniques that we learn with, commiserate with (when we find out that yet again physio students are going to have the most exams out of anyone at college), and lots of people to ask for help. In the last two exam-block periods, myself and four other second-year physios took over one of the study rooms and made it our ‘nest’, spending many late nights studying (and occasionally procrastinating) together. This set-up has made the insanely stressful exam-block period bearable as we can ask each other for questions at any time, as well as having buddies to laugh and cry with throughout the three long weeks. Since we established the ‘nest’, my results and my stress levels have improved dramatically. Additionally, Women’s organises older students to come in once a week to tutor us in our particular subjects, which I will say without shame, is an absolute lifesaver.

Living on campus, and in particular, at Women’s, has also given me the opportunity to try many other extra-curricular activities that I would never have experienced outside the college. Last year I made the rowing team, which was super exciting for me as Toowoomba doesn’t even have a river and I’d never had the chance to try it before. I was also lucky enough to represent Women’s in netball, as I joined a mixed netball team with some friends from Kings College - which is great fun. Additionally, I got to take part in a play that we did with St John’s College, and am getting geared up to take part in the intercollege Dancefest this semester. Besides the sport and cultural activities, there are more social events than anyone could ever dream of with a College Exchange on every Thursday night as well as countless balls, “at home” parties, bar nights and regular visits to the Royal Exchange Hotel.

As well as all these experiences I am delighted to say that I have made some amazing friends at Women’s, as well as from the other colleges. I was unusually lucky in that quite a few of my school friends also got accepted into Women’s in the same year that I did, so I actually knew some people before I moved in. There were plenty of girls who didn’t know anyone at all, however, everyone made friends very quickly. While, at first, it was a bit difficult for me to branch out and make new friends, I really put in the extra effort and now it has well and truly paid off. In addition to the physio girls, I have friends who are studying international relations, occupational therapy, advanced science, law, medicine, speech pathology, acting, and nursing. With such varied uni studies, meal time conversations are never boring! Furthermore, I have met people from all over Australia and the world, with girls travelling from regional towns such as Banana, Moura, Goondiwindi, Inverell and Mungindi, not to mention Fiji, USA, Singapore and Hong Kong to attend Women’s.

I would really encourage anyone from regional towns and overseas to apply to Women’s, as being part of this community has been an incredible experience. For girls who live in Brisbane, it is also worth noting that they have an associate program that allows local girls to take part in O-week and attend as many Women’s events as they wish throughout the year whilst still living at home. I will be part of the crew giving one-on-one tours at the UQ St Lucia Open Day on Sunday the 7th of August, and everyone is more than welcome to drop in and ask any questions about life at Women’s.

Overall, with the fear of sounding completely cliché, Women’s really is my ‘home away from home’. One of my favourite things about living at Women’s is that you know, even when things are stressful with uni, or you miss your family, you have over 250 other girls around you, who are likely to be feeling similar things. You will never be short of people to talk to. At the end of the day, I am proud to say that being at college has enriched my university experience in countless ways and I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to apply to Women’s.  

Meet the author…

My name is Lucy, and I am in my second year of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at UQ. I am from Toowoomba, which is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Brisbane. I am an avid netball fan, have a dog named Jack Jack and my hobbies include travelling and reading.

Last updated:
19 October 2016