Roma – 45°C heat, oil and gas industry, schools, churches, Darren Lockyer, largest saleyards in Australia
Toowoomba – 39°C heat, The Garden City, Empire Theatre, Carnival of Flowers, University of Southern Queensland
I grew up in Roma, a rural town 350 kilometres west of Toowoomba with my family. At the end of Year 12, I made the decision to move away to study at university. I was moving away from a town that only just recently got its first roundabout and set of traffic lights, away from the place where I was born and all my family and friends were. It is a big change that has taken a lot of getting used to. I was leaving my comfort zone and moving into the big world to achieve my goals.
So, I had decided to move but didn’t know where I was going to go – share house, Student Village or USQ Residential Colleges. I didn’t know anyone in Toowoomba so I didn’t want to move into a house with a group of people that I had no relationship with – that just didn’t seem like it would work for me. I did some research – prices, facilities, how close it was to the university, if there would be a chance to meet new people, were there sports and events I was able to go to and many more. USQ Residential Colleges checked the boxes for all my criteria and that is how I ended up here!
USQ Residential Colleges are just across the road from the university, I got to have my own bathroom or the option of sharing one, it works out to be cheaper to stay there than renting a house, it provides an option to socialise and meet new people through different events. By attending USQ Residential Colleges I have made lifelong friendships and experienced so many things that have made me the person I am today.
So, if you need to move away from your home to achieve your aspirations, here are some tips!
- Give it time – everything takes time. Don’t expect everything to happen in the first week
- Plan ahead – assess every option, make a “pro-con” list to choose the right option for you
- Meet people at O-Week – attend O-Week! Attend every activity! You will meet people who will become your new ‘family’.
- Keep in touch with old friends – you have a phone, use it! It’s not as if you will never see each other again, it just won’t be every day at school like you were used to.
- Talk to someone – talk to a friend, family member, counsellor, RA or someone you trust and are willing to confide in.
- Attend everything (even breakfast) – Every sport, every event, every meeting, every opportunity. Attend them, even if your friends don’t want to! By attending you will meet new people.
- Visit each College – pick the one that is right for you. Don’t just go off the pictures, actually go and see the one that you think will suit you.
There will be times when you feel like it’s the end of the world and being away from home will make it even tougher. Everything happens with your family that you don’t see. You may feel like you don’t fit in and just want to go back to your comfort zone, back home. You may feel like you just want to curl up in a ball and cry and have your mum or dad give you a hug. You may feel like it’s the end of the world. MASSIVE TIP – don’t quit! You are adjusting and getting used to the new place. If you quit and try and come back at another time, it will be harder – stick it out and you will be rewarded.
If it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. College isn’t the place for everyone, but it can be if you let it!