An Interview with Peer Mentor Lauren Ware
Lauren Ware is in the second year of the Bachelor of Science student who wants to share her tips and tricks for starting at uni.
What year are you in the BSc and what are you studying?
I’m currently starting my second year in the BSc. The subjects I’m studying include Biochemistry, Molecular science, Immunology, Microbiology, and later in the year, Pharmacology and Biotechnology.
Do you have any plans for what you’d like to do when you graduate?
I don’t have any concrete plans, but I am hoping to take a year off after graduating to travel and then pursue a graduate degree upon my return.
Why did you want to become a Peer Mentor?
Before I began my first year, I felt intimidated with the unknown with transitioning from high school to the university lifestyle. I had seemingly simple questions about starting my course and I now know who to ask. I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the casual environment, where I can hopefully answer these types of questions for students that are going through the same transition. It will be great to be able to give the tips and advice that I missed out on when I was starting, while also meeting new people and regularly catching up during the program.
What do you think is the most interesting thing about studying science at Melbourne?
Compared to the majority of university courses you might find your friends doing, the Bachelor of Science follows what’s known as the ‘Melbourne Model’. Instead of having set core subjects that everyone in the degree has to take, you essentially are able to design your own course with what science subjects you want to do (as long as you meet the prerequisites in subjects needed for your ultimate major).
Because of this model, I was able to experiment with science subjects that I hadn’t experienced before, which helped me broaden my knowledge as well as narrow down where my interests lie. The huge variety of breadth subjects to be taken is also a lot of fun and can be refreshing from taking science subjects.
What do you find the most annoying thing about University?
I don’t have many bad things to say about University, I really loved the independence and freedom it gave me in my study choices. Compared to high school, I would have to say it can be annoying and overwhelming with how much content you learn in a more condensed study time period. It can feel like you’re overloading yourself with information at times, but once exams are over it does turn into a feeling of accomplishment.
Have you ever used any of the services at University and if so which ones? Would you advise others to use them too?
I’ve used the online live chat with Stop 1, which I would definitely recommend. They are very resourceful with helping you find the enrolment information you need and it’s also an easy way to contact the university. I have also attended some university seminars for First Year at Melbourne and a myWorld First Steps session for information about exchanges. These sessions were a great way to get more information to give you ideas and help plan for your future studies.
Do you ever visit Stop 1 and if so why? Were they helpful?
I went to Stop 1 at the beginning of my first year for help with enrolment. I was having trouble working out which subjects I needed for the potential majors I was interested in and how they would fit into my study plan. They were very helpful, I sat down face to face with an adviser and they put together a study plan for me based on what my interests were. Once second semester came around, I knew exactly how to do this myself.
If you could go back to visit yourself in first year, what advice would you give yourself?
I would advise that for the first classes of University (although daunting as they may seem) were just a matter of checking the LMS for resources I needed to bring, using the Lost on Campus App for finding where my classes are, and to also remember that all classes start 5 minutes after the official start time so to not stress about start times.
Try to attend lectures in person, as I found this helped better with concentrating on the content, but you can also watch them online. Also, try your best to keep up with the work content. This is how you can completely avoid feeling overwhelmed with the new workload.
Meeting new people in your classes shouldn’t be overthought, as you’ll find that conversations start naturally, and you’re likely to meet people with the same interests as you.