By Ella Pham
I’m not new to this whole uni business. I studied for two years at university before coming to CSU, but I’d never left home before as I’m originally from Sydney. The idea of moving away was so daunting that I put it off a couple of years when I was first accepted into a Bachelor of Pharmacy at CSU in Orange. A very poor choice on my part, as now I think back to it and all I wanted to study since I was in high school was pharmacy.
Even though I had experience at uni previously, I knew that studying pharmacy on campus wasn’t going to be the same. The workload was going to be different, not to mention the contact hours. Currently my timetable consists of a five-day spread of 9-5pm (6pm on Tuesdays), but it’s not as bad as you think. Here’s a day in my busy life.
On Thursday, I wake up at 8:30am to get ready and have a quick breakfast. I suppose one of the perks of living on campus is not having to wake up two hours early in the COLD BARREN WINTER to get ready and then having travel an hour to uni. Lucky for me, class is literally a five-minute walk from my bedroom.
9am: My first class of the day is a Pharmacy Lab practical class and I know we’re going to be learning how to compound so I’m super keen. Compounding is when a personalised drug is made for a patient. We go over the importance of compounding and discuss the various health products and medicines we can compound. I found that it takes a lot of attention to make sure you’re adding the right amount of the ingredients… (I accidentally added 50mL of water to make my cream when I was meant to make my cream up to 50mL with water, oops).
11am: Prac only goes for two hours so I go straight back to my dorm to take notes on particular drugs that I didn’t know too much about. This only lasts for about 30 minutes until a friend invites me to lunch at Banjos Café because they’re serving chicken schnitzel burgers today, too good to miss. We pretty much eat and hang around the cafeteria playing table tennis until my next class.
1pm: I make my way to the Pharmacy tutorial and realise that I know the tutor from previously meeting her at the on campus bible study group. I take a seat and we begin to go over scenarios on the appropriate supply of certain classes of drugs. A few of my classmates have had experience in working in a pharmacy so it’s fun to learn through their accounts as well.
2pm: After the Pharmacy tutorial we have a Chemistry tutorial. I contemplate not attending because I know that the tutorial isn’t compulsory, but will involve help on our assignment, which is also the reason I contemplate attending. I decide to go. We go over sample questions that are similar to our assignment, thank goodness for that!
3pm: I have an hour break until my next class so I decide to work on my biology practical workbook for tomorrow, just so I know what to expect and I don’t spend too much time working on the book rather than doing the activities in class.
4pm: It’s the last class of the day, FINALLY! We have a Pharmacy lecture and it’s on the laws that regulate pharmacy practice (which tied in really well with our tutorial earlier).
5pm: My classes are done and I go back to my dorm to take a break before making dinner.
6:30pm: I’ve procrastinated for too long. I realise I’ve had such a long day with a lot of work to look over so I go to freshen up and serve up dinner. Tonight I’m having leftover pesto pasta with chicken and yoghurt for dessert.
7pm: Now it’s time to study. This consists of working on assignments and making notes (I would much rather be watching Brooklyn 99, but hey, gotta work for that degree first).
As a first-year pharmacy student, I definitely feel the intensity of the work we have to put in, but it’s also rewarding at the end of the day. It’s an exciting future to look forward to and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.