Having a blast at Residential School

Throughout the second year in my degree, I am able to reflect on what I have learnt, using that for the future.

There is always lots to look forward to while studying and there is a lot to gain from simply having a go and applying yourself. There are many different parts of our study schedule, and for some, Residential School is an awesome part.

My time at Residential School last year was the highlight of my year. Being shy and unconfident, I found my way to campus and watched a multitude of students from different backgrounds gravitate towards a lecture room.

Getting to know the forty odd students that attended that Residential School was a learning curve in itself. I heard stories about their careers in environmentalism, what they hoped to achieve in the future and even found like minded students who also wanted to be Park Rangers.

The one memory that I will carry forever from the Residential School are the words of our lecturer. He changed lives and mindsets in that one weekend, many of us stayed after the final lecture had ended just to hear more of his wisdom.

He gave me a new perspective on Australia’s society and a profound respect for the CSU lecturers. It is hard to get to know your lecturers when you are an online student, and hard to know their personalities and interests.

In my first year I had hardly any interest in knowing my lecturers beyond asking questions about assignments. However, as I head into the remainder of my degree I am keen to meet as many as I can face to face, grasp their passion for the subjects they teach and let it strengthen my own passion for the degree.

After the Residential School, myself and some of the other students decided a Facebook group chat would be a great idea. Charles Sturt doesn’t provide any platform on which online students can talk to their peers and I strongly suggest starting a group chat if you are an online student.

You will form friendships that can last well beyond your graduation date. I have had so much help with assignments from other students whether in the group chat or private chats and I hope in the next two years to catch up with some of them and discuss our common interests in the environment.

So if you are thinking of trying to avoid a Residential School or faking being sick, which I briefly considered, I encourage you to attend and you might be surprised at the experience. I look forward to and will be far more prepared for my second year and third year Residential Schools.