Johanna talks first year of university

Back to blog7 months ago by Renee
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Johanna Garvin holding up her Krazy Kosci Klimb certificate after participating in the event
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Twenty five year old Johanna has graduated university and working in her chosen field of communications. This is the second blog post she is sharing on her experience at university for anyone who is going to make the leap into tertiary education.

Hi my name is Johanna. I am 25.  I have Cerebral Palsy. I use a wheelchair for mobility. This year after five exciting years at uni I got to graduate with a Bachelor of Communications and Media, with a major in film and Social Justice, from the University of Notre Dame.

I never expected to have the opportunity to go to University, so when I arrived on my first day I was bursting with excitement. Over all though, I found my first year of uni quite challenging, but also extremely positive. I thought that I could manage a four-subject load. I can’t tell you what a shock I got by the end of week three at how many assignments you were given in that time. I was extremely stressed and anxious. I just kept thinking how in the world am I going to complete all this work on time. I also felt quite tired and had to remind myself that with my cerebral palsy I can get quite fatigued. Luckily a friend suggested that I drop to a three subject load.

 I wasn’t so keen on dropping too three subjects to begin with, but as my friend said to me “you can do it at your own pace and you’re not in a rush are you?” I thought no she’s right and I want to put enough time in to each subject but also have a bit of balance. I also wasn’t in a hurry to finish. Once I had dropped to three subjects I felt so much better, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I also met up with a friend who is a bit older than me and was at uni at the time. She helped me break down my assignments, which was a huge help.

 I found that in that year of significant change, it was great to talk to family and friends about making that transition. I also realised that it is perfectly normal to have a first year freak out while you are trying to find your feet.

Overall I loved that first year of uni. I loved meeting new people, making new friends and meeting like-minded people. I started to feel more confident within myself. I enjoyed the classes and I found that if I asked for help, lecturers and staff members were more than willing to assist me.  I felt a huge sense of achievement finishing that first year of uni. I also absolutely loved having those long uni holidays and not having to think about the HSC (Higher School Certificate in NSW).

Written by guest blogger Johanna Garvin.

Johanna is a writer, film maker and this year climbed Mt Kosciusko with her support team at Krazy Kosci Klimb. She is currently chasing her dreams.