Meet Study Mum Kassie
Family: Husband, 2 boys (aged 8 and 5) and 1 girl (aged 18 months)
Location: South West Sydney
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
I Rate This Course 4 Out of 5 Stars * * * * *
I rate this course 4 stars, the academic faculty and the resources are brilliant, all the occupational therapy staff are extremely knowledgeable, however some of the “filler” units are repetitive and seem unnecessary.
Western Sydney University
I Rate This Educational Institute 4 Out of 5 Stars * * * *
4 stars, most facilities are brilliant, there is a great range of online resources available via the library and additional workshops that can be taken such as academic writing and referencing, peer assisted study programs and a mentor program available for the first few weeks of uni.
What I love About My Course:
I love the content and seeing progress in both myself and my work. I haven’t found any of my occupational therapy core units boring or tedious and I love the variety of applications for occupational therapy.
What I Find Challenging About My Course:
Keeping within word counts, it’s one of the biggest challenges I have faced transitioning into university life, learning to be concise and still include all the information I feel relevant has been difficult.
I’m a mother of 3 in my second year of a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. I began university in 2014 with two children; my eldest who has autism spectrum disorder was just starting kindergarten and my youngest at the time was four years old.
I received an early round offer into B Health Science (Sport and exercise science). I completed a year in health science and made an application to transfer into the course that I had my sights set on since meeting my son’s fantastic Occupational Therapist 2 years prior and experiencing first-hand how much of a difference she had made to our lives.
In 2015 I began my first year in OT, I also got married and fell pregnant with my 3rd child. However, due to an extreme form of morning sickness known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I was forced to withdraw without academic penalty and take a leave of absence until I had given birth.
In 2016 with a seven-year-old with ASD, a five-year-old preparing for kindergarten and a 3-month-old infant I completed assessments and readings whilst breastfeeding and squeezed in time for my son’s therapy and even a hobby (women’s gridiron).
It was truly hectic, but I am now half way through my second year with a GPA of 5.75, I have been invited in a high achiever’s program called The Academy and have just delivered on a placement project that provided resources for an additional needs school to meet the sensory needs of the students and increase their engagement in both their social and academic programs.
I have set myself a goal to be invited into the honours program in third year. I love my course, and that I am making a difference, my son’s occupational therapist (who is still treating him) has become a wealth of information and a good friend.
Cert IV Beauty Therapy
Diploma Beauty Therapy
What I Want To Be When I Grow Up: Paediatric Occupational Therapist
My Best Study Tips And Tricks Are:
- If you are on campus confirm if you are eligible for pre-allocating tutorials, this is often the case if you have caring responsibilities for your children that may limit your availability i.e. School pick up.
- utilise a session planner, my university provides a blank session planner grid that has space for unit names down one side then weeks across the top, as soon as I get access to my learning guides I write each assessment for each unit in their respective weeks and place it on the fridge. I then cross off each week and each assessment as it is completed this allows me to keep track of upcoming assessments.
- Websites like quizlet as well as creating your own flash cards are great for learning content, create new flash cards each week to add and go through them this ensures you know this week’s content but have a thorough understanding of the semester content at exam time.
- Don’t forget about hard cover books at your library, a lot of the world is digital now and a lot of students tend to just search for information available online but an academic library in particular has a vast variety of informative resources (I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have had to take my kids with me to borrow a specific book, no one ever bats an eye).
- If you’re struggling speak with your unit coordinator, a lot of the time they have children themselves and understand the chaos that can come with it and will often direct to you as to what you can do that may help, if you leave it to the last minute they will be limited in what assistance they can provide.
My Biggest Challenge As A Study Mum Has Been:
Finding a balance during semester between dedicating time to my studies, kids and household chores but most significantly I have found it challenging missing school events for my children because of classes or exams.
How I Keep Motivated:
Lately I’ve been looking to the end goal, graduation day. I’ve even looked at what I’d wear to my graduation, what colour regalia and hood I’d wear, what frame I’ll choose to frame my degree in with the official framers. It seems simple but graduating will be my greatest achievement.
My Best Advice For Other Mums Who Are Considering Studying:
Try it, particularly with university there is a census date that allows you to withdraw without academic or financial penalty if all or some of the units are too much.