Travel, internships and new friends: reflecting on my Griffith experience
I began my Bachelor of Public Relations and Communications at the Griffith University Gold Coast Campus in 2015. Just before graduating high school in 2014, I received early entry based on my OP prediction. Graduation, formal and the celebrations of finishing high school flew by, and all of a sudden it was O-Week! I was fortunate to have a few good friends from school also attending Griffith, although not studying the same degree. I recall being very nervous on my first day and had no idea what to expect, but I quickly realised everyone was in the same boat as me! I made friends across my eight subjects within my first year, and learnt a lot across my foundation subjects of public relations, journalism, photography, event management and marketing! Before I knew it, my first year was over, I’d learned the ropes of ‘uni life’ and had begun to realise just how different it was to high school.
During the first trimester of my second year in 2016, I decided to defer trimester two. I spent the six months working and travelling to Europe and Bali in-between. I valued my break from Uni as it led to various experiences that further motivated my study path and confirmed my interest in public relations. I returned to full-time study in Trimester 1 2017, feeling more motivated to get involved on campus and joined the GUGC Student Guild. I had always wanted to get involved with volunteering, and when I had a group assignment with a senior team member of The Guild, she gave me the know-how and I jumped right in! Since joining, I’ve volunteered at a range of events and functions over the past 18 months. Some highlights in particular have been handing out fruit and vegetables as part of Wellness Day, Yoga classes on campus, working by the pool during O-Week and the lively annual Doctors and Nurses party. During these experiences, I met so many like-minded students, along with connecting with lots of other students and staff members.
Another one of my favourite experiences at Griffith was completing my last free choice elective as an eco-tourism course in India. Travelling throughout the relatively unheard of Uttarakhand, a state in northern India, opened my mind to an entirely new world. Spending three weeks living, breathing and experiencing a developing country changed my entire worldview, and has inspired me in so many ways. Since returning, I shared my experience on the Griffith Collective, where I’ve also been able to tap into my journalism skills through sharing various articles.
As graduation quickly approaches, I’ve been reflecting on just how lucky I have been with my Griffith experience. From valuable internships amongst prominent companies, making lifelong friends, and travelling through the foothills of the Himalayas, I have truly made the most of my degree, and encourage fellow students to do the same! Although it saddens me to be leaving Griffith and student life, I am excited for what the real world has to offer, and know that the opportunities I have had to date have prepped me.
By Katelyn Armstrong