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Student studying at Geelong waterfront campus

How your uni experience can help shape your future

We often think about what students can expect to gain from university (a degree and the career that follows), but we don’t often take a deep dive into how the true essence of university life lies in the years spent working towards the degree.

For students like Lauren Solomonson, completing a Bachelor of Arts/Law at Deakin University was more than just attending classes. As she reflects, “There are just so many opportunities available; there was always something new to try, exciting events to attend or new people to meet.”

How living on campus can help you push your limits

Lauren’s university journey began with a choice: living on Deakin’s Melbourne Burwood campus during her first year, despite being from Geelong (just a 90-minute drive away). As an introvert, this decision eased her out of her comfort zone in two ways: she wasn’t on home turf, which meant she couldn’t rely on her family or friends, and she was pushed to engage more in classes, form closer relationships with other students, and continue to explore how much further she could go.

As she reflects, “Through living on residence, I was able to meet a lot of like-minded people. We were all in the same position of not knowing anyone, but by the first day of class, I had a great new group of friends.”

The benefits of extracurricular activities

Lauren’s decision to remain on campus, rather than moving back to Geelong, was instrumental in deepening her engagement with university life and building connections with like-minded individuals. From sports clubs to cultural societies, Deakin offered a diverse range of activities, including access to the YMCA facility.

“It was a great place to work out, do classes with friends, and get a general break from everyday stresses. It was always buzzing with activity and a great place to spend time in between studying!” says Lauren.

Joining clubs provides a sense of belonging, and if you have the tendency to be shy, like Lauren, all the more reason. When you enjoy and focus on club activities, the conversations flow easily, helping you make strategic decisions and create lasting bonds that can support you both through challenges and achievements.

How clubs can prepare you for your future

The pinnacle of Lauren’s university experience was her involvement with the Geelong Deakin Law Students’ Society. Joining the committee as a Marketing Officer in 2017 and later becoming President, Lauren found a sense of purpose and belonging. As President, she represented Deakin and DLSS Geelong at Australian Law Student Association conferences, sat on the Deakin Law School Advisory Board, and facilitated the DLSS Geelong’s first Hackathon event in partnership with legal firm, Harwood Andrews.

Lauren’s exceptional contributions were celebrated when she received Deakin University’s Vice Chancellor’s Medal in 2018. “The great work of DLSS Geelong cannot be undermined, and my receipt of the medal was largely due to my role as DLSS Geelong President and the collective work we did together as a committee,” she said.

University life forges lifelong bonds

Even after graduating, Lauren remains connected to the Deakin community through the Deakin Law School Alumni Chapter and Deakin’s Legacy Society.

'Your connection to Deakin doesn’t end when you graduate. Being a Deakin graduate means you are a part of a lifelong cohort of the world’s best thinkers and dreamers,'

Lauren Solomonson,
Deakin University alum

The future awaits

The university experience is about more than just obtaining a degree. It’s an opportunity to explore your passions, make lifelong friendships, and carve your path towards a fulfilling future. As you prepare to embark on your university adventure, remember that there’s so much more to discover beyond the degree. Embrace every opportunity, get involved in campus life, and make the most of your journey.

this. featured experts
Lauren Solomonson
Lauren Solomonson

Lawyer, Safewill Legal
President, Deakin Law School Alumni Chapter

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