I have set this post to auto-publish at around the moment I will be graduating from my undergrad degree. The ceremony starts at 2:30pm! For the duration of this post, I’m going to ignore the fact that I have just applied to do an hounours year, and focus on celebrating the completion of my first five years at uni instead. I get the testamurs and that is all that matters.
In those five years, I have attended two different universities, and three campuses. Here are my comparative reflections of each:
- Uni of Wollongong Main Campus: This campus is great. It is filled with greenery and wildlife. There are dozens of types of birds, including bush turkeys, ducks, evil ducks, and more. There is also a large eel in the Duck Pond. The great thing about this campus is that everyone just seems to ignore the birds and let them get on with their business, while the birds mostly seem to ignore everyone. (The great exception, of course, is the Evil Duck, whom I only encountered a couple of times.) UoW has a whole heap of different food outlets, lots of places to relax, and a good range of courses to pick from. The campus is near-ish to the beach, if you’re interested, and Wollongong’s CBD if you prefer to shop. The State Government-funded free Green Bus is also very handy.
However, accessing the UoW campus can be a nightmare if you live outside the Illawarra. Train and bus services services are scant, parking is foul, and the roads are crappy anyway (think Picton Road, Macquarie Pass, and the Princes Highway).
- Uni of Wollongong Moss Vale Campus: The Bachelor of Arts Course offered at this campus probably qualifies you for nothing. It has a made up major with no equivalent at the main campus. Don’t be fooled by the local and Facebook advertising suggesting you can complete a full teaching degree here either. You can’t. UoW is using the Moss Vale campus as a placeholder to ward off other unis who might be interested in the Southern Highlands.
That said, the classes at Moss Vale can be helpful to local students who are studying at the main campus. The small class sizes mean you get better interaction with the tutor and are forced to do the work – because you can’t hide behind other students. The campus itself is also useful for local students who need quick access to printing and computer resources. Plus, the student lounge is pretty comfy.
- Uni of Canberra: I only attended UC for six months, during which time I lived in the nearby suburb Latham. I cycled from Latham to UC each day – a task made considerably easier by Canberra’s extensive cycleway network. UC itself is a big, open campus. It struck me as a very dry and dead campus (Canberra was in a drought, so there wasn’t much water for plants). I came home and transferred to UoW because I struggled to find work in Canberra, rent is expensive and I had some big expenses on my car while I was there. I just couldn’t afford to live in the ACT any more.
On the whole, my UC experience didn’t leave me with good impressions of Canberra, but I quite like the city itself now. As far as cities go, it suits my preference for a large country town. I wouldn’t suggest Canberra as a place for students who like partying (particularly if you’ll live in outer suburbs, where bus services stop after about 8pm), but its a nice place to live if you like a slowish pace to life.