Within a Cooee! includes suggestions, encouragement and guidance using the words of regional, rural and remote students and some university staff who took part in an Australia-wide study . The advice reflects a range of experiences from different perspectives – from 18 year-olds to over 50s, representing a diversity of backgrounds, locations and reasons for studying, to name a few. Together their perspectives form part of a bigger, collective story: of being regional, rural or remote and planning a future.
Who is it for?
Within a Cooee! will be useful for anyone who is curious about how other regional, rural or remote people have navigated decisions around going to university. It is a series of conversation starters or things to reflect on if you are:
- thinking about uni as a future option
- already at uni and would like to know what others have experienced
- supporting someone who is thinking about or has already begun uni (e.g. parent, family member, friend)
- staff who support students (in various ways) at school or university.
Within a Cooee! has something for you – there are many perspectives from diverse people from regional, rural and remote areas. Making the decision to start university, or persevering until you finish your degree, can be challenging. It’s always good to hear from others who have already started along a similar journey. And it’s a good time for you to spend time thinking about and talking to others about the hopes and desires you have for your future, and how you might achieve them.
How should I use it?
Choose whatever topic(s) are of interest to you and use the advice of others to tailor your own conversations or reflections. Bring up your thoughts with someone you trust and who is supportive of your ideas for the future, like a family member, friend, counsellor, mentor, university support worker, teacher, careers advisor, and so on.
For example, a conversation might be prompted by Grace’s advice (see quote below) around ‘What is risky for me?’ or ‘How do I prepare for uni?’ or ‘Why should I just do it?’. Grace’s details might also be be of interest to you – she is 21-25 years old from an outer regional area. She moved 400 kilometres from her family to study and is in her final year. She has not always found it easy and struggled at times. Her advice is:
Just do it. If you’re thinking about doing it then why stop yourself? Take the risk but prepare for it as well.
How is the tool organised?
There are four main sections:
- Being regional, rural or remote (strengths and qualities)
- I’m thinking about uni, but I’m still not sure (things to consider for those who are in the process of deciding)
- I’m at uni: now keep going! (advice from others who are also in the midst of study)
- Like a rollercoaster!* (emotional highs and lows and the uni experience).
*Varying emotions are normal but if you are feeling stressed out or becoming too overwhelmed then don’t be afraid to reach out – to your university student support services, counsellor, Lifeline 131114, a trusted family member or friend. Here is a list of other free services – remember Help is only a Cooee away!
Before you start
I’m thinking about uni and I’m at uni are more made up of a variety of related topics, which are each accessed by clicking a topic which will bring up short quotes by students (or staff). Each quote includes more about the person quoted. This is to show the diversity across regional students and includes information such as their age, gender, degree choice, general location, equity factors and additional responsibilities (where this information was provided), and will look something like:
Brad is in Year 12 from an outer regional area and he is planning to go to university
Hannah is 41-50 from an outer regional area, in 2nd year nursing, fulltime on campus. She is first in family, is a carer for family member(s) and works part time.