SCU resident Assistants Jess McCloskey and Bryce Thomson prepare to welcome university students to college life.
SCU resident Assistants Jess McCloskey and Bryce Thomson prepare to welcome university students to college life. Cathy Adams

Warm welcome to university life

OUT-OF-TOWN students coming to Lismore will be in good hands when they land at Southern Cross University.

Settling into accommodation on campus will be made all the easier with help from the team of resident assistants, students such as Bryce Thomson and Jess McCloskey, who work at the SCU Village, the student accommodation bureau.

The two 21-year-olds are at different ends of their studies.

Bryce is about to begin a four-year double degree in marine science and environmental science, but has already settled in and says he can’t see himself moving off campus.

A mechanic by trade, Bryce said he wanted to branch out, and off the family farm at Inverell.

He and the other RAs have about 40 students each to look after and help adjust to a new life in a strange town away from their parents and friends.

“It’s not easy for an 18-year-old straight from school,” he said.

Helping the newcomers find their way around and adjust to their new freedoms has been a delightful part of her uni life for Jess, who finishes her double degree in visual arts and secondary education this year.

She knows from personal experience how tough it can be.

“I loved it and hated it during the first month,” she said. “I was on a massive high, and then came the reality of not being near my mum and dad and friends.

“Our job is to get to know the new students in the accommodation units we look after, and to be a replacement family for them.”

Studies begin officially on February 22 and will take place over three semesters, which run into February next year. The ‘trimester’ set-up meant students could enrol at any one of the three stages during the year, and if they wished could fast-track their degree by studying though the summer, an SCU spokesperson said.



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