Hear from ASPIRE student Rebecca Spilipoulos: “By studying Law, I want to make a difference in my community.”

My name is Rebecca Spiliopoulos and I am currently in my first year at La Trobe University studying Law and International Relations. My first involvement with La Trobe University began in mid-September last year when I got accepted into the Aspire program. The Aspire program allows students to show how they have made a positive impact on the community, whether it be through creating campaigns to promote wellbeing and safety in the community, through volunteering at the local football club or through volunteering for the CFA. Aspire gives students the ability to not only display their academic achievements, but also gives them the opportunity to show how they have made an impact in society.

For me personally, my Aspire story began with an Anti-Bullying campaign I created at my school. This consisted of me taking over 500 photos of students and teachers holding up banners saying ‘I SAY NO TO BULLYING!’ I then compiled all these photos and videos together, and launched my Anti Bullying campaign at a school assembly. The impact was amazing. I had students coming up to me and thanking me for creating awareness about bullying in schools. As a previous victim of bullying myself, it was astonishing when students came up to me and thanked me for giving them hope and confidence that there is a light at the end of the tunnel when one is experiencing bullying. The feeling of knowing that I had positively made an impact on even one individual’s life was unbelievable and I filled me with happiness.

The reason I created this campaign was purely due to my passion for action. I’ve always been driven and determined to make a difference in my local community. When I got accepted into Law and International relations, I was excited and extremely happy. Since I was five years old, I always knew I wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer. I’ve always wanted to be able to provide a voice for those that have had an injustice committed against them. Through being a lawyer, I believe I will be able to bring justice to our community. This is why being a lawyer for me will be the most fulfilling and satisfying career path. Now that my dream is finally on the way, I can take a moment to relax, to be able to take in these past few fantastic first weeks at La Trobe.

My first few weeks have been full of excitement and nervousness. It is true what they say that compared to high school, you now are the small fish in a very, very, big pond. Although it can be daunting at times, university life is amazing. Due to the independent learning system, I feel as though already, I have matured more as a young adult and have become more independent. Adapting to university life is sometimes difficult. It is quite a change from high school in the sense that teachers would always be there to remind you what homework needed to be done, or when assignments were due. At university, it really is up to you to keep up to date with all the homework and due dates. This however, with organisational skills, can be easy to combat. The key for me was to get organised from the get go. By first week, I got a diary, downloaded the student guides for each subject, and filled in my timetable and assessment due dates straight away in the diary. This helped to ensure that I would be up to date with all my classes and I now have a clear physical view of when all my assessments are due. Being organised helps to alleviate some of the stresses of university life. In the past few weeks I have met a number of different individuals and have made heaps of new friends. I thought making friends would be difficult, but then I realised that all of us first years were in the same boat and we all wanted to make new friendships. Furthermore, the first few weeks of university for me have been full of excitement and enjoyment, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the future holds for me as a Law student at La Trobe University.

Rebecca Spiliopoulos is currently studying Law and International Relations at La Trobe Law School.

La Trobe