Hear from ASPIRE Student Rebecca Spilipoulos: “This is Uni Life as a First Year!”

I have now been at La Trobe University for 7 weeks, and they have been some of the most exciting, interesting and stressful weeks of my life! I am currently undertaking four different subjects. As I am doing a double degree (Law and International Relations) I decided to take two law subjects, and two from international relations.

For my law subjects, I am studying Legal Institutions and Methods and Dispute Resolution. If I had to describe these subjects in a few words, I would have to say they are interesting, challenging and fun! Fun you ask? Well, for one of my assignments for Legal Institutions and Methods I had to go to the Magistrates Court to observe a case. Going to court for the first time can be quite daunting, but once you get the hang of all the rules (for example, bowing your head towards the Judge when you walk in and out of a court room) it can actually turn into an engaging educational experience. Observing lawyers in action was captivating because I aspire to one day representing clients in court myself.

After the court visit, it was then time to write up the assignment, which surprisingly was not that difficult as I had taken plenty of notes whilst observing the cases on the day. Another assignment that you have to do in Legal Institutions and Methods is reading a case, and then presenting the main facts of the case to your peers. My group decided to do this through a role play. This was exciting as throughout high school, I studied drama. Being able to use some skills that I had learnt in year 12 drama helped me quite a lot throughout my presentation. It is kind of like when you’re studying mathematics in high school and you say ‘When am I ever going to use this skill again?’, well sometimes those high school skills really do come in handy!

My International Relations subjects consist of Australian Politics and Sociology. If I had to describe Australian Politics in one word, I would most definitely use the word intriguing. When I first started this subject, I was scared that it would be a little bland or boring, but I was most definitely proved wrong! If anything, it is the complete opposite. Australian Politics thus far has given me knowledge about the political parties that will hopefully assist me in making an informed decision when it comes time to vote in the upcoming election.

Sociology focuses on controversial issues in the world, and looks at them through completely new and different perspectives. It has helped me to open my eyes in seeing different situations through new perspectives. Our major assignment in this subject allows us to choose form a list of five ‘Questions of Curiosity’. These include questions such as ‘Why do people work?’ or ‘Why do people get married?’ I chose the question ‘Why do people get tattoos?’ This question jumped out at me because I have always had an obsession with tattoos. Through being able to pick my own question, I believe it has given me more motivation to complete all the necessary readings and work associated with the essay.

Overall, I would have to say that even though uni can be stressful at times due to the amount of homework that is assigned each week, it is manageable if you plan your weeks out day by day. Though it is stressful, if you are in the course that you are meant to be in, you wont have a problem completing all the necessary work. While there is a lot of work involved in studying law and international relations, because I love what I am studying, the hard work makes it truly worth it.

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

La Trobe