I was given the opportunity to take Legal Institutions and Methods and Public Law through La Trobe Law School as a VCE+ Student in 2015. By taking these subjects, my ability to analyse materials for research and construct well-reasoned arguments improved dramatically. I was also able to build my self-confidence and self-esteem by talking to people. I am now a university student at La Trobe studying Law/International Relations.
The transition from high school to university has been smooth. At first I found it difficult to organise my time. At school you are provided with a timetable and told where and when you needed to be in class. Here, it was difficult logistically –you need to organise yourself, nobody is going organise your life for you. I have discovered that I am the type of person that needs to write everything down in my diary – otherwise I do tend to forget where I have to be and when. I am finding it easier now to stay on top of assessments – I just needed to figure out how to best organise my time. I find university empowering and I am growing as a person – more than I ever did at high school.
The learning style at university is different and hence you need to be self-motivated. Despite this I find going to university liberating! I feel like an adult because I am in control of my learning but can still be social and catch up with friends between classes for coffee – you couldn’t do that in high school!
La Trobe is really social. Everyone I have met is friendly. I absolutely love the community feel of La Trobe Law School. It takes me one and a half hours to get to university on public transport – I don’t like the commute but I do like the campus and the community. The Agora has an amazing feel to it. It is very chilled. Everyone is willing to help you at La Trobe and all the students are genuinely wonderful. I find it very easy to talk to people here and it is veryeasy to make friends.
My classes are more connected to real life than those I took at high school. I am currently studying Australian Politics, Introduction to Sociology and Dispute Resolution. I would say that my favourite class is Australian Politics because I am extremely politically engaged and I enjoy learning about political theory and then applying it to contemporary issues and my own personal views. In saying that, I also find Dispute Resolution interesting. We just had a lecture on family mediation and I definitely would like to gain some practical experience in this interesting area.
In the future I would like to be a practising lawyer – either in contract law or in family law. I am also very interested in the issues surrounding Asylum Seekers and I would like to volunteer at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre or similar service providers in the future.
I would say if you are a VCE student taking a subject at La Trobe make the most of it. Use the resources here at La Trobe because they are excellent. Your tutors and lecturers are all willing to help. What you learn here is not just going to help you at La Trobe but will also assist you in your VCE studies and beyond. Don’t be disheartened by your VCE studies – of course they are paramount but there is life beyond VCE.
Ashleigh Livori is currently studying Law and International Relations at La Trobe Law School.