Ella – studying Arts/Law
Hi! My name is Ella and I've just finished my 3rd year of an Arts/Law degree. I honestly didn't think I'd end up at university, let alone doing a degree with such a high entry mark. Read more about my path to uni.
I can talk to you about:
- the Broadway Scheme – what it is and how it helps
- scholarships – Access and Entry
- why I chose Law.
Q&A with Ella
What's your advice to students wanting to apply for a scholarship?
If you're applying for a merit scholarship, make sure your personal statement reflects the kind of person you are: talk about your achievements so far but also describe the things you want to get involved with at uni, your passions and aspirations.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Passionate, involved and approachable.
What do you like or dislike about Sydney Uni?
I love the campus, my subjects and the extracurricular opportunities. Since first year I've been heavily involved in a University society which meets several times a month with Sydney's homeless to provide food, drink and social services. I've also enjoyed helping out with the Law Revue, an annual satirical sketch-show.
Another highlight has been my involvement with Sydney University Law Society's subcommittees, working on projects with an equitable/social justice focus. If there's anything I dislike, it's the fact that Sydney Uni has a reputation as a university for the privileged. I've met people at Sydney Uni from a wide range of backgrounds, and the University is strongly dedicated to supporting everyone.
Would you rather have cold showers for the rest of your life or never eat chocolate again, and why?
I'd rather never shower again than have to go without chocolate!
Any tips for getting through the HSC?
What they say about having a balanced lifestyle really is true: make sure you exercise, eat well, sleep well and make time for fun activities. And remember there are heaps of different pathways into uni if you don't quite get the ATAR you were hoping for!
I missed a lot of school and dropped out pretty early, but eventually went back and finished my HSC over a few years, doing most subjects by correspondence and several at TAFE. I honestly didn't expect to get into the University of Sydney, but under the Broadway Scheme I got a place in a combined arts/law course.
In first year I was on an Entry Scholarship and now I'm on an Access Scholarship. I've won academic merit prizes for the last two years for high quality work throughout the year. The scholarships and prizes have made university life so much easier, because they enabled me to do less part-time work and focus more on my uni work and get involved in extracurricular life. I haven't been studying full time, but with the help of Summer School scholarships I've been able to catch up by completing a number of subjects over the summer break.
I'm not exactly sure what I want to do when I finish my degree I know I'd like to work in social justice, and I'm really interested in human rights. At the moment I'm enjoying learning about the wide range of career paths that will be available to me upon graduation, and I'm excited that my degree will enable me to make a real difference to people's lives.
My advice to high school students would be to just apply. I certainly never imagined that I would be where I am today. You never know. Definitely make use of the access schemes if you are eligible, and apply for scholarships. University is very flexible you don't have to enrol full time if you have other commitments. It's also important to remember the University is keen to support everyone.