"It felt like home."
Studying Literature is something that I have wanted to do since I was in high school. Back in year 12 though, the ‘responsible’ part of me followed my parents’ instruction to study a Maths class so that I had a subject that would help me get into university. I gave up my Literature class and instead took on a Maths Methods class in its place. For that whole final year of school, I was full of envy as my friends discussed what they were studying in their Literature class, while I struggled my way through Methods, fighting to understand a course that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. Despite my abysmal performance in that class (Math really wasn’t my forte and the only thing I seemed to genuinely understand was statistics), my parents were right about one thing – that class did come in useful. In my undergrad degree at university, I studied Psychology and Creative Writing and that Psychology degree just happened to require proficiency in statistics – which as we know thanks to that Math class, I was quite good at.
The desire to study Literature never faded, though my next degree was one in Education. A few years after I started teaching, I was handed a Literature class and instantly I was in love. There was something that compelled me, that drew me in to that course and it was impossible to ignore – preparing those units to teach, diving into those books to find every nuance I could find and then teaching others how to seek them out too, trying to pass along that love that I felt for Literature – I was enchanted by every moment of it.
It was a love that led me back to university for a third time, and the past twelve months have been filled with a joy that can only come from doing something that you truly love. Everything about this course has been such a wonderful experience: Deakin’s staff have been so much more than professors passing on knowledge – they have been genuine, kind, engaging professionals, full of expertise and so willing to share what they know. Every subject has been fascinating; I have learned so much and been exposed to a wealth of writing I hadn’t seen before. It has pushed me so far beyond my comfort zone, and my writing has improved with every challenge that has been placed before me. I have been welcomed by the university and drawn to participate in the course and its promotion, I have pitched my idea for my thesis, an idea that has been encouraged and actively supported, and I have absolutely struck gold in the supervisor department, a fact for which I will be ever grateful. Then, on top of it all, I have been doing far better than I ever thought possible. Being this successful feels good!
From the very first moments when I started that Masters coursework, with classes in poetry and narrative theory, in historical fiction, short stories, and fiction writing, underpinned by a detailed study in the theoretical frameworks from whose perspectives all that I was learning could be considered, I found that this was absolutely what I loved to do. There was something about literature – creating my own writing and studying that of others - that just fed my soul in a way that nothing else had done before.
It felt like home.
As I sink my teeth into the second year of my Masters degree, I am certain of one thing. This place that I have found myself is exactly where I am meant to be.