Securing his spot
Luke Mulligan was teaching even when he was a student. During Year 11, he would spend an hour each week at the local public school teaching religion to students – and this devotion to community work went a long way towards easing the stress when applying for university.
A year later, Luke was accepted into the Bachelor of Education (Secondary)/Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) through the ACU Guarantee program.
The program first came to Luke’s attention in Year 11 during a conversation with his school’s career advisor. He was already considering a teaching degree but, when he realised his community engagement would help him secure a spot at ACU, he jumped at the opportunity.
“What made me really apply for ACU Guarantee was the fact that I was very passionate about community work and community engagement and, when I recognised that I could use additional statements to help boost my chances, it made me realise that this was the way for me,” Luke said.
“It gives me joy to know that my community engagements in Year 11 and 12 weren’t going unnoticed and were appreciated by the university.”
Like many other students who completed school in 2020, Luke had to navigate Year 12 studies in the middle of a global pandemic. But the ACU Guarantee program made his final year of school a little less stressful.
“Knowing I had my spot at ACU took a lot of pressure off me, especially since my workload in Year 12 was mental. It meant that all my time and energy could be devoted to my studies, and not worrying about whether or not I was going to get into university.”
Sharing knowledge, building connections
Now in his second year of study at ACU, Luke is well on his way to achieving his goal of becoming a teacher thanks to the practical nature of his course.
“I know teaching is a very fulfilling degree and it’s my way of passing on the knowledge that my teachers gave me,” he said. “Hopefully, one day, the same may happen to the students that I teach.
“I’m enjoying the very hands-on nature of the degree and I also love all the connections I am building in this degree, both professionally and personally, with various opportunities to build these connections and gain that professional understanding.”
But as much as Luke is enjoying his time inside the classroom, his experience outside it has been equally rewarding.
“The one thing I really enjoy about the Strathfield Campus is that it feels like home, somewhere all students are appreciated,” he said.
“From all the clubs and societies on campus running fun events or outreach programs, to all the wonderful people who run those events, to the relaxing feel of the campus – these are all things that make me love the campus.”
Find what makes you happy
Luke’s advice for students thinking about university is to find something that brings a smile to your face.
“For those who are considering university, find something that you will feel comfortable with, something that makes you happy,” he said.
“Once you know what makes you happy, you will be able to find the right university or degree that you can and will excel at. Asking lots of questions can do this for you. I regret not asking more questions at Open Days, as this would’ve eased a lot of pressure in O-week and the first few weeks of semester.
“Also, find something that you know can challenge who you are and make you a better person. I know, in my time at ACU, I’ve been challenged, making me a better person for it and developing skills that are useful in the real world. Look for something that does that to you, and you will be better for it.”
Keen to get an early offer to study at ACU? Learn more about ACU Guarantee.