With unforeseen challenges arising due to COVID-19 it's fair to say 2020 has been an unpredictable year for all.
Former Dubbo Christian School graduate and first year university student Katherine Hovenden is no exception.
"COVID-19 has kinda put this year into a whirlwind of chaos," Miss Hovenden said.
"My first year of university has been different to what I'd expected it to be, but it has still been quite fun and it's been exciting working through a new challenge."
Miss Hovenden moved from Dubbo to Wollongong for university earlier this year before the first wave of COVID-19 hit the country, but has found the journey to be smooth.
"I am still studying in Wollongong, and still amazed at how green it is here," she said.
"It took a little while to settle in and learn my way around, but Wollongong is like a second home now and there are quite a few people from Dubbo in Wollongong at the moment as well, which has been good to see familiar faces."
Miss Hovenden said 'thankfully' she was also able to network with other first year students during orientation at the beginning of the year and through the first few weeks of classes that were held on campus before students were sent to study online from their homes due to COVID-19.
"The lecturers and tutors have been really helpful and are always willing to answer my numerous questions," she said.
"I've also made a few friends through the group projects we were assigned in semester one."
Miss Hovenden is studying a bachelor of arts at the University of Wollongong (UOW) where she also hopes to major in ancient history and archaeology.
"I wanted to study history for quite a long time; I grew up reading and one of the genres I found particularly interesting was historical fiction.
"My interest grew in high school where history was a mandatory subject and I chose it as one of my HSC subjects.
"So far, I still want to continue my studies in history and still love history, but am now learning about the practical side of history due to my major being Ancient History and Archaeology," she said.
Miss Hovenden is encouraging the class of 2020 year 12 students, who are looking at heading to university in the new year, to 'enjoy every step of the way, no matter the challenge life throws at you.'
"There will always be a way to fully enjoy your next stage of life, even if it's not what you expected," she said.
"Don't be afraid to make friends, get lost on campus, choose classes you know nothing about and just have fun."
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