Money, marks and mental health

The choice to return to study presented me with opportunities that I never thought possible! I have represented ACU at an international conference, studied abroad for a semester, made some amazing new friends, and learnt a lot about myself and my gifts.

I have this need to always make the right choice. So, when I decided to leave a job that I really cared about a few years ago I was worried I would make the wrong decision.

The first logical step was to look for another job. I applied for a few but none of them felt right. One night I was talking with a friend and I had this thought “if I could go back to study, I would.” While I had been thinking about working full time and studying part time, I dismissed the idea immediately because I didn’t think there was any way I could financially support myself if I went back to university full time.

I had all these fears – what if I made the wrong decision? I’d studied briefly straight out of high school and it didn’t go so well. I failed multiple units and my mental health was at one of the lower points in my life. What if I decided to go back to university and the same thing happened again?

I took my worries and fears to God. At some level I believed it could help but that wasn’t my motivation. It was more because I’m an external processor and I needed an outlet. That one little thought turned into a genuine desire to study. As everything just seemed to fall into place I wondered if God was actually listening …

While I still had fears, I took the plunge and made the choice to return to university, and spoiler alert, it has been the best decision I could have made! Academically, I did really well. And when things got rough, I sought out the support I needed. I found a great community at ACU, especially in Campus Ministry, and was presented with opportunities I couldn’t have imagined. I represented ACU at an international conference, and even managed to afford a study abroad semester with some extra (pre-Covid) travel.

Looking back, I don’t think everything would have happened the way it had if I hadn't invited God into my journey back to study. I still have those fears and worries, but with community, a sense of purpose and my journey with God, I see the difference. I’ll probably never hear a voice from above clearly say “Roz, this is the right choice!” But my experience tells me that turning to my faith and letting God in, eases my fears and worries and allows me to focus and help me navigate life so much better. So, if you’re beginning your studies this year, remember you are not alone, that you can do this, and Campus Ministry is always there to help you on this remarkable journey that you have embarked on... who knows, you too might get the opportunity to go to international conferences and study abroad - COVID pending!"

Roz Kelly is a Student Campus Pastoral Associate at ACU’s Brisbane campus. She has a love of learning, enjoys all things sport but has a particular love of playing and watching AFL, and thinks ice-cream is acceptable for any meal! 

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