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I wanted to provide value for others

Nathan smiling sitting cross-legged with notebook and pen


Jessica Nelson and Cloe Jager
15 March 2024

For Nathan Lancaster, a pathway course gave him the confidence to return to study. Now completing an Honours program, Nathan is committed to helping others foster self-belief through psychology.

After working in retail for eight years, Nathan was seeking a career change but felt he didn’t have the confidence to study at university.

“I enrolled in the Preparing for Success Program and learnt a lot of valuable skills. It prepared me to undertake a Bachelor degree because I learnt how to write essays, reference and manage my time,” Nathan said.

After receiving a High Distinction for his first grade during the pathway program, Nathan felt encouraged to enrol in the Bachelor of Psychological Science.

“I’ve absolutely loved it and I’ve never looked back; it’s led to so many opportunities, in becoming a student ambassador, and working for the uni, and also just all the connections and friendships I’ve formed. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made I reckon.”

“I’ve absolutely loved it and I’ve never looked back. It’s led to so many opportunities. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made I reckon.”

Student Nathan smiling at camera with students in background

As a social person who thrives on being connected, Nathan’s biggest battle early on in his degree was the covid restrictions and being isolated from his peers.

“As soon as we were allowed back on campus, when restrictions started lowering, I took every opportunity to be on campus just to engage with all the students and staff who were coming back. I would study in the student lounge and I’d pick up a conversation with every new student who walked in, which is actually how I ended up getting into the role of President of the Student Association, through meeting the staff who oversee the student association.

“They told me I’d be the right fit for president, which I’ve held for two years now and have been loving it. I help the committee come to decisions on where we want to spend student funds and put our efforts. Through that we provide warm meals for students to get together and share through winter, and then we also provide summer themed meals for this time of year and we always get big student turn outs for those. And we’ve also put on yoga and art and craft days for students, and also running end of year celebrations for students too which have been a huge success.”

Nathan is now undertaking his Psychology Honours and is bolstering his knowledge in psychology through a volunteer position at Lifeline.

“It’s definitely tricky knowing almost every call you get is a risky call where it could be a life-threatening situation, but it’s a very important job and has been great character building for me, where I’m learning tools in talking to people in general and being able to listen better, as well as becoming self-aware in being able to keep my emotions and biases in check – I’ve learnt a lot of great life skills from that.

“I love the calls where you feel like you’ve made a real difference. They really bring a whole new sense of satisfaction and meaning to life.”

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