Griffith student Elle Leahy followed her love of sport to a degree in nutrition and dietetics, starting her studies with Griffith University in 2017.
Growing up in Goondiwindi, Elle says her siblings’ love of the outdoors and sports lead her to build her passion for nutrition and dietetics as she discovered how important her diet was to her success as an athlete.
“I was always sporty as a kid, and as an athlete myself I went to a lot of sports dieticians, so I think that just followed along with me,” she says.
“Even if I came here and decided to choose something different once I started studying, I was always just going to give it a go and see how I liked it… and I’ve just enjoyed everything about it.”
Coming from a rural town, Elle knew she had to move to take up higher education, and says it was easy to have confidence in choosing Griffith University.
“My sister had moved here a few years previously to study Exercise Science, and she told me so many great things,” she says.
“Based on that, Griffith was always going to be my number one choice and I haven’t doubted that decision since.”
Elle has found a way to balance part time work and sport with her degree, but says she stays focused on her studies as her number one priority, fitting in other activities around that.
“I do have a part-time job that has fit in perfectly around my studies, but my learning style depends on additional external study. We have a lot of class time to learn, but I’m the type of person that likes to re-watch lectures to help it sink in,” she says.
“As I progress through my degree it’s become even more important to me to understand everything to a high standard before I graduate. I do work a lot in my free time – I’m interested in what I’m learning though, so it doesn’t always feel like work!
“I’m enjoying practical work now more than ever because I’m putting my knowledge from the first two years into practice. The teaches are amazing and the facilities we get to practice on every day are great so I couldn’t recommend my degree more.”
As she moves through her degree, Elle will also be adding extended placements to her study.
“My degree involves a lot of laboratory work on campus with the medical labs and the kitchen. Now in my third year, I’m doing more external placements, and in my then fourth year I’ll have my major placement.
“So far, I’ve been to aged care facilities, homeless shelters and hospital visits. I really enjoyed that, and it’s prepared me for what to expect for my longer, major placement next year.”
Elle’s advice for future students is to find a group of people you can connect with as soon as possible, to make your studies easier and give you a support network of like-minded people.
“I came for Orientation Day a week before starting classes, and I was so nervous as I’m sure many others were,” she says.
“As soon as I walked through the doors, I found a group of friends that I’ve stayed with since,” she says.
“It’s good to get comfortable making new friendships, but it’s also important to know that everyone is so welcoming, the staff, teachers and other students – that’s one of the things I love about Griffith University.”
If like Elle, you have a passion for sports and dietetics, Griffith University has a range of degrees to suit your needs, from Nutrition and Dietetics, to Sport Development, to Clinical Exercise Physiology.