MANY Wimmera students believe they have to work before going to university so they can afford to move away.
Former St Brigid’s College Horsham student Bridie Chesterfield took a two-year break after year 12 and is now studying commerce at Deakin University in Melbourne.
“I took a gap year for two reasons – it was originally for financial reasons and also because I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do,” she said.
“I wanted to save some money to pay rent, bills and afford food.”
Miss Chesterfield worked for two years at the Wimmera Business Centre in Horsham.
“Being able to come to Melbourne with a fair bit of savings definitely helped and it also made me eligible for Centrelink payments,” she said.
“I couldn’t get payments originally because I couldn’t classify as independent until I had worked for 18 months.”
Miss Chesterfield said she paid between $600 and $800 a month in rent.
“Then there are the other things like petrol and public transport,” she said.
“To get to university I have to drive and take public transport.
“Although in Melbourne you do travel shorter distances, it often uses more petrol because you are stopping in traffic and spending more time in the car.”
Miss Chesterfield said she recommended other students take a gap year before university.