Getting on top of your own studies can be challenging enough in the current climate.
But first-year Laws student Theodoula Vorenas is also using her time in lockdown to help the next generation of university students achieve study success.
When Victorians were first ordered to stay at home in March this year, Theodoula’s thoughts went immediately to the experience of high school students completing their VCE.
“Because I was just in Year 12 myself and I know how much pressure I put on myself to do well last year, I felt for students who are currently completing their Year 12,” she says.
“I can’t understand the amount of stress and anxieties they might be experiencing by learning remotely. I know I can’t physically go and tutor people because of the restrictions, but that’s what motivated me to create my YouTube channel.”
What first began as a series of videos about VCE subject Health and Human Development is now branching out into other areas of the syllabus.
“When I realised a lot of people were benefiting from my videos and requesting I expand into other subjects, I began looking at Legal Studies and will move on to Business Management as well,” she says.
“I’m also looking at perhaps covering exam preparation techniques and answering more of the higher-order thinking exam questions that require more depth.”
More than 450 VCE students and teachers already follow Theodoula’s channel on YouTube.
She says it brings her joy to see her videos making life a little easier for high school students.
“In a time like this, I’m willing to help our wherever I can. At the start, I thought, ‘If i can only help one person, I’d be so happy’,” she says.
She also has a few sage words of advice for students approaching the end of Year 12: “Continue persevering! That’s something I needed to hear during this time las year. During the wintertime, a lot of people are getting tired. So just continue trying to do your best. Ultimately, you’re halfway there!”
Asked about how she was handling remote learning herself, Theodoula says the experience has been a positive one so far.
“I only had my first three weeks on campus and the off to remote learning,” she says.
“I quite like learning from home. I feel like I’m a bit more organised because I can spread out my tasks over time. But I haven’t known any other way!”
All the while, La Trobe teachers and support staff have been on hand to help her adjust to Uni life.
“I’ve been overwhelmed at the amount of support I’ve been given, even over the phone with ASK La Trobe, who helped me figure out my enrolment.
“As much as there is a level of independence you require when you’re studying and submitting assessments, if you do need help, I’ve found it’s just a matter of sending a quick email.”
Theodoula describes the Bachelor of Laws at La Trobe as her “dream course”, one she first set her sights on after taking part in a mooting competition at the University.
“After having competed in that competition, I had a love for advocating,” she says.
“I see myself completing my law degree and going on to practice as a barrister on the Victorian Bar.”
She’s also using her electives to pursue another passion: her interest in Greek language and culture.
“It’s good for keeping my language and learning about the culture, as well as being able to communicate with grandparents,” Theodoula says.
“And if I do go on to travel to Greece in the future, I look forward to using it there.”