ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

After failing to get into her favourite sandstone university, Emma Hutchins thought she might as well give up on becoming anything worthwhile – her dreams of changing the world as a young lawyer were dashed before they even began.

That was until an older, wiser family friend told her of the veritable Xanadu that is regional tertiary education.

So with a tentative and pensive first step, the friendly, confident young lady packed her bags for Betoota, where she won a place at Cottrell College studying communications at Diamantina Bowen University.

“At first, I was very sceptical of studying at Diamantina U[niversity] but I’m ultimately glad I came out here,” said the 21-year-old.

“It’s so laid back, all the lecturers and support staff know my name. Plus all my friends on college are from such different backgrounds. Some are so simple, it’s an affront to tertiary education that their applications were even opened,”

“Others are far too clever to be here. It’s a great mix. I’m in my third year now and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

But her most favourite thing about studying at Diamantina is that she can pretty much wear anything she wants to lectures and tutorials.

That freedom also extends to nights out with friends at the many licensed venues around town, where wearing comfortable clothes is often heavily smiled upon.

“I’ve only got like four classes and two lectures a week,” said Emma.

“And that’s even if I go to the lectures. But the ones I need to go to, I just jump out of bed and into my uggies then head out the door. Don’t even brush my teeth most of the time. If I want to a big city uni, I’d be on the train or bus or stuck in traffic,”

“Wearing nice clothes, too. Expensive shoes that hurt and suck. This is literally as free as you can get. Mum and Dad are hours away, cheap drinks and drugs. Simple but ambitious boys. Heaven.”

More to come.


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