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Epic road trip marks student’s start of year at university

By January 29, 2019No Comments


Choosing to go to a university almost 1200kms away from home is great until you need to get home and back to start the new academic year.

Don’t get me wrong, though I sometimes wish I could pop home on the weekend, I do love where I study and the independence I have living so far away from home.

I spent 2018 saving up for a car, and purchased one just before Christmas. For the first time, I would be travelling from Broken Hill to Wollongong by myself and on my own terms.

The biggest and furthest place I had ever driven was Mildura, Victoria – three hours away from home!  So, this was going to be an undertaking.

I decided to do the trip over three days, so here are some snippets from my road trip back to uni. Enjoy!


Day One

Broken Hill was in the midst of another stretch of 40+ degree days so I thought I would get on the road early. I packed my car to the brim the night before including my plant (spot him in the back), an esky full of water and plenty of podcasts to keep me entertained.

I said goodbye to my pets (which never gets easier) and of course my mum, nan and pop. I had breakfast at my favourite café, grabbed a coffee for the road and set off.

After a non-eventful three hours, I arrived in Mildura and spent the night with my aunty, uncle and cousins.

Day Two

Day two was to be my longest day of travel so I was up bright and early, ready to start my trip.

Everything was going fine until about 30km out of Euston near the NSW-Victorian border when suddenly my bonnet protector snapped and flew off my car. Unsurprisingly, I was very unimpressed by this event and had a few choice words to say about the randomness of the breakage.

After this though, all was smooth sailing. I stopped roughly every 1.5 hours to keep refreshed, but nonetheless was pretty tired and after a good dinner at the motel restaurant, had an early night’s sleep.

Day Three

Day three started much earlier than the other two as I needed to get to Wollongong in time to get my stuff out of storage by 1pm, and the drive from Wagga to the coast is about five hours.

It was my first time driving on a four-lane freeway but I successfully made it unscathed. Once I stopped in Wollongong I was feeling triumphant (and a little proud of myself) in my new-found ability to master this mammoth trip.

If you and your family are making a similar trip to university in the next few weeks, be safe and have fun!


Sophie Nelson is studying a Bachelor of Pre-Medicine, Science and Health at the University of Wollongong. She grew up in Broken Hill, in far west NSW, a whole 1113km away from Wollongong. Sophie is about to start her second year at university, and is a recipient of CEF’s McLean Foundation Scholarship

Read more about Sophie’s experiences here. 


More tips, tricks and advice on how to survive your first year at university in our University Survival Guide









Author ashlea

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