Changing direction.

Getting to know Matt Exeter
Bachelor of Arts with Honours majoring in Sociology and Philosophy

Matt Exeter

What inspired you to come to university?

I’d been out of school for years. I was a carpenter but I was bored with it. I wanted to do social work so I decided to enrol in uni.

How did you get started at UC?

I started by doing my Certificate of University Preparation (CUP). It's for people who’ve been out of school or didn’t make university entrance. They teach you everything you need to know for studying at a university level. I also did UC Pathways in my first year which is a more in-depth English course.

Did that early support make a difference?

Yes, I wouldn’t have passed if I hadn’t done CUP. They also introduce you to everyone and show you around. It's a good way to learn what's available and where to turn if you need help. The support here is amazing. My whole life I thought that asking for help was a sign of weakness. But coming here, it’s what’s allowed me to succeed.

What do you like best about your study?

I enjoy looking at social circumstances through a scientific lens. I get to use my world experience and it challenges me to think in new ways. I'd like to go onto my Masters and PhD. I really enjoy studying and I know that things will open up for me along the way.

You have a partner and small children – is it hard to manage your commitments?

It's actually a lot easier than I expected. I was worried I wouldn't have enough money or time, but it just works out. I've learned to adapt and become really disciplined. Initially I was nervous about being an older student but the vibe on campus is really friendly. I never feel intimidated.

How does it feel to be here now?

I wasn’t that good at school so I never pictured myself pursuing academia – or enjoying it so much! It's been a transformation. I feel like I've achieved something and discovered a new part of myself. I tossed up for years thinking about what I wanted to do. It was a big risk when I finally handed in my notice, but it’s been so worth it. It’s scary but you have to push yourself to go for it.