It’s not all about being intelligent, it’s about having the drive for something better, says Moana, who has realised since coming to UC that the desire to succeed is what’s important.
‘You don’t have to be the smartest person to study at university. You just have to be hungry for something better. So if you want to make something of your life, or make yourself and your family proud, come and study,’ she encourages.
‘At UC you feel anything is possible. A bit cheesy I know, but true. It is not just a place for intellectuals but a place for growth in all aspects of one’s life. There is so much help on campus and various groups to join. What I enjoyed most about Canterbury was meeting different people from all over Christchurch, New Zealand and the world. I made some amazing friendships that will last a lifetime. Being surrounded by like-minded people who were aiming for a better future was an encouragement in itself. I loved it and will miss it for sure.’
Having recently graduated, Moana is currently working in South Korea teaching English to pay off her student loan, travel the world and gain some experience. She says her degree in Psychology and Sociology has equipped her well for this by training her to understand the human mind and the behaviours and attitudes of a person, enabling her to work with people from different backgrounds.
‘My courses also provided a hard working ethic that has definitely prepared me for what I am doing now and for what I am going to do.’
Moana’s long-term goal is to work with youth. ‘Although I was born in Christchurch, I am a very proud Cook Island girl and I want to work with children of various ages, especially Pacific Island adolescents. I want to encourage teenagers to strive for a better life, to believe in themselves and to accomplish great things,’ she says.
‘I don’t know exactly what my career will be, but I do know that I want to encourage, empower and influence young adolescents in New Zealand to be better people with a better future for themselves and their families that would benefit their communities and the wider society.’
Moana has plenty of advice for prospective students, especially anyone who is unsure exactly what they want to study.
‘Take the chance to experiment. A Bachelor of Arts degree allows you to take classes from different subjects so you learn about numerous and various things, and can figure out what exactly you want to study if you don’t already know.
‘In regards to studying, my advice is to read, read, read. Read your textbooks, your handouts from class, online articles, your class notes, newsletters – absolutely everything and anything that you need to further equip yourself for your studies.
‘Finally, no matter where you come from or where you want to go, or how intelligent or social you are, if you want a better future or life then study hard, interact with others and embrace what you learn at university.’