How this Campion student manages three degrees simultaneously
Campion second-year student Deon Testore is managing to do what most undergrads would think impossible: taking on three degrees at once.
Deon enrolled in Campion's liberal arts degree in 2020 despite already undertaking a double degree in law and communications at the University of Technology Sydney.
We sat down with Deon in Semester 1 to ask him how he manages this triple workload.
How many hours of class-time do you have per week?
I have 12 hours of face-to-face lectures and tutorials at Campion and 14 hours of online classes at UTS, not including coursework or readings.
How do you manage to attend all classes and complete all coursework required?
Discipline equals freedom. I find that when it comes to time management, the stricter you are with yourself, the more liberated you feel. I tend to structure my days in a calendar, allocating timeslots for certain activities, e.g. lectures, tutorials, MMA (mixed martial arts) and reading.
I find time for my readings and assignments at all hours of the day. It's not as if I have a set time that I do readings. With so much happening in my life on a daily basis, I know it's important to maintain a level of flexibility. So if I have some free time on a Thursday night on one week, I will try to do my tutorial readings then; whereas another week I might do them on a Monday morning. It really just depends upon where I can find time to fit them in.
How do you manage to complete all your assignments on time?
In terms of assignments, the most foolproof strategy is simply to start as soon as I get the assignment notification. I see time and time again students waiting until the last couple of days to begin an assignment and causing themselves unnecessary stress. If I do 30 minutes each day of light work on an assignment, I will realistically have it done to a quality standard within two weeks.
Do you ever fail at your time management strategies?
Like every human, I go through good patches and rough patches. There will be times when I'm not as disciplined as I'd like to be but, funnily enough, the way my life tends to careen downward in those periods provides me with the necessary motivation to return to a more ordered, structured time-plan.
Why did you choose to study a liberal arts degree at Campion when you were already taking on a double vocational degree?
A friend told me about Campion a few years ago and it piqued my interest. I looked at the course online, as well as some articles about Campion and thought, this is exactly what I want to do. It was a slow build-up of wanting to do more with my life; to adopt more responsibility and become a well-rounded individual.
It was a leap of faith coming to Campion, and there were certainly times that I felt I had done something incredibly foolish, and yet after spending a year here, I know I made the right decision.
What was it like coming to Campion after studying at a large university?
It was much more wholesome, kind and welcoming. I felt at home here, even from the first moment I arrived. In my second week here, there was some downtime in between lectures and one of the students invited us to join him in a Vinnies run by making sandwiches for the homeless. I went back home after that, sat in my room and thought of how that one instance encapsulated the difference in culture between UTS and at Campion.
Do you ever regret coming to Campion, or wish you'd waited to finish one degree before beginning another?
Words cannot express how glad I am that I decided to come to Campion. Everything about this place resonates with the man I want to be. The people are kind beyond belief, and it seems every couple of nights some people are out helping the homeless, running talks to improve our culture, or simply conversing with one another in a spirit of mutual self-improvement and truth.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of studying at Campion?
The content I've studied reaches that equilibrium of challenging and interesting. But the element of Campion that I've come to appreciate the most is its firm, unyielding and unapologetic grounding in the Catholic faith. It's no surprise that our culture is growing increasingly hostile to Christians, and as a student at a major university before coming to Campion, I witnessed my faith relentlessly attacked and degraded, in the classroom, in the posters around campus, in social circles and in the general culture of the institution.
When I see the faith of the students and the faculty at Campion, when I see the daily masses, and people praying the rosary in the evening, I'm almost brought to tears. It's so beautiful.
If I had to double the workload I already have just to remain in an institution like Campion, where I can be freely Catholic, where I can worship God, and learn under Him, and where I know the lessons I'm learning are pure and beneficial by virtue of Him, I would in a heartbeat. Campion has changed my life to such an extent, that I would not be the man I am today without this experience.
What advice would you give to someone else hesitating about studying at Campion?
Don't underestimate the boundless nature of a human. Imagine who you could be at the conclusion of a triple degree at two different institutions. Imagine how much wiser, more grounded and mature you would be. That was my motivation: to always be chasing the man I know I can be, and once I reach him, chase the man he knows he can be.
To those considering undertaking such an experience, I would advise courage, discipline, and above all, a complete and utter reliance on God. Without Him there is no possibility of good success.