Ever since I was a kid I remember wanting to be a doctor. I think intuitively I always wanted to be a healer and help people but at the time I thought that being a doctor was the only way I could do this. My high school experience was in preparation to get into medicine. To do all the prerequisite subjects and get that high ATAR to get in. Whilst on this journey, I developed a passion for healthy eating and nutrition to a point where I contemplated studying nutrition instead. However, I pushed this passion aside and after 6 months of studying a generic Bachelor of Science I ended up realizing that this medical path was not my calling. So, I dropped it all and decided to pursue my passion for nutrition. At that time, I had not heard of Endeavour so I enrolled and got into one Perth’s conventional universities for nutrition instead.
How did I come across Endeavour?
About 1 week before starting my nutrition degree, a friend introduced me to Endeavour College. I started doing some research online and just from reading the website and the course outlines, I knew in my gut that this was the place I was meant to be. Without even going to the campus to have a look or speak to someone there, I enrolled in the Nutritional Medicine course and was so excited to begin my new journey.
Why did I switch from Nutrition to Naturopathy?
I remember the first day of uni so clearly. I remember meeting like-minded individuals and instantly connecting with so many. I was about 3 weeks into my studies when I began to learn more about naturopathy. It was something I knew nothing about before starting at Endeavour but the more I learned about it, the more something inside me started telling me that it was the right path for me. So again, I listened to my gut feeling and switched to naturopathy. Thankfully it was a very easy switch as the units of both degrees are very similar in the first year. The extra year of study compared to Nutritional Medicine degree didn’t deter me either.
My herbal medicine journey
As I said before, I didn’t even know what naturopathy was. I had never even been to a naturopath so it was a pretty bold move to decide to study something I really knew very little about. I remember my first herbal medicine class (a tenant of naturopathy) where the lecturer asked the class what were people’s favourite medicinal herbs that they use. To which people replied “ginger” and “garlic”. I remember sitting there thinking that these were merely cooking herbs and spices, and had no idea they could be or were used medicinally. Part of me was concerned I had made a mistake switching into this course, but the other part of me was curious and wanted to know more. From that day onwards I began learning more about herbs both in and outside of the classroom. I began using them at home and on myself and developed a deep love for herbal medicine I didn’t know was possible to exist.
Fast forward three years and I am now at a point where I could not practice without herbal medicine. They are such powerful and versatile tools in a naturopath’s toolbox and they make us so unique.
I constantly use herbal medicine on myself to help regulate my hormones, reduce stress, support my immune system, improve sleep, increase energy and so much more. To personally feel the potent changes these herbs can have is an amazing experience and only deepens my love for them even more.
I think many people underestimate the level of study required for naturopathy. It’s important to remember that it is a Bachelor of Health Science degree and with that comes the same standards and level of difficulty as any other university level degree. The knowledge of a naturopath is extensive and requires a deep understanding of human anatomy and physiology, chemistry and biochemistry, food and nutrition, herbal constituents and actions, pathology and pharmacology, psychology, clinical skills and so much more!
Whilst at times it was challenging, if passion underlies your venture to study naturopathy, this makes the process so much easier and more enjoyable.There is no end to the knowledge that you can gain as a naturopath, so the more you put in, the more you will get out.
Having been to a large university where I felt like a number in a sea of thousands of people, moving to Endeavour was a completely different experience. Here, the lecturers knew your name and interacted with you on a more personable level. The classes were small and intimate, allowing you to feel comfortable, make great friends and have a supported learning environment. The campus feels like a small community and grew to feel like a second home. The friendships made here are supportive and uplifting and made all the difference in making my studies more enjoyable. The staff and lecturers are so supportive and are willing to bend over backwards for you. It really is a wonderfully unique studying environment.
In the middle of your third year you go into the student clinic to finally put in to practice what you have been learning. I’ll admit, it was a daunting thought at first. And before seeing my first patient ever I was so stressed out! But once I had taken my first case I realized there was nothing to fear because of the supportive nature of the clinic environment. From then onwards I loved every second of seeing my own patients and also observing other consults for the three semesters. Student clinic is where your learning grows exponentially and your confidence as a practitioner really comes into its own. The clinical supervisors I had the pleasure to have were incredibly knowledgeable and shared their clinical experience with us all.
My areas of interest
I love treating various different conditions for any age, gender or stage of life! However, I developed a strong interest for women’s health during my studies at Endeavour. I am passionate about helping women regain control of their health, hormones, energy, stress, mental health and vitality.
Learning for a lifetime
Not only do I love the fact that the path I have chosen allows me to have a passion-filled career ahead of me but I also love that the knowledge I have learned would be incredibly useful and valuable even if I wasn’t going into clinical practice after my studies. To know how to nourish and help a body to heal in numerous different scenarios not only allows me to help my own body but also to help my friends and family. I feel confident that when I have children one day, I will have the tools and skills to keep them well and healthy and that is something that is so important to me.
I have just finished the final stretch of my degree and indeed it was a bitter sweet ending (there were tears on serval occasions). I have loved my four years at Endeavour. I have made friends that feel like family in a place that feels like home. I will miss the beautiful people I had the pleasure to study with and be taught by. But I am also so excited to see what the future holds as I step out into the world as a qualified naturopath. I am honorued to be joining the incredible naturopaths at Perth Health & Fertility in City Beach and hope to one day complete a Masters in a chosen field of interest, once I narrow that down a little more and get a few years of clinic experience under my belt.
If you are reading this and are contemplating studying any one of Endeavour’s degrees, I can wholeheartedly say that it will be the best decision you could ever make. That’s because it certainly was for me. I have followed my passion and have not for a single second looked back and regretted anything. Australia is growing more health conscious and accepting of natural therapies and being a part of that movement is something that excites me beyond measure.
Head to their website to read more about their degrees and study options and I’d also highly recommend going to their next Open day on the 19th of January 2019 where you can speak to current students, alumni and lecturers to get a feel for the place and help make your decision.