STUDY HARD: Far North Queensland nurse Samantha Watson with her parents Bronwyn and Kevin Watson at her ACU graduation ceremony.
STUDY HARD: Far North Queensland nurse Samantha Watson with her parents Bronwyn and Kevin Watson at her ACU graduation ceremony. Contributed

Samantha's sacrifice to study

LONG, late shifts and checking on patients is the new reality for Saint Mary's Kingaroy alumnus Samantha Watson.

She could not imagine doing anything else after she started working as a nurse in Mareeba Base Hospital earlier this year.

"I love my job, I love being a nurse, I don't think I realised when I was studying how much it would suit me, I couldn't imagine doing anything else anymore,” Miss Watson said.

The 2013 college captain, who grew up between Murgon and Cherbourg, moved to Brisbane to study a double degree in nursing and paramedics at the Australian Catholic University after school.

"Once you get to uni, it's so much nicer to be doing what you want to be doing,” Miss Watson said.

Initially university was tough living away from family and trying to adjust to schedules.

She soon connected with South Burnett friends who had also moved down to Brisbane, and bonded with other students who had also moved to study.

"The best part was having other people who knew what it was like to be away, definitely building a support network is important,” Miss Watson said.

By her second study year she was settled and knew it was worth the sacrifice.

"You study and sacrifice the early years of your life to make it better in the future, doing the hard work now so you can then help somebody else,” Miss Watson said.

As a young Indigenous person she wants others to know university can be achievable, but also it is OK to change degrees later on as 17-year-olds do not have to make a lifetime decision when picking degrees.

"You want to make it better for the future so young indigenous kids know that you can achieve anything and you can be anything you want to be,” she said.

Miss Watson was inspired to study hard and discovered her passions after meeting with Indigenous professionals at a QATSIF workshop.

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