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What are you aiming for this year?

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Hayden plays hockey on a field. He wears Australian green and gold.

Growing up in Tasmania, Hayden has always been immersed in nature. And it was this lifelong immersion that nurtured his interest in the outside world as well as his decision to enrol in environmental science at Curtin.

Moving to WA was initially challenging, but Hayden came to love Perth’s warmer weather and quickly made friends with his like-minded peers. “I know it’s very cliché, but you will always find classmates with similar interests outside of study. It’s pretty cool to get to know them.”

Now, Hayden has settled in and is excited to explore the career pathways available to him. Though he’s not sure yet where his degree will take him, Hayden’s course provides him with the opportunity to experiment with different fields and find out what works best for him.

When Hayden’s not on campus or studying for his degree, he’s on the hockey field, shooting goals with his teammates. 

Hayden has always loved playing sports, but for years didn’t consider the opportunities playing hockey could bring him outside of his weekend games. It was only when he started playing hockey for Tasmania as a teen that Hayden decided to pursue a future in the sport with the hopes of following in the footsteps of Tassie’s hockey greats (Eddie Ockenden, Matthew Wells, and David Guest – just to name a few).

Supported by Curtin’s Elite Athlete Program, Hayden has been able to pursue his sporting and academic dreams at the same time. And it’s Hayden’s love for hockey that, in part, has helped him pursue his passion for environmental science here at Curtin. Hayden says that being awarded an AIS Education Scholarship has alleviated the financial stress that usually comes with studying.

“I think the HECS debt is always in the back of people’s minds as they undertake a degree, so I was very privileged to be able to have some assistance in that area.”

Though Hayden is grateful for the support he has received thus far, juggling both his coursework and hockey training has at times been difficult.

“For me, it’s about context. I’ve found it very easy to overthink my entire degree as a massive task that has no end point. But if I break it down semester to semester and assignment to assignment it becomes a lot easier to tackle.”

Over the course of his degree, Hayden has learned to take pride in his studies and what he has achieved so far. “It’s very easy to follow the ‘P’s get degrees’ rhetoric and put in the minimal effort required to pass, but I think there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with receiving good results after working hard.”

Not one to shy away from hard work, Hayden now aspires to play hockey at the highest level for the national team. Academically, he would simply love to find a career that he really enjoys or pursue further studies in a field that interests him.

Written by creative writing and professional writing and publishing student, Abbey Carson.

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