TOP STUDENT: An early morning commute from Hervey Bay to USC's Sunshine Coast campus for a day of lectures before returning in time to put her children to bed is part of a new routine for former hospitality manager Kristy Benson.
TOP STUDENT: An early morning commute from Hervey Bay to USC's Sunshine Coast campus for a day of lectures before returning in time to put her children to bed is part of a new routine for former hospitality manager Kristy Benson. Contributed

Uni helping Hervey Bay mum of two realise her dreams

KRISTY Benson was afraid she wasn't smart enough to go to university.

But the Hervey Bay mum-of-two has proved herself wrong since she completed a semester of Nursing Science at USC's Fraser Coast campus last year as a pathway to the popular Midwifery program.

The former hospitality manager now travels to the Sunshine Coast campus each morning and returns home in time to put her kids to bed.

It's a juggling act, but she says she wouldn't have it any other way.

In her first semester, she posted a perfect grade point average of seven.

"When I left my position in hospitality I was terrified that I wasn't academic, but I pushed through and decided to throw everything into studying," Ms Benson said.

She said her experience of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood had profoundly changed her life path and passions.

She said attending lectures and tutorial across USC's campuses at the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay was "tiring and a bit tricky" but possible with the support of family and friends, and USC's student services networks.

"The help I receive at USC is truly exceptional and the Student Services and Engagement staff are just so giving of their time and knowledge," she said.

"I am also very grateful to have received an equity bursary for the past two semesters, which has been so helpful to me, particularly with the extra cost of travelling this year."

USC Equity Bursaries are one-off payments of $1,000 each semester to eligible students to assist with the costs of study.

Ms Benson said she had two key recommendations for those contemplating university study.

"Ask for help. You need to put in the hard work yourself, but you have a team of peers and university staff around you who really want to see you succeed."