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Preparing for life after sport

Swinburne Online student and Olympic Silver medalist Jessica Fox decided to hit the books online to set herself up for life after sport.

The 19-year-old Australian canoer, who took home silver at the 2012 London Olympics, says studying online provides flexibility for her demanding schedule and will enable her to graduate sooner.

“For three months out of the year, I travel for sport to places like England, France, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and when I was studying on-campus I had to defer a semester in order to tour.

“I found that really slowed my progress at uni and realised it was going to take a very long time for me to graduate. So I switched to online study because it worked with my lifestyle,” says Jessica.

On top of training for four hours a day, Jessica also works, studies a personal training course and participates in school visits to speak about the benefit of sport and healthy living as an Ambassador for the Premier’s Sporting Challenge.

“Time management is an important aspect of study. Although my number one priority is sport, I need something to fall back on, so make sure I commit two hours a day towards my online studies.

“There have been times when I was studying on tour in Europe in the boot of a van – but it worked and I got it done, it’s really about finding a way that works.”

The Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology) student says motivation and participation is also a big part of staying on top of her assignments.

“I’ve really enjoyed collaborate sessions and being able to gain a deeper insight into subjects based on what other students are saying.

“Staying motivated is a big part of studying online and so I have learned how to pace myself and strike a balance with uni and sport.”

Jessica hopes to graduate in the next few years and have the opportunity to work in psychology or media.

“I’ve had a lot of experience in media and decided to study it as a co-major with my psychology studies. I’m not quite sure what I will end up doing, but it is important for me to ensure I have opportunities for the future.”