Dahlia Creative Graphic Designer

First Year Uni Student

This is not my first attempt at first year! I was also a first year student in Human Movement, and then Physio for like half a term and then Medicine for just a little longer. I’m no stranger to first year but I’m going to stick it out this time.

I’m currently a self employed wedding florist. My business has changed over the years, I started in my garage at home and then I moved into a commercial premises. I had staff, started at one then I had a few then I scaled it back to one and then again to just me. I added services, altered services and removed services, as my mood fit and as the industry changed.

But I’ve been struggling lately and I chatted to a business coach and it was something that he said that made me realise that maybe I need to be looking for something else entirely.

It was a simple statement really “What is your exit plan?”


Florists work hard, it’s hard on our feet, hands and backs. And if your body packs it in, then you’re screwed! So my exit plan was to train for something else in preparation for my body packing it in. I went onto a website, filled in a questionnaire and it said to study graphic design. So I applied! It was a simple as that. There was no deep thinking and comparing careers or degrees. I was good with computers, I started designing websites as a teenager and I am comfortable with design and layouts. I’ve alway made my own invitations and posters. It made sense so I didn’t overthink it.

So enrolled in a Bachelor of Communication Design at UniSA. And we’ll see where it goes.


Now I’m no spring chicken, I am twice the age of my fellow classmates. But I found some good eggs to hang with. And studying is just so much easier now! Readings are basically handed to you with a neat little bow and some juice. When I studied straight out of high school we had the list of readings and we had to go to the library and photocopy all the pages and then read them over time. Now there is links on the online study website and it just GIVES THEM TO ME! So much easier and I’m not burning a hole in my wallet of the trees.

I’ve survived my first semester of classes. Theory was boring, BORING!!! I’m learning more about the history of Tulips then I have in all my years as a florist. Did you know Tulips were part of a huge mania frenzy in the 17th century? Yer me neither! Also rhetoric, I can go without hearing that word again. And Logos, paths, ethos. Look at me learning words. And drawing, LOL. Now I’m a terrible drawer but here I am with art supplies making marks. But I am particularly proud of my skeleton.

I had to drag my little Lukey with me sometimes and one of my favourite teachers, Ron from Critical Thinking I talking about you, he made having my kid with me something of no consequence. The teens I was in class with thought Lukas was funny with his laughing while watching Top Gear on an iPad with headphones on. But the lecturers barely blinked, it was nice to just be normal even thought I had a minion with me who constantly ate snacks and laughed too loud.


Finally FINALLY! I’m on a computer! Halfway through my first year and it’s the first time we are using computers for something other than research and writing essays.

In design studio we learning mark making, scribbling with crayons and paints to make interesting shapes like children in kindy. I’m having so much fun! And taking photos and learning about principles and elements of design. It’s actually been amazing to play with art supplies again, it made me feel like I was in school again!

But boy golly gosh is my unicorn horse flying thing damn disastrous! I did really enjoying learning photoshop, it was tutorial based so we sat together in a dark room and followed through with the teacher. And then at the end it was free time to work on our assignments while everyone put on headphones and ignored each other. Except for myself and Josie who sniggered about everyone else hahaha 🙂