Minna Atherton’s Biomedical Science degree has left her with an amusing penchant for dramatic self-diagnosis and a decision to make - Veterinary Science, Allied Health or maybe something completely new.
But right now, she’s not even thinking about what she wants to do for the rest of her life.
Her focus is on the Commonwealth Games and recapturing the form that saw her break legendary Hungarian Katinka Hosszu’s 100m backstroke short course world record as a teenager back in 2019, just months after claiming silver at the World Championships.
She finished the Word Championships with two silver and a gold medal as part of the Australian mixed 4x100m medley relay team.
At that stage, with the 2020 Olympics around the corner, Atherton was considered one of Australia’s great medal chances for the Tokyo Games.
However, she failed to qualify for the games.
It was then she made the shift to swim under Chris Mooney at Bond where she had been studying since 2018.
She finished her course work in April and since then has been focussed solely on the pool as one of five Bondies to qualify for the Commonwealth Games team.
“I was very excited to make the team, it wasn’t my best time, but I am hoping to improve and I’m excited to be there,’’ she said.
Atherton has juggled her studies with a heavy swimming schedule that has included a starring role for London Roar in the International Swimming League.
“I’m very excited, I started in 2018 and I feel like it has been going for ever, even though I know it hasn’t it has only been four years,’’ she said.
“It has been a lot of work.
“Travelling makes it difficult, but all my teachers were really supportive of me and helped me out, lots of emails went backs and forwards.’’
The 22-year-old will graduate on Saturday but is still debating what field her education will lead her to.
“I haven’t fully decided,’’ she said.
“I probably wouldn’t go into research but Allied health maybe.
“I have thought about doing veterinary science but biomedical science is the human body so I would have to learn everything else.
“So, this year I am just going to swim and then we will see what happens.
“But definitely more study at some point.’’
Although her thoughts no longer switch to her studies each time she leaves the pool, the knowledge she gained during her undergrad studies has led to a new habit of self-diagnosis.
“I do it all the time, I go home and I tell my room mates I have this thing, and they are like you don’t Minna,’’ she said.
“And obviously I don’t so it’s just a bit dramatic.’’