Everyone experiences a steep learning curve in the classroom during their first year of university.
Then there are students like Georgia Grey who is also receiving a fast-tracked, after-hours rugby education.
Grey arrived at Bond as a rugby 7s specialist and set about learning the nuances of the 15-a-side game over summer with ambitions of forcing her way into the Bull Sharks premiership winning side.
She made her debut on the wing in the Bull Sharks defeat of Sydney premiers Gordon in the Australian Club Championships.
Now, less than six months later, she is preparing for another grand final and this time as one of the defending premiers’ on-field generals, having been thrust into the key playmaker number 10 jersey a couple of weeks out from the finals.
“It has been really good, it has been a big change from the wing to being a big playmaker within the game,” she said.
“I am just seeing everything as an opportunity to learn - each moment in every game, every training session, conversations with coaches.
“I’ve found game reviews to be really helpful in developing my understanding of not only my own game, but everyone else’s roles and how I can contribute to them.’’
The vacancy at number 10 came about when coach Lawrence Faifua’s daughter Jetaya joined the North Queensland Cowboys NRLW side for the start of their season.
Bond’s experienced women’s rugby mentor had a hunch that Grey’s willingness to attack the defensive line and create space for teammates outside her made her the ideal replacement.
Even if, by her own admission, there’s not much of a kicking game yet.
“He knew I had experience in 7s and thought I had the ability to play that position,” she said.
“He backed his instincts and I think he’s pretty happy.
“And I’m learning to kick a lot more. The girls are teaching me to kick and that will be a valuable skills for a number 10, but right now I’m playing more of an unstructured attacking game.’’
The Bachelor of Sport Management student admits the responsibility of the position brings pressure but says it won’t be a factor for her on Sunday at Ballymore when they take the field against Sunnybank.
“I have been playing 15s for six months and I’ve been a number 10 for four weeks and it is a really crucial role, so there’s pressure there,” she said.
“But the team is really supportive. They know mistakes will happen but also that it’s the only way to learn and get better.
“This weekend there is pressure considering it is a grand final, but once I’m out there it will be right.”
The confidence Grey takes onto the field had its genesis in her new life on campus.
“I’m loving it. Moving away from home to come here has been an eye opener for me,” she said.
“Just being at Bond and feeling how supportive that community is, and then having the girls at the club who have quickly become such great mates, I think my confidence has really grown.’’
But there’s no substitute for family and the excitement for the Grand Final is matched by the pending arrival of mum Stephanie, sisters Imogen 17 and Abigail 13 and aunty Chantelle Davidson
“You play a lot of rounds with the main goal of reaching a grand final, so it is very exciting when you achieve that,” she said.
“I’m just excited about the whole week. I can’t wait to get to training and I’ve got family coming up for a special jumper presentation on Friday night and then the game, and I haven’t seen them in a while so that will be very special for me too.’’