By the words of Three Dog Night,
‘One is the loneliest number you could ever do’.
There are a few things I know about these lyrics:
- The man singing them was probably never sober enough to remember them.
- They come from a very catchy song, which was featured in the Disney movie Recess: School’s Out (best movie ever, don’t judge me please).
- They make a good point, especially when it comes to your university life.
Being alone whilst studying at uni would be like a Dyson vacuum cleaner and seriously suck.
Although university is awesome in so many ways, including giving a person a chance to discover how they can make a difference in the world, it can also be pretty tough.
Going from a comfortable and probably more controlled environment such as school or work to a place full of strangers, where you are much more responsible for yourself, can be difficult for a lot of people.
I remember feeling so nervous before starting university because I hardly knew anyone. I would practice introducing myself to other people in the shower because I was deathly afraid that I’d forgotten how to make friends. I remember thinking:
How am I supposed to remember how to talk to strangers and create a friendship? The last time I did that was in preschool and it isn’t as if I can bond with someone over our matching butterfly clips or the accessories we dressed our Barbies in, can I?
So even for someone like me, who can talk under wet cement, making friends can be a bit intimidating.
That is why it’s so important to involve yourself in the on-campus experience.
Involving yourself in on-campus life gives you three things: support, super-lots-of-fun (one word) and a leg-up in your career.
Involving yourself in on-campus life and activities can help you get through your uni years. Even just becoming good mates with the person who sits next to you in class can help you out. Not only is it far more fun to sit through an economics lecture when you have someone next to you to point out that your lecturer has something in their nose, but you’ll find that if you get chatting to the other people studying the same degree as you, you’re more likely to get along better because you probably have very similar life goals, and you most likely think the same way.
You may have been the only person in your family or friendship group to think that Django Unchained is the FUNNIEST MOVIE EVER, but once you get talking to someone with a similar sense of humour to yourself, you’ll find that you’re not, in fact, the only one who thinks that Jamie Foxx saying ‘The D is silent’ whilst covered in blood and battling oppression in the most violent way possible… is hilarious!
Knowing that you’re not the only one stressing about an assignment, or having someone to be able to talk to about a question in a study module that may as well be written in wingdings based on your understanding of it, can help you out a lot when you’re struggling.
The on-campus life at USQ also includes some awesome, free, student support services. In Springfield, there is an entire floor dedicated to helping students in any way possible: we have on-campus counsellors, people who are there just to help you proofread and reference your assignments, IT support, psychology rooms and prayer rooms.
Also, and I really think this is the best idea ever, every week the university LITERALLY hands out boxes of free food to students. And it’s not just healthy, boring food either… last week there were Tim Tams!
Two words: Mechanical. Bull.
USQ goes out of their way to make sure that the whole getting through uni’ thing is as much fun as possible! Check it out:
Every Wednesday we get some form of free food, on top of the free boxes of food as mentioned above (FUN).
About once a month a bouncy-castle is put up, and almost every week there’s a stall set up about something… student tourism (FUN), sex ed (…), community involvement (FUN).
The uni also has some awesome clubs and sporting teams. The best part is anyone can start up a club or team if they want! Right now, there’s a Minecraft club, a Dungeons and Dragons club (DOUBLE FUN) and there used to be a pirate club, which I’m hoping someone starts back up again soon.
The uni also organises student trips down to the theme parks on the coast (FUN). And of course there are the common rooms accessible by all students. These rooms are full of Xbox’s, pool tables and a basketball court out the back for you to show off your mad skillzzz (FUN AND HEALTHY!).
See? Look at how much FUN we’re having!!
3. Getting a leg-up in your career
Getting involved with on-campus life also means getting involved with extra projects related to your degree. I’ve found this to be the best part of university life.
Because USQ is always putting on such awesome events, including mechanical bulls, they’re always looking for students with different sets of skills to help out. Essentially you can kill two birds with one stone… or two ‘roos with one truck… or two animal-product-free bars of soap with one bubble bath for the vegans out there. Anyway, my point is you can use the skills you’ve learned at uni to help out FOR the uni, and add a little something to your resume to help out your career.
This is what happened to me. When the uni was covering a red carpet for the local council and needed a reporter, I put my hand up. By doing that, I was able to sharpen my skills and help out the uni. I was also able to make contact with local council members, which have been VERY useful!
Getting involved with extra activities on-campus has also shown my lecturers how passionate I am about my degree and my future in media.
Basically guys, it’s tough to do stuff when you’re alone, so get out there and talk to someone! (Yes, I know that rhymes, and yes, I am a rapper).
To demonstrate this again, I’ve summarised this blog in a little rhyme:
When I’m a uni (yo):
See someone I don’t know?
I introduce that.
Don’t understand something?
I ask that.
See a club I like?
I join that.
Met by an obstacle?
I challenge that.
Want to achieve something?
I step up to that.