Flume Study Tips Video

Some of you may have seen my ‘Flume study tips video’ on USQ’s Facebook page and although it is mostly a fun dig at revising the meaning of some of theories that I had to learn for my social psychology exam, I also really do have faith in the power of music.

When I am feeling really stressed and I am alone in the car, you can bet your bottom dollar that I have the music cranking. I – love – to – sing – in – the – car! I am a firm believer in killing two birds with one stone (that’s the time management side of me), think health, fitness and stress relief. You can sometimes catch me going for a run, supposedly getting exercise but you can bet that I didn’t go without my music, which is what I find relaxes me especially before a big exam.  Whether you like to jam like me or you simply want to chat to others who are students just like you, I encourage you to get connected and involved with the USQ community and share your experiences. You never know, if you’re lucky you may even win a onesie like I did!
What’s your go-to study anthem?

- Krisi

The (un)official university bucket list

Having just finished my Bachelor of Applied Media at USQ, I feel like there are things everyone should experience in their time at university. Therefore, I have collated the top five things you should have on your university bucket list.

1 – GET CULTURED – SIT IN ON AN UNRELATED LECTURE

This is the most stereotypical choice of things to do before you graduate, but probably the most important. The more you learn through these lectures, the more chance you have of winning trivia Tuesdays. It’s not easy though, there’s a very fine art to slipping into another lecture. There are several key factors you have to be aware of when choosing a class to drop in on.

How big is the class?

It’s very important to not pick a class with 3 people, for the obvious reasons. Research popular courses and make a wise estimate on the amount of people pre-lecture. Also, be aware that different times of year effect class sizes (eg exam block).

Don’t pick something you’re not interested in.

I once sat in on a Psychology lecture with a friend, thinking I would be able to mind-read by the end of it. Turns out, the course was actually statistics, which is basically just maths. Ugh, what a terrible judgement error.

Have a clear getaway plan.

As I found in the above statistics class, it’s a lot harder to get out of a lecture than it is to get in. This plan must be thought out before enduring three hours of unanticipated pain.

Basically, if you are going to do it, PLAN FIRST!

2 – PULL AN ALL NIGHTER IN THE COMPUTER LABS

Most people won’t have a choice in this one, but you can make it worth your while. This is always a much better activity when you have company, so be sure to schedule particular nights with a large group to endure it together.

With Dominos always extending their opening hours, food for thought is never an issue when smashing out assignments. Small snacks are also recommended, but aim for fruit over lollies to avoid the ominous sugar crash at 3am.

Also, organising brain-break activities is essential for group sessions. Watching an episode of Breaking Bad after every two hours of study was a favourite of mine last year.

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3 – GO TO UNI IN YOUR PJS

When was the last time you wore your pyjamas somewhere other than your bedroom? How many opportunities are you going to get to wear them out in public? These points make this section of the bucket list imperative! If you are living in on-campus accommodation, you have the opportunity to do this every week, so don’t pass it up.

Alternatives accepted are a kilt, wetsuit, onesie, or half-shirt (a shirt cut in half) which yes, I have witnessed before.

4 – BREAK OUT THE UNIVERSITY BREAKFAST MENU

Understandably, when you are running late, sacrifices have to be made. Often this leads to breakfast (the most important meal of the day) being skipped. I would put a box of fruit loops and a bowl in my backpack and hope I could find milk somewhere. Of course, going one step further, feeding your friends bacon and eggs during a lecture is a sure hit when group work comes around.

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5 – GET REALLY GOOD AT PING PONG

Trust me, you are going to need to. When the table gets hot, you want to be able to stay in the kitchen, because there’s major reputation on the line.

Above all else, this list is about having fun and not getting overworked during your degree.

If you are a future student, write these bad boys down for later.

If you are a current student, make sure you’ve done them before you leave.

If you have already finished and are missing ticks on this list, enrol in a masters of something and finish what you started!

Until next time,
Tom

Driving all the way from School to University!

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It was not truly that long ago that I graduated from high school, only 2011. I am now going into my third year of my psychology degree; however I still remember some differences between high school life and university life which I would have found useful to know at the time! I learned the hard way – through trial and error.

That development for me almost felt like a rite of passage; I had to find out the wrong and right way of going through university. I found it similar to learning how to drive. Not too much on the accelerator, not enough on the clutch; not enough on the accelerator, too much on the clutch. It was a trial and error before finding that balance. Now, by my third year, I’ve had a few stalls, I’ve had a few (accidental) tyre spins, and I’ve definitely had a few heart wrenching moments of ‘oh no, I didn’t see that car there and now I have one week before its due and this isn’t going to be good!’.

But, of course, there is sometimes that perfect, smooth, rolling start that made me feel like a Craig Lowndes ripping it down Conrod Straight during the Bathurst 1000 and this was similar to some facets of my start of university. I had my ups and downs; however the ups were definitely more prevalent than the downs!

Probably the main pearl of wisdom that I can give any school-leaver is to become knowledgeable in the USQ StudyDesk. Realistically, it has everything you need to pass the courses you are studying. There will be the lecture slides, the tutorial information, the study and introductory book, messages from the lecture and many other bits and pieces that you will find necessary to survive your first semester of university!

Have a decent understanding of the StudyDesk and all of its ins and outs, so that you can have a fair go at finding information throughout semester. You don’t want to finally understand how it all works by the end of semester, especially not after that 50% assignment is due, which had all the information on StudyDesk, but you weren’t able to find it because you had no idea where to look…

During school, I presume your school email wasn’t as important as your email for university will be. A great amount of the information you need for your learning will be sent through email.  Regularly checking your email is a great way to stay up-to-date with all your study requirements and find out what’s happening.

A surprising aspect of uni is the laid-back, easy nature of many of my lecturers: first name basis, happy to have chats during the breaks, and all round nice genuine people! I know, shocking. I even had a lecturer buy me pizza once (long story). So, just remember, lecturers are friends, not food.

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Finding Nemo reference, come on! Surely you get it!?

The last thing that I want to mention is the importance of the lecture slides that you will be using each week. Many students find it useful to go over them before the lecture, so they have a grasp at what they will be learning that day, or to print them off and highlight and elaborate on the dot points that are already on the slides. This is a perfect way to learn and retain the information that is received during a lecture.

I hope these hints have enlightened and helped you understand the bits and pieces that are different, and yet similar between high school and university study and life!

Flashbacks and a Fresh Beginning

The most exciting yet gut-wrenching time for ‘freshers’ (perhaps continuers too) arrived at the start of this week. You guessed it – O’Week! From a quick glance, the phoenix energy has definitely been circulating the Toowoomba campus this week with the scrumptious aromas of sausages sizzling, smiling faces at stands providing abundances of information, friendly tours of the library and university grounds, and long queues for your very own student ID cards. And let me assure you – it doesn’t end here. Work and other commitments don’t allow me to fully participate in O’Week this year, so I have decided to share with you all a few highlights of my very first O’Week, last year.

Toga Trivia Night
This night saw us college students pulling out our favourite Roman inspired bed sheets and some safety pins, searching and following “how to make a toga” on Youtube, followed by coming altogether at McGregor College to answer many questions unbeknown to some, yet familiar to others. Either way, you were bound to have fun – those who didn’t know the answer would humorously answer with a random  and arbitrary answer for the crowd to enjoy, and the others who had correct answers were that step closer to winning. It was so exciting to see USQ’s efforts on making this activity a university-wide event this year and I’m sure those who attended returned home with a belly sore from laughter and a head full of interesting facts, just like I did!

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Steele Rudd’s Big Day Out
On the agenda for Steele Rudd’s BDO was rock climbing, Latin dancing and a stop at Bon Amici’s café, all in Toowoomba’s CBD. These activities created a smooth transition to college life and it was a speedy alternative to meeting everyone and making new friends. The typical O-Week challenges of being yourself and having confidence were particularly tested on this day, thanks to the high demands of team work. Rock climbing was definitely a stand-out for me, having to trust someone you just met to hold your harness, while you climbed (and vice versa) was daunting, but definitely an experience I won’t forget!

Market Day
Held at the start of O-Week last year was Market Day, AKA Freebie Day. Did someone just say free stuff? Yep, awesome right? My favourite freebie was the large collections of pens I had accumulated by the end. These weren’t your average pens that would last you one or two uses. I can vouch that the majority are still working for me today! With freebies aside, having the opportunity to gain more information about USQ’s services and social clubs, as well as local Toowoomba organisations was very beneficial and was a head start to helping me feel at home after having to relocate for uni.

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As O-Week draws to a close and Semester commences, it’s time for us to knuckle down and get prepared for Semester 1. These are the tips I found handy being a new student last year:

  • Make sure you have your timetable on hand at all times, with your room numbers clear (I may or may not have gone to the wrong class in my first week of uni – luckily it was a class I was enrolled in anyway and the class I was supposed to be in happened to be scheduled again for that afternoon)
  • Create a study timetable including all other personal commitments (work, dinner, sport/hobby, and so on) – I cannot emphasis this enough, you will amaze yourself how much easier it is to fit everything in and get things done on time!
  • Sit next to people in class that you don’t know. You may be screaming at the computer screen saying to me “you’re crazy, right!?!” But chances are, your peers are just as nervous to approach you as you are them and they will be so thankful to have someone who can break the ice and to share ideas with!
  • Get enough sleep every night – I probably sound like your mum who nags about eating your vegetables, but it helps a great deal to be feeling awake and ready to learn/study. I would be lying if I said I have never woken up using my laptop as my pillow, feeling woeful!
  • Lastly, yet most importantly, have fun and embrace uni life, ask for help when you need it and have confidence in doing well!

If you need further tips on making friends or conversation starters, I stumbled across this clip where Jordan takes us around Toowoomba campus showing us just how it’s done! Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP5WWmQRm9U&list=UUp0ShvPUKqiKvfj40bexawg&feature=c4-overview

Feel free to share your O-Week experiences and your starting Semester 1 clues or blues below!

All the best!
Kristie

A balancing act: Studying, travelling, living!

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There’s no denying that university study can take up a lot of your time and leave you trying to make that difficult decision between a beer at the pub with your mates or reading that textbook chapter that you should have done yesterday.  In fact, if I were to add up the amount of time I’ve spent pondering such difficult decisions (for me it is travel versus study!) I’d probably be very surprised!  But I am a traveller and if I kept my feet firmly on the ground every time I had an assignment that was due, or a quiz to study for, I would be missing out on enjoying the other part of my life.  There definitely is a lot of work that goes into being a successful student, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy life as well!

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I live overseas (in Istanbul, Turkey) and often find myself distracted by new places in the city to explore that I’ve only just heard about or cheap airfares to a destination I’ve already been dreaming about!  I’m also distracted when the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, or The Mentalist is released.  And then there was the rare type of snow (thundersnow – yes, it is a real thing!) that recently fell on this beautiful city – I just had to go out and play in that!  Having previously tried to ignore such wonderful distractions, I found that I was becoming a bore (in my own words of course – my friends were too kind to tell me this!) and was heading towards burnout.  And that’s why I made the decision to live a little too.  I am a person after all and being a student is only one part of me – I am a Grey’s Anatomy fan (to name but one tv show!) and traveller extraordinaire as well!

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There was a time last semester when I was trying to write an assignment and getting nowhere.  I just couldn’t get ‘in the zone’ and the hours were slowly (very slowly!) ticking away.  I was drowning in persistence, but progress was non-existent.  Eventually I had had enough and decided to watch an episode of one of my favourite tv shows.  I watched two episodes in fact.  And you know what?  Right after that I was transported into ‘the zone’ and I was able to write a fairly decent draft of that assignment.  It was this experience that made me realise that I had been denying myself so many of the usual relaxing times, these other things which make up ‘me’ as a person and it had affected my ability to study.  All I needed was a little fun and relaxation and I was back to being a productive student again.

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But what does that mean for you, you might wonder?  Well, next time something fun comes along, don’t immediately deny yourself the occasion simply because you are a student.  Live in the moment – give yourself the gift of enjoying the other parts of your life alongside your study.  Of course you can’t do this every single time – you need to find the right balance after all.  But you can choose wisely: if you feel like going to the cinema, choose a shorter movie; if you want to go to a restaurant for dinner, choose one with fast service (and don’t order a whole bottle of wine!); if you want to take a trip abroad, choose a nearby destination to save time travelling… or do as I do and take your textbooks with you and study on the plane!

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There are plenty of ways to enjoy your life while also being a dedicated and successful student and it’s really important to find the right balance.  I’d love to hear your stories and tips on the balancing act of being a student and nurturing the others parts of your life!

USQ Springfield O-week!

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For those of you more experienced students who are going to o-week for the second, third of even forth time- I do not blame you!

How could you not want to go?? Gaining a connection with people of similar interests to your own, learning about your own important role in the growth of our campus, and tonnes of free stuff: food, stickers, rulers, booklets, food, pens, lollies, great information and oh yeah, food.

Honestly it’s a student’s dream come true.

But for those of you who have never been before, fear not.

I too, was once a first-year student and here was what I thought the “O” in O-week stood for:

  • OMG, what do I wear on my first day? (You’d think this one only applies to the ladies, but you’d be surprised…)
  • Over-estimated my ability to socialise, didn’t I?
  • Only I could get lost on a campus that has one building.

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As it turned out, the “O” in O-week stood for:

  • Other students are just as excited and nervous about being here as I am.
  • “Of course I can help you find out which room you’re in.”
  • Oh wow, I’ve learned so much, and university hasn’t even started yet!

Try to think of O-week as a fun transition to university life after such a long break (possibly including a wild schoolies which required three months of recovery).

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Here is some advice I give to all of you who are attending O-Week for the first time:

1) Be yourself.

Cliché- I know, but it really does apply to this situation.
Throughout your life so far, you’ve probably never been given the chance to truly be yourself once you stepped out your front door. Although school taught us a lot about discovering who we are as individuals, we were all made to conform on some level- either by wearing a uniform, sitting in class until the bell rang, or shoving your entire vegemite sandwich in your mouth at once because you weren’t allowed to eat it in the biology labs.

Even in the playground, there was always at least a slight pressure put on us to be or act a certain way so that more people would like us, or let us cut into the tuck-shop line.

But this isn’t a case at university!

First of all, there are no uniforms at university. So if you want to wear a pink, sparkly unicorn t-shirt to university (despite the fact you’re old enough to vote) YOU CAN!

Secondly, there will be others at O-week wearing shirts as bright as yours. So not only can you one-hundred per cent be yourself, but your individuality will be praised, and people will love you for it.

2) Stay open-minded.

One of the best ways your brain can develop is by taking healthy risks. This includes stepping out of your comfort zone. At O-Week, you’ll be getting involved in some pretty different and challenging activities.

When I went to O-Week, I found myself standing in front of total strangers talking about the worst gift I have ever been given, holding random people’s hands and lying on the floor of the auditorium whilst looking at the ceiling and learning how to breathe properly.
Although these activities may seem embarrassing at the time, there is a reason for doing them. So when the lecturer asks you to do an interpretive dance of your dream career- just go with it!

3) Pay a little attention.

Look, I get it. It’s super exciting the first time you’re able to use your phone in class without getting in trouble, but I guarantee your un-opened Snapchats will still be there after the psychology lecturer has helped you figure out your best learning strategy. Try to remember, those lecturers are there to give you a heads up about your future university adventure. So at least write down the main points on your note pad. And even if you’re just doodling little cartoon drawings with your free pen NEXT to the important notes after you’re done writing them, nod your head occasionally to remind the lecturer that you are definitely listening.

4) Ask every question you can think of.

One of my biggest challenges at O-Week was finding the balance between being too shy to ask any questions (resulting in confusion) and sounding like an attendee of a Southern Baptist Church- lots of loud “mmm’s” whenever I agreed with the speaker. To save you this awkward struggle, I would recommend writing down any questions you have and be the first to raise your hand as soon as the lecturer says “Any questions?”

Don’t feel embarrassed to ask. Chances are the room will be full of other people wanting to know the same thing as you. So be the hero who puts their hand in the air like they just don’t care (about looking silly in front of people they just met).

5) Smile, have fun!

Look at O-week this way, it’s probably the last time you’ll ever experience USQ for the first time. So make sure you have a GOOD time!

According to the totally credible website Wikipedia, smiling is contagious. This means that your smile may make someone else smile, even if they’re just as nervous about being at o-week as you are.

Having fun is also really important at o-week. I’ll be honest with you right now, university is not easy; Yes- USQ is always there to help you and yes-there are always people who care about you. But in saying that, going to university is a massive step to take in your life. So the best way to being your university experience is to go in laughing, with a huge smile on your face.

So if you take heed to at least some of my tips, and try to embrace every moment of the week, (even if it takes whispering YOLO under your breath to do it).

Your life until now has been about finding yourself- but university is about BEING yourself and putting your awesome, unique skills in to action!

This journey begins today! So have fun and collect tonnes of free stuff!!

-Eliza

From terror to self-confidence at the speed of light!

Those first few days at University were without a doubt, absolutely terrifying. There is no other way to describe it, or maybe there is, and I am sure that if I put my mind to it I could think of some other suitable words to describe the feelings racing through my mind.  At the beginning of my first semester for instance, I felt fear, overwhelming dread, utter panic, trepidation and complete horror at what I had committed myself to and of course that all-encompassing doubt. Can I really do it?

Not all of it was negative though, there were also the other slightly more positive feelings that surged through my body and mind such as exhilaration, excitement, elation and plain simple joy that I had finally gone ahead and dedicated myself to study for the next few years. Very soon into my first semester and first year I was filled with the knowledge that I can do it because I was not alone, everyone else around me were in the same boat and this boat was not the Titanic, it was not sinking, and I was not going to drown in the abyss of study.

Going to University was a dream I have had my entire life. It was there in the back of my mind continuously eating away like rust on a steel pipe. So I decided to jump in boots and all.

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After all I had made up my mind that it could only go two ways, I could succeed or fail. That is 50-50 odds, not bad really. Anyway if others could do it why can’t I? The questions you have to ask yourself  are:

  • Why shouldn’t you attend university?
  • What is stopping you?
  • What could be the best and worst possible outcomes?
  • How will it change your life?

And most importantly of all

  • If you don’t do it, will you regret it for the rest of your life?

My trepidations were soon dispelled by the support that I encountered from the teaching staff, the Learning Centre (for those panic moments! And there were plenty of them!!!!) and the social network amongst the students. I had become a part of a tight knit community which was a bit like living in an episode of Friends.

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Having never experienced these frequent boosts of self-esteem before, I now wake up in the mornings and have a bowl of self-esteem with a strong coffee, and head off to University, my veins surging with self-assurance and motivation.  Along the way I very quickly discovered the all-important secrets to university life.

  1. Self-esteem: Get loads of it from wherever you can. I found lots of useful books and articles online for example: www.psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-raise-your-self-esteem to help in this area as well  as ‘The Motivated Mind’ by Dr Raj Persaud
  2. Tell yourself every day when you get up that you are awesome and deserve to be a university student!

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In short attending University has been a lifelong ambition realised quite simply by one small decision that I made not too long ago. There is now satisfaction and fulfilment in my life all because of studying in my chosen career at USQ. Plus I have received all the unexpected benefits that came along with university life, like the friends that are going through it with me. The special moments of panic we still occasionally experience are still there, but now they are accompanied by determination.

Share your experience! What did it mean to you to study at USQ?

Lisa

5 Ways to approach the Holiday Finish Line

Semester 3 activities have come to an end and it is finally time to breathe in the holiday air. Some of us may have no idea how or where to begin. With my brain running on overtime, I have come up with some ideas on how we as ‘sucker for punishment’ people (as defined in one of my previous blogs) can prevent squander of the time we have left before Semester 1 begins.

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1.       Go on an adventure

Get together with a group of friends, or go solely if preferred, and head off on an adventure. Travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. You’re probably thinking, ‘yeah, right, I’m a uni student, like THAT’S gonna happen’ but it doesn’t have to be exotic, nor expensive. Even a national park within your vicinity would suffice. Take along a picnic lunch, togs and your comfy joggers for the authentic bush experience. After all, swimming, eating and bushwalking are all elements of this serenity!

2.       Volunteer

Approach your local organisations who would welcome an extra asset to their team temporarily. For them, the additional assistance would be beyond valuable. For you, a stupendous encounter is virtually guaranteed. You may even decide to continue this once uni starts. A win-win situation really! Adding to this benefit is an appealing quality to add to your CV that employers admire.

3.       Watch new/favourite movies

The demands of study don’t always allow you to relax for a WHOLE couple of hours so what better time than now to do so. Pick up a packet of popcorn and curl up on the couch to watch your favourite movie or go down to the video store to grab one you haven’t seen before.  Otherwise, make an outing out of it and head down to the cinemas with family or friends – that way you can catch up with your loved ones at the same time as viewing the latest flick.

4.       Get active

Again, time always seems to be to blame when it comes to exercising throughout the academic periods of the uni year. To avoid this, start going for a jog or walk most days of the week to get into an active routine before uni starts again. Doing so is likely to train your body into a habit of exercise. If this doesn’t entice you, do some research on local gyms and/or exercise programs that you can afford. This option is fairly likely to provide motivation – especially if a personal trainer is involved. Or even worse, your bank details are required and keeping fit dips into your uni drained account!

 5.       Prepare for Semester One

Although even thinking about more uni work is the last thing a Semester 3 student would feel like doing right now, there’s nothing worse than starting a new uni year unprepared. This is admittedly one of my favourite times –  the prospects of different subjects, meeting new lecturers and other people involved in the program, not to mention my strange infatuation with stocking up with an awesome new range of stationery! I also look forward to walking into USQ Bookshop at the start of every semester, with my course codes in tow, to surprise myself with the cover of each textbook I am going to need. Yes, I somewhat sneakily mentioned “the cover” only. But in all seriousness, having your books, stationery and textbooks organised prior to the semester is a fresh way to start the academic year. It also isn’t a bad idea to access Study Desk to discover what you’re in for through Semester 1, so that everything isn’t too overwhelming come the first day!

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Aside from these activities, the rest of the holidays could be spent by simply picking up your favourite book, reading a new one, or even having a barbeque to catch up with family and friends that you normally wouldn’t have time to see as often. Whatever it is you choose to do, make sure you make the most of the time left and that relaxing is included in the equation. The last thing you want to do is burn out before the year has started!

How do you plan on finishing your holidays?

Kristie

The Myths of Study

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Note: This is not my bearded dragon or cat. However, in a utopian, perfect (in all ways incredibly unrealistic) world it could be… read this blog to understand what they have to do about my Myths of Study! I popped up at the USQ scene straight from school – so I thought I had a few sneaky study and assignment plans and tactics that were completely irrefutable.

Please note: starting studying the week before a major exam is NOT one of my irrefutable tactics… I’ve found that out the hard way… a number of times.

However, I’ve found that sometimes a particular exam or assignment seems like a nasty job – similar to taking out the rubbish when there is a small lake of rubbish juice lying tranquil on the bottom – and in this case, I’ve learnt that studying or starting that assignment first is the best plan of action. Yes, I said first. Not last, not second last and definitely not doing it just after procrastinating by cleaning your bearded dragon’s cage for the last few hours (yeah, I’m guilty of that. Don’t judge too harshly, okay?). By completing that bad boy first you will still have something to look forward to. For me, this has included a super fun assignment about how best to help children develop in a particular environment.

Along with studying the not-so-fun-or-enjoyable-or-cool-or-awesome exam first, there are a number of key ways to help yourself enjoy studying it. I found at school that there was a limited capacity for the amount of ways to study. It was kind of like going into 7/11 and only finding small cups available for your slurpee in the middle of summer. All you could basically do was look back over the textbook or your own notes from class. Maybe, possibly beg your teacher for an old exam to use as practice. However, at uni, there are a bazillion ways to study – look at your notes, look at the online lecture slides, look at the information you gained during your tutorial, look at your textbook, play some really weird and interesting online games that the textbook author has developed. It’s like… have you heard of BYO cup day at 7/11? People are literally allowed to bring their own cup (whatever shape, whatever size, and fill it with the liquid goodness of the 7/11 slurpee).

I kid you not, google it if you have to. There are photos of people with kiddie pools getting filled up. It’s crazy. It’s fantastic. Well, studying for uni is basically that. There is a kiddie pool sized amount of ways to study just waiting for you. Of course, everybody has to find their own particular study habit. I personally enjoy waking up and starting an assignment or studying straight away – before I even have breakfast. I don’t know why but it works for me.

Compare this to my little brother (who is in Year 11 in high school), he enjoys staying up late (I know, typical teenagers), listening to music and studying during this time. I personally hate any type of outside noise and can’t stand music to be on while I study – even though I like to think of myself as a massive music enthusiast. So I say this to you, my fantastic readers, I am probably only a slightly above average student (oh, you think I’m better than that?! Aw thanks!) – and I can still find the motivation need to study, so, so can you! Find a time and a place, find a particular way to study and go for it! Sometimes, studying is just not possible. Perhaps… its BYO cup day at 7/11 and you have a kiddie pool just waiting to be filled up… or… or… your bearded dragon has just run under the couch and is hiding there and you’re kind of scared that she will come face to face with your cat (and they are not friends).

Sometimes you need a day to relax and watch hilarious re-runs of your favourite TV show. And I say to you: that’s okay too, as we all need a break once and a while, and trust me, you deserve it. Just don’t do it too much and end up a week out from a major exam having done zero study. I would finally like to say to you all: good luck for the following semester! Get those good habits in and kick those bad habits out!

Add your own flavour ‘study parent’!

So you’re a parent and a university student or what I prefer to call a ‘studying parent’, among other roles I am sure. Then I bet you will be/ have been looking to strike a good study-life balance. Balance… you might be saying to yourself ‘pfft, what’s that’ but I am a firm believer that we can have it all! With the right priorities, a little task management and by drawing on our inherent ability to cope with the differing demands of our lives we can find this balance and adapt into the happy and successful studying parents that we crave to be.

Over the course of my degree, I have used many and varied tactics to study whilst parenting. To share more of my story though, I will have to give you the run down about my three and half year old son. He has light, golden-brown, scuffled hair, deep brown almond shaped eyes, is knee high to a grasshopper, the love of my life and FULL of energy. As my son has gotten a little older, we mostly like to ‘study’ together. At first he would read his own books and colour beside me. These days he prefers to copy, pretending to read mummy’s special text books and write with a black biro.

Sometimes before I sit down to write an assignment, I open Microsoft Word, change the page colour and let him type with some funky font and in his favourite colour of the day. After having the taste for feeling important and involved in my university work (or mummy’s Uni as he calls it), he happily resumes playing with his toys for a while. Other fun things that we have done together include making revision cards and sitting side by side wearing our headphones listening to online lectures and the dinosaur train ABC song.

I think the most important thing to take away from this is to add your own flavour to your ‘dual role’ techniques. You might do as I and my son have, or you may prefer do to something a bit different, more suited to your individual personality and unique family dynamic. Once you are settled into your new routine you will be well and truly on your way to achieving the ever elusive balance that may have seemed unrealistic in the beginning.

Til next time.

- a phoenix just like you, Krisi