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

Build Your Networks

Networking is an essential part of building wealth – Armstrong Williams

Humans are social creatures. It is in our nature to seek a sense of belonging or identity within a particular group or groups brought about through social means. So what is networking? Through my studies of business, networking refers to the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers. As my university studies extended beyond the 3 year mark, it was now the perfect time to commence building my professional networks for my graduate years.

As mentioned in my previous blog, my travels to Melbourne in July proved an excellent opportunity to extend my networks interstate and nation-wide. This occasion was a chance to represent the university alongside the USQ Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) group, at the SIFE national conference. Along with the chance to network with fellow university students Australia-wide, several industry experts and organisation representatives attended the conference, forming the judging panel for the competition.

On the flight back from Melbourne, I decided to put further into practice my newly acquired networking tips, through confirming my student membership with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. After attending several networking evenings and breakfast events, I had met a vast variety of the Chamber’s members, with their backgrounds inclusive of IT, finance, accounting and real-estate. These events gave me the opportunity to gain perspectives of real-world practice in a number of disciplines – with some members even sharing tips on their days at university.

With 2012 marking significant growth for the Chamber of Commerce, I was also able to meet several key figures relevant to the Greater Springfield region. The University of Southern Queesland’s Springfield campus was home to a networking event by which Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas shared her vision for the campus and its role within the rapidly developing Greater Springfield region.

 More recently, I attended an event with the Chamber for the official book-launch of Maha Sinnathamby – the inspirational innovator who founded the Greater Springfield area. At this event Maha detailed several triumphs and hardships throughout his life – spanning from his early days in Malaysia, through to his travels and settlement in Australia. The central theme of his speech was consistent with the title of his book – Stop Not Till The Goal is Reached.

One message in particular I took from Maha’s speech was that the darkest night brings the brightest dawn. He spoke of this in relation to the sleepless nights he faced throughout the turbulent times past, and how overcoming the most impossible obstacles bestow the greatest reward.

This goes to show, no matter what you study or where you are in your journey through life, networking is an essential part of building wealth. Whether such wealth takes the form of money, knowledge, education or inspiration, every opportunity is a good opportunity to network.

Welcome to Springfield

Welcome to Springfield campus! My name is Jordan and today I’ll be taking you on a tour of all the amazing things which happen at USQ Springfield.

Before we embark on today’s tour, I’ll begin with a little about myself. I have been a student of Springfield campus since first commencing my double-degree program (Bachelor of Business & Bachelor of Laws) in March 2010 – a keen 17 year old straight out of high school and excited for the experiences of university. Fast forward to today, I am currently in my third year of study and have had the marvellous opportunity of being involved in and experiencing the on-campus life at Springfield.

As a student of Springfield campus, I am one of approximately 1700 individuals studying hard toward completing tertiary studies. Whilst I have studied by external mode for a few of my business courses, I find the on-campus mode of study essential to the university experience – encompassing a study/social balance of the time spent at university. As a resident of the Greater Springfield region, USQ is my local university. This makes transport to the campus stress-free – only 5 minutes’ drive from home to the campus (no excuses to be late for class). In addition to the fantastic facilities available at Springfield campus, the things I love most about being a student of USQ include the abundance of student support services available and all the extra-curricular activities and events on offer to students.

Wednesdays at Springfield are always full of activity and excitement. Common hour happens every Wednesday between 12-2pm is a chance for hard working students (like me) to take a break and enjoy the fun social activities run by the campus.  Key highlights for this year include the Sumo and Sushi event, the multi-cultural celebration ‘Harmony day’ and (my personal favourite) on-going Interfaculty challenges. Much like the competition between the four houses of Hogwarts in Harry Potter, interfaculty challenges see students grouped together based on their area of study and face-off in competitions against their rival faculties. These interfaculty challenges can get quite intense (as pictured below).

In addition to the abundance of events and activities, Springfield campus offers a number of clubs, societies and sporting groups for students to join. In the late half of 2010, I signed up to the university’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) group. SIFE is an extra-curricular association in many universities worldwide, bearing the motto a head for business, a heart for the world. The group’s focus is to apply concepts and theories learned through our studies by instituting and implementing community based projects, all with the intention on giving back to the community. In 2010 and 2012 I was given the opportunity to travel to Melbourne to represent the USQ SIFE team at the national conference, competing against 24 other universities Australia-wide.

One saying I carried throughout my high school days, into my studies at university is, ‘when opportunity knocks, answer the door.’ With this in mind I encourage all students to get involved and take on all the wondrous opportunities on offer to them throughout their studies.

With all this extra-curricular fun, it is important to also find balance between studies and social life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is study to be done.

More adventures to be continued…..