A Simpson-Free Springfield

So, I thought for this blog instalment I’d write a blog to you all about the go to places near and around Springfield Campus! Only the most avid student will ever believe that their whole time spent on campus will have them immersed in study. Sometimes you just gotta get out a bit, see the sights, and spend some time with your friends from university.

Kwik E Mart

So… we may not have a Kwik-E-Mart, or…

Moe's Tavern

Moe’s Tavern.

But we do have The Central Tavern, Springfield Lakes, and Orion; a whole shopping centre! Your move, Simpsons.

You have nothing? Checkmate.

We also have the campus facilities like the gym and the student commons, one of which is to keep you active and healthy, the other is to laze around in between lectures and chat with friends. The common room does have a pool and ping pong table though, which is great fun and can lead to some very intense rivalries.

We also have a new building popping up. And although you can’t go in there just yet, there is a super cool live video you can watch, on the left hand side of this link:

http://www.usq.edu.au/springfield/new-build

But seriously, it’s pretty impressive. Things are happening. The tavern is right next to the campus facilities, so it’s the best place to get a quick bite to eat in the middle of lectures (especially when you only have an hour break in the middle!)

Orion, the shopping centre, is also being expanded. It currently has 100 specialty shops and a food court, which is perfect to do some shopping after, before or between lectures, as well as a bite to eat. My personal favourite is Nandos, however, this may change once the expansion is completed.

I’ve heard that there are 750 more new specialty shops coming in, which includes an Events Cinema. Sounds to me like it’s just one more way to get out of a lecture!

Robelle Domain is a close stroll to the campus as well. It has its own Café (they do a fantastic Turkish Chicken sandwich), 11km of boardwalks, walking tracks, sport fields, barbecue areas and playgrounds, which includes a water play area!

I think one of the best things, personally, about going to university at the Springfield Campus is that so many new developments are occurring each and every year. It’s a flower that just won’t stop blossoming!

It really is quite exciting to be involved in all the activity in and around campus.

Share your go to spots at the Springfield campus! – Nick

Getting through exam block- in 8 simple steps

Today everybody, I would like to talk to you about a serious problem I once suffered from. I know there are many out there who too suffer from this problem, and I would like to take this time to tell you my story about an addiction I had to a serious substance:

procrastination

But I don’t just want to tell you my story; I want to help all of my fellow procrastinators out there who struggle with this affliction, too. And so I have put together the eight steps of over-coming procrastination, and getting through exam block.

But first, my story.

It usually started with a thought process similar to this:

“Ok. Here we go. Exam block is here. And this time it’s going to be different! I’m going to be organized, prepared and disciplined! There will be order and feng shui coming out the ying-yang, and everything will be colour coded, EVERYTHING!! I will NOT get distracted this time! I am in control! I shall turn off my wifi and open my text book…right after I finish this episode of Ghost Whisperer.”

Aaaaaand so exam block begins for another semester. Now, I know what you’re all thinking; how could someone as wise, as studious, and as perfect as me succumb to the enticing grip of procrastination? Surely by my third year of university study I would have become a professional exam-blocker and would be able to resist such peasantry temptations.

If anything, over time I became a professional procrastinator.

I once procrastinated so hard that I ended up singing karaoke with my mates at an empty tavern instead of doing my assignments.

It was about the time I reached the second verse of Don’t Stop Believing that I realized I had a problem. And while I looked out at my mates, belting that final “wooaaaooOOHHHHHH!!!” instead of typing up my self-evaluation essay, I knew it was time for a change.

Procrastination is difficult, and overcoming it was hard, but looking back I could see how much better and brighter my future is without it in my life.

And so here are my eight steps to over come procrastination, and to get though exam block.

Step one: Admitting you have a problem.

Although it may not take a wild night of karaoke to come to this realization, everyone has to take the leap and admit that their exams really ARE close, and that procrastination has taken over.

If you find yourself cleaning every corner of your house, or baking every kind of cake you can possible imagine, or have suddenly decided that THIS week is the week to start learning how to be a rodeo clown- then yes, you probably have a problem with procrastination, and it’s time to move on to step two.

Step two: Looking at the bigger picture.

What you want to do is try to re-ignite your passion for study. Just like a relationship that’s going a little stale, you need to zap your attitude towards study in the passion microwave and re-freshen your love for your degree. (And yes, I did paraphrase from a “re-kindle your love life” book for that one.)

Remember that very first moment when you found out that you’d made it into your degree? How awesome did that feel!?!?! The butterflies in the stomach just before the QTAC page FINALLY loaded, and then the squeals of celebration after reading the first line. (Don’t even try to deny that you reacted that way because I know you all did!!)

Remember thinking that your whole future had just started? Those fantasies that ran through your mind of how this degree had brought you one step closer to owning your own company, or building your own buildings, or directing your own films.

Remember that day? That was a great day.
And although today, as you stress-eat your way through an entire packet of Tim-Tams and click over to the next episode of One Tree Hill, mightn’t be as great- remember what you’re aiming for.

Step three: Making the decision to dedicate the next few weeks to study.

Funniest_Memes_one-does-not-simply-study-at-home-without_9966

What you need to do at this point is get into full-on hibernation mode. That means making no new social plans until all of your exams are over and your assignments are in, and trying to cut back on other work, too.

Another thing you could do is turn off your internet for 30 minutes at a time, study hard-out for that half an hour and then have a break for social media time, because we all know how important it is to catch up on how our mates are coping with exam block, to compare their stress to yours, and to read up on some funny exam/study memes.

Step four: Telling people you have a problem.

When it comes to getting through exams and dealing with procrastination, the more people you tell, the more they’ll understand and be able to get you through it.

It may seem unbelievable, but you don’t have to go through exams alone. You can either get together with other students and study together, or get a family member to help you out, or anyone willing to help out. For example, one of my friends studies in trimesters so we always have exams on at different times. So what we do to help each other out is supervise each other’s studying. Whenever one of us gets distracted, the other one creeps up and yells out “KEEP STUDYING!!” and we have no choice but to get back to it.

Step five: Taking things slow and steady.

Studying for exams is more like a marathon than a sprint…I think…to be honest I was never very good at sport. Anyway, I know from experience that it’s better to pace yourself rather than cram.

Step six: Adjusting your lifestyle (for the next few weeks).

Let’s be honest right now, during exam block, you’re not out to look good- you’re not even aiming to look human. Because you’re not socializing, you’re not working as much, and you’re only really leaving your room to get food. So as I list off the perfect food and exercise régime for exam block, keep in mind that you should only stick to this during exams- not forever. Let me show you why:

When it comes exam block food, you want stuff that’s easily accessible and simple to make. This includes Oreos, two-minute noodles, baked beans, any form of potato chips- pretty much anything that comes in a packet, box or can. However if you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, you could even smash out a frozen meal- but be warned, the point of sticking to easy-to-make foods is to avoid any possible procrastination sneaking back into your routine. You may say to yourself “I’ll just cook a simple steak and veggies” and the next thing you know you’ve bought your own cow, slaughtered and prepared it, and have now started your own butchers business- simply so you don’t have to study for your Social Communications exam.

Also, you want to be as comfortable as possible; if you can attach pillows to your entire body- do it. As I said, exam time is not a beauty contest (and in my opinion, if you’ve ever listened to a lot of what the people who enter beauty contests actually say, then you’d understand why a person should prioritize studying over spending time trying to look as good as possible.)

study-noun

Step seven: Getting creative.

One of the reasons why people procrastinate (in my experience-so, according to…me) is due to the fear of facing the dreaded flash-cards and boring textbooks. Now, first of all textbooks and flash-cards can be fun…for some people. But if that’s not really your thing, then you could try sticking colourful post-it notes with study notes on them on the outside of a glass shower, or the back of your toilet door. That way you’ll be looking at your notes at least three times a day.

You could also send your friends your study notes, and get them to randomly text you with pop quizzes. Annoying? Yes. Helpful? Mostly.

Step eight: Sticking to it.

This is the hardest step, because in the end it’s really up to you. Kicking the procrastination habit is tough, but once you’ve done it, and you’ve got yourself into the exam-hibernation mode with your pillow suit and your Oreos, you might as well go all the way and study hard!

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Studying is not always easy, but I promise you that it’s always worth it in the end. Now stop reading my blog and get to it!

Play that funky music!

So, it’s getting up to that time of semester again. Yeah, you know. Yes, I see you nodding. Study time. And not just regular study time. This is study-because-exams-are-only-a-few-weeks-away-study-time. So, it’s pretty hectic. Yeah, I’m not really happy about it either. What with the work, and the social life, and the assignments that are still to be handed in. It’s not really too fun, right?

BUT. We gotta do it. Like, we just kind of have to, yeah? So, we might as well make it fun. At least that’s the point of view that I have. And let’s be reasonable with one another for a little bit here. No one really enjoys studying.
Sometimes, I get into the habit of doing this:

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Because you know, walls can be interesting.
Ahem.
Yeah, moving on.
You caught me. I don’t like studying.
However (cue drum roll!), there are definitely a few ways to make study more enjoyable.

Take regular breaks

I always try to have consistent breaks that I work towards. They’re normally around 10 minutes in length, and I take them maybe every 45 minutes or so. They’re like a bright light in the miasma of study. It’s a good thing. It’s something that you really look forward to, because looking forward to things while studying is important.

I enjoy getting up to all sorts of crazy shenanigans in those 10 minutes. Often I try to fit as many objectives into that break as possible. I’m basically Tom Cruise on a Mission Impossible mission. I may play with my cat (which somehow ends up in a fight and cat claw marks down my arm), play some funky music (white boy), watch TV (Adventure Time, anyone?) or just sit in the corner of the room slowly rocking back and forth wondering if it will ever be over (don’t stress, that’s a joke. No seriously, it is).

That’s always a good place to start. Just some nice and easy study breaks to get you through it all, but how are you meant to make study fun while studying?
Well, this is my desk right now:

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HIGHLIGHTERS!

Not only highlighters, but 5 highlighters. I know; impressive, right?
While looking over old notes and lecture slides, I often just look over it and try and see if I remember all of the information there (hopefully I remember most). The information that I don’t remember, I will simply just highlight with a particular colour.
I’ll then go over the highlighted areas and re-read, re-write and re-learn this information. I’ll give it a few days, and then go through these same notes with a different coloured highlighter and highlight once again.

Hopefully, there is less information highlighted. Hopefully. The important part is to be impartial. Sometimes I even highlight things that I didn’t highlight the first time. I’ll try and do this (realistically) about 3 times, however this really does matter on the work load I have at that point of time, sometimes I only get around to it about once.

Afterwards, you can look over your old notes and lecture slides and use the visual stimulus that the coloured highlighters have given you. In an exam, you may even specifically remember the colour of highlighter you’ve used (which always makes me super happy) for that particular piece of information.
I suppose I do get a kick out of all the bright colours as well. You may find this unappealing and not worthwhile, and I think everybody needs to devise their own ways of studying, but this is my way (and you’re welcome to use it too!)

The greatest thing that I’ve found about it is that I only look at information that I can’t remember in large detail. The stuff that is securely locked in my memory is quickly brushed over. So it gives me more time on the things I can’t remember but I still trigger that other information too when I re-read it!

This is just a handy idea that you are all more than welcome to use to try and make study seem that little bit less tedious, and a little bit more fun!

I’d love to hear how you make study more fun!

Until next time…

Nick

Beginning University: The What Not To Do

Here are my 5 tips for beginning students!

1 – Study Group – Community

It can be hard for some people to make friends at university; so suggesting a study group for each or several classes is the perfect excuse to get to know other students. The television show Community is the perfect example of this, bringing a diverse range of strangely stereotypical characters together through the desire to pass Spanish class.

I should warn, you may not get to shoot each other with paintballs in the lecture rooms, steal a space flight simulator, or live in the building’s air ducts. However, helping each other study and pass courses will give you new friends, great marks, and maybe a few crazy adventures of your own.

2 – Ask lots of questions, but not too many – don’t be that guy

The difference between school and university that freaked me out the most, you didn’t have to raise your hand and ask to go to the toilet. This is about the only question you shouldn’t ask during tutorials and workshops though. Similar to the study group, the opportunity to confirm any statistics, or question anything you are unsure about is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

In saying this, there’s that old saying, “no question is a stupid question.” I personally disagree, as evidenced by Jonah from Tonga below. Don’t abuse the privilege!

3 – Get to know your lecturers – They are real people!

You can probably see a trend growing here. MAKE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE! Your lecturers are industry professionals with years of experience, countless contacts, and they mark your exams. Don’t see it as bribery, but keep yourself in the good books and don’t be afraid to stand out from the rest of the class.

4 – Don’t buy textbooks unless you have to!

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, money can be hard to come by as a university student. One cost you can save a lot of money on is textbooks. Sure, the course content might say certain textbooks are required. However, there a a few ways you can avoid buying them.

The library – The library might have copies of textbooks you can use to study. Unfortunately, if 30 people have the same idea, there could be a fight to the death for the last copy.

Study group sharing – You should have seen that coming.

Find out if you actually need it – Ask lecturers and previous students whether you actually need a particular textbook, or if you can live without it.

5 – Find a way to distance yourself from Facebook – like seriously!

Facebook is the worst thing to happen to productivity ever. I don’t even know why, but I can find myself looking at pictures of people’s pets and meals for hours on end. The easiest thing I found was to just disconnect from the Internet and leave my phone in my bag.

After several cold sweats and uncontrollable shaking, I realized I could actually survive a couple of hours a day without checking updates. Who’d have thought it?

Once again, I hope this has helped some of you find your feet and make it through the next few years.

Until next time,

Tom

I’ve already looked. There isn’t one.

So I think we are all quite aware of the hard times that university students are under throughout the year due to academic stress, but there is also another key contributor (at least I think so) to our worries throughout the semester.

Money.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Especially you full time students out there. Yeah, I’m talking to you.

Having 4 subjects a semester makes it quite tricky to gain a regular income throughout the semester, even when you have a casual or part time job. I actually have 3 casual jobs, but 2 of them only come around once every 3 or 4 weeks so regular income is sometimes hard to gain.

It would be nice if, you know, money grew on trees.

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BUT, I’ve already looked into it, and it doesn’t. So, you don’t need to look. Yeah, that’s okay. I try and help when I can. Apparently there is such a thing as an economy and money trees would basically make no sense in our economical world. Blah blah blah. But still. Can you imagine?

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This would basically be me (except I’m a little hairier [just a heads up, that’s a joke]). I also only have two legs, but I suspect you already knew that. However, needless to say, that cat looks pretty happy, and it doesn’t even know what money is. Can you imagine how much happier it would be if it knew that money was exchangeable for goods and services (yes little kitty, catnip counts as goods).

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See, with that money, that cat could be doing extraordinary things. It’s really missing out. But, I’m getting off track here. And I thought you’d perhaps be interested in some advice and tips that I have picked up over the last 2 and a half years of university study.

Firstly, we all need to understand that there are some fairly regular costs that we all have to pay. Food, petrol, public transport, rent. Things like that. Some people may have more, some people may have less, but the general idea is that we all have some expenses that we must be prepared for from week to week.

Once I understood this, I realised that I need to:

• Work enough to get at least that much money coming in (compared to going out)

• And then DON’T spend it (tough, I know)

With these expenses prepared and paid for, you can concentrate on the important things such as university studies and exams. The second step is to understand that life will throw a few curve balls at you. I, for example, have my car rego and insurance due in the same month every year.That’s not cheap for a 20 year old, believe me. So I need to prepare for it.

Be prepared for the unexpected and it won’t be unexpected (oooh paradox!) These curve balls will pop up every now and then and the best way to prepare is just always be ready.

Try to save. I know, that’s kind of difficult, but that will go a long way towards paying unexpected bills and perhaps a holiday in the near future. By doing this, you can actually spend money on things that you enjoy, not just rent and car expenses and regular old boring things like that. Last, but not least, try to be a crafty consumer. If there is a sale on a particular item or brand in the grocery store, buy a few and if not, perhaps wait for next week.

Let’s go back to where it all began…

Why did I go to university? Wow, this is a deep question! Toot toot, all aboard the feels train!

So why DID I go to university? Well…umm….

Ok so this is actually a massive question, so I’ve broken it down into three sections:

1) Why did I choose to gain a tertiary education?

2) Why did I choose to study media and journalism?

3) Why did I choose to go to USQ?

 

1) Why did I choose to gain a tertiary education?

let's go back 1

This is a really tough thing to put into words! I suppose it was always expected of me to go to university and get a degree. Not that anyone ever pressured me into doing so, my parents always said to me “we don’t care what you do, just don’t be sitting on our couch in fifteen years”. I just always expected it of myself.

I’m not the first person in my family to go to university; my dad studied radiology and my mum studied nursing and midwifery, and completed her graduate diploma in cancer nursing. They both still work in these fields today, so not only did I grow up with a “she’ll be right” attitude towards any medical problem I might have had (because my parents had LITERALLY seen worse,) but it was made super clear to me that mum and dad couldn’t do the jobs they do without first studying at uni. And so I’ve always thought I too would need to go to university if I wanted a job as cool as theirs.

Also, the high school I attended expressed the strong opinion that university was the be-all and end-all. Please don’t get me wrong! I loved high school! The awesome friends I made, Chicken Burger Tuesday at tuckshop, how empowered it made me feel as a young woman living in one of the most fortunate countries in the world, but when I look back, it was a very tertiary education-based school. Our guest speaker at speech night was always a former student from my school who had gone on to achieve her bachelors, masters and PhD AND get married and have four kids all in ten years. Never did we hear the story of a student who had gone on to do beauty therapy and won awards for their bikini waxing abilities. And although my pencil case was full of free pens from universities, a TAFE freebee was seldom found.

So I guess the environment I grew up in and the people around me influenced my decision to go to do tertiary education.

 2) Why did choose to study media and journalism?

let's go back 2

When I was four I wanted to be a fire truck. Yep. Just let that sink in. I wanted to be a fire TRUCK, as in the vehicle, not a fire FIGHTER as in the person that saves lives and makes sexy calendars. Not four-year-old me. I wanted to be a big red vehicle that went WEEE WAAHHHH WEEEE WAHHHH!!!!!

So when I discovered that a person cannot in fact be a vehicle, I was pretty crushed.

So it was back to the drawing board, and to be honest I really had no clear idea of what I wanted to do for the next ten years or so.

But eventually grade ten came around and it was time to seriously start thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I walked into the Careers Advisor’s office not knowing what I’d say. All I knew at that point was I wanted a career where I could talk and entertain people.

After explaining this to the Careers Advisor, she asked me if I’d ever considered studying media or journalism.

I had not.

After explaining to me what journalists and people who work in media actually do, including making movies and documentaries, producing and hosting radio or television shows and of course, talking and talking and talking….

I was in love.

So it was really my love of entertaining and talking to people that led me to study media and journalism.

 

3) Why did I choose to go to USQ?

let's go back 3

I know what you’re thinking.

“Here we go, now she’s going to go full-on telemarketer and give us all of these unwanted facts about why USQ is better than everyone else…”

Not today guys!

At the end of the day, what’s really important is that you’re doing what’s best for you, no matter where or what that is. But let me tell you why USQ was best for me.

I looked into other media degrees at other unis before finding the Bachelor of Applied Media. I looked into creative media, mass communication, audio engineering, straight-up journalism, but none of them sounded like they’d get me to where I wanted to go in life.

When I did stumble upon the Bachelor of Applied Media (BAM) at USQ, it immediately grabbed my attention.

Education covering multi-media platforms? Tick.

Journalism major? Tick.

But the selling point for me was the student-run, on campus radio station.

Not only was the degree perfect for me, but so was the university itself, for a number of reasons.

 

-          The campus personality:

Springfield is a personal and friendly place to study. The lecturers know you by name and care about you! Not only does this make you feel too guilty to skip a lecture, but it also means they’re more likely to notice if you’re struggling with anything. Plus all of the students know each other. I have literally never been in the common room without finding someone to play Ping-Pong with me.

-          The practicality of BAM:

My degree, like so many at USQ, is very hands-on. I don’t even think of my study as study. It’s more training for my future career. We students get to use industry-standard lighting, camera and audio equipment as well as make our own TV and radio shows from the on-campus studios. Plus our lecturers have all worked in the industry before and so give us some pretty cool advice like “learn how to not sleep for three days straight” and “never see rejection as a bad thing”.

-          The drive:

This is just a petty thing but I really do love my drive to and from uni. Minus the first time I attempted to drive to Springfield campus (resulting in a huge fight between my mother and I as we passed the “Welcome to the Gold Coast!” sign). The drive from my house to uni is pretty much the most relaxing thing ever. Not only that but it’s beautiful! The highway between Ipswich and Springfield is nothing but country. It took me and hour and a half to get home instead of fifteen minutes once because there were cows all over the road. No joke. Instead of getting out of the way when I beeped my horn, they just started licking my rear-vision mirrors.

So there you go. The really long answer as to why I chose to go to university. If you asked me in real life “why did you go to uni?” I would probably just say “because that’s why I wanted to do to get my dream job.” But I feel like that wouldn’t quite cut it for a blog.
Like I said, at the end of the day you’re better off doing what’s best for you- so if you want to be a llama farmer and fill the niche market of selling llama cheese, go for it! But if you are thinking about going to university, maybe take a little heed as to why I chose to go to university.

Keeping Fit for Study!

Trying to figure out how your regular fitness routine is going to fit into your student life? Wanting to make a change and incorporate some exercise between study, work and personal life? Finding that you have completely slipped up and are no longer keeping up with regular exercise?

Let’s do something about our health and wellness. Let’s ensure that we do invest some valuable time into practicing some self-care! It can be easy to let things slip to the wayside, including looking after ourselves. Below are some of my favourite things to do!
Things I like to do:

10 things

Seems fairly standard right? Maybe or maybe not! I don’t mind taking it slow on the bike or treadmill and reading some lecture notes even if they are just on my phone, I am still getting in a little bit of study and essentially killing two birds with one stone! It is really a win-win situation I’d say! As far as going for a long walk is concerned, this is a huge amount of time that I also find is just perfect for listening to the odd online lecture while you’re climbing that horrid hill.

I have a couple of mates who are also keen to stay as fit as possible so we often organise different regular activities for us to do together. One friend in particular I meet with straight after one of my uni lectures. Yes I do wear my gym clothes to uni sometimes, it is actually comfy and you should try it! There are all sorts of beautiful parklands and sports courts right near the uni that we take advantage of. I am a terrible tennis player, nonetheless I don a pair of tennis shoes and pull out the old racket for a hit on those occasions that I just want to have a little bit of fun and catch up with some friends.

If I am dead tired or strapped for time I like to negotiate with myself and park at the back of the car park. This might seem silly however I think that these couple of extra minutes spent walking to and from the car can add up and as the motto goes – something is better than nothing! I try and remember to take a bottle of water with me too, this way I can track my water consumption and stay nice and hydrated, which as we all know is very important.

When it is at the point that I am literally not even prepared to leave the house (for whatever reason), I have a few fitness apps that I use to guide me through short workouts. So, I have literally been able to work out in my pyjamas (this has reached new heights of laziness I know) and even with my toddler, which is super handy to have as an option. I also find that these apps are handy as little pocket references when I am searching for inspiration on what to do when I find myself lost in the weights room at the gym.

Kristen

But what did I do today? Well today I took to the stairs, listened to some of my favourite tunes and although I wasn’t able to stay out for too long, I still stretched out those legs and soaked up some sun! Student life is busy – when you throw in work, personal life and add some extra goals it can seem unachievable. I still think that it doesn’t hurt to set goals, even if they have to be longer-term I find that it is still something for me to work towards (for myself) within the time that I have spare. Remember to remain flexible, when I slip up, sleep in or simply decide to just catch a movie it would be easy to feel guilty, but I choose to just be kind to myself instead – tomorrow there will be another opportunity to park far, far away!

- Krisi

The Adventures of: My Degree and Me

I’ve only been out of university a few months, yet it feels like an eternity. I had so much fun and did so much cool stuff; I didn’t realize it was going to be over so quickly. Maybe, had I ‘accidentally’ failed a couple of subjects I could have extended my degree a little longer. Nevertheless, I am done now and am facing the big, scary, real world.

People always ask me, “What did you actually get out of the last three years?” Well…

FRIENDS

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No, not those guys! I now have a group of fantastic new friends who all love and appreciate the same things I do. It doesn’t sound that important, but friends who make films always need a crew they can trust, which puts me in prime position! They can also act as an ‘inside man’ in companies you are looking to achieve employment with.

I should probably clear up that I don’t just have friends for convenience; I can just be a nice person. However, it’s just worth mentioning that friends in high places don’t just appear by themselves.

EXPERIENCE

As I mentioned before, I’ve done a lot of cool stuff in three years. The practical element of the Bachelor of Applied Media has allowed me to be heavily involved in industry experience both in and outside of the course content. Here’s the highlights reel:

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Channel Nine News Package:
A friend and I had the amazing opportunity to create a news package to be played on Channel Nine 6 o’clock News. I was in charge of the audio and journalism whilst my friend was the cameraman. The best bit about the experience was that the legendary BRUCE PAIGE was our mentor.

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My own music festival:
As my independent project in third year, I adopted the role of Community Engagement Officer (CEO) of Phoenix Radio, creating and strengthening the connection between the station and local community. Being as audacious as I am, I thought a free music festival sponsored by USQ and Phoenix Radio would be perfect.

After months of preparation, we streamed an entire music festival online and exposed the community to local artists. It was a big success for the university, radio station, and personally.

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Short Films:
Going back to the point of having industry friends, I have filled in on heaps of different projects that friends have needed help with. Anything from holding boom poles, to camera work, and even a sneaky cameo or two, wherever I could help and get my name on the credits was a big bonus to me.

SO WHERE AM I NOW?

I don’t work a 9-5 job. I am much, much busier than that. I have somewhat expanded my role as Community Engagement Officer of Phoenix Radio, now organizing and producing gigs in Ipswich once a month. Being producer is great, because I can practically do all of my work from home, sending emails and contacting local artists. I have also been recently promoted to content coordinator for online music magazine Fourdoubleosix.com. Writing, editing, and uploading music reviews throughout the week is a tedious, yet rewarding experience and once again, can be done from behind a computer at home.

In an attempt to leave the house at some point, I also have picked up temporary work as a voiceover artist and am in the process of writing a story for Channel Seven News. I always knew that I couldn’t just walk into my dream job, so all of this has kept me busy and working while I aim towards my goal of working for Triple J.

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Until next time,

Tom

New to USQ? The A-Z of student emotions

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Whether you are new to student life or a seasoned third year psychology student like me, I think that we can all agree that studying at university is a holistic journey that emotions are no exception to! Some might liken it to a rollercoaster ride, riding a wave of emotions along the way.When I look back on my journey through uni, I realise that I have literally felt the whole kit and caboodle from elation to almost panic and everything in between.
Recently I asked a few of my friends at uni what their experience has been like and it seems that there is no avoiding the ever-changing nature of emotions including all the ups and downs of student life. It makes sense though right? Of course you are going to feel upset or even disappointment when you miss out on the grade you were hoping for – remember it’s a good thing because it means that we care! We are all studying at uni chasing our dreams, interests or future careers. I don’t know about you, but my dreams mean a lot to me, this is why we cry when we feel over-whelmed by the enormity of them and become excited as they inch closer and closer until you can almost touch them.

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Yes, that was actually me! So, there is no avoiding the experience of the whole spectrum of emotions, it seems that they are necessary to our growth but what helps manage them?

BALANCE & SUPPORT
I have found that balance and support play a huge part in my stress and anxiety levels at uni. It wasn’t until my second year of uni I started to realise that I REALLY needed more of the B-word. So I took a summer semester to lighten the course load for my third year. I am glad that I did because I feel more motivated than ever with only three courses that I have to focus on now (rather than four), also meaning less procrastination – Woohoo. I am also getting better at asking my friends and family for support, asking if they can help by cooking dinner tonight while I read a chapter of my text book. I have also always been a big fan of The Learning Centre at uni, when I was finding my statistics course really challenging I was able to receive maths support which was really helpful.
Everyone’s journey is unique, but I promise some days you will laugh and others you will feel a little lost. Remember you are not alone, we are all in this together (newbies and 3rd years alike)! The adjustment into self-directed learning, where there are no teachers hovering behind your back, only your conscience on either shoulder is sometimes difficult. The transition into freedom can be a double edged sword because with freedom comes responsibility. I think though if we can just remember to check in with ourselves regularly on the question of balance and support, we can manage our emotions and stress levels just that little bit better!

Let’s start a conversation, share your successes with me and your peers or tell us what your barriers or fears have been along the way!

- Krisi

How my study is like a dinner party

So I feel as though I’m right in the middle of an extravagant dinner party right now and it’s been going on for about a few weeks. Why, you might ask? Well.

  •          I’m currently completing my 3rd year of my psychology (honours) degree. And,
  •          I am doing this full time – so I’m completing 4 subjects. And,
  •          Adding on top of this the 3 casual jobs that I am involved in. And!
  •          I am currently undergoing work placement at Lifeline as a phone crisis supporter (which is the new job name for a phone counsellor).

Pretty cool, right? However, you may ask: ‘Nick, how do you do it? How are you surviving?!’ Well.

It’s not actually all that bad. In fact, I feel as though I’m kind of at a dinner party. I’m really enjoying it all. I’m really enjoying all of the subjects that I am involved in (some of which are actually really, super-duper cool). I enjoy my casual jobs and work placement for lifeline is surreal.

It’s kind of like… I’m at the table, and there is so much awesome food there that I just am not sure how to approach it. A little bit of this, a little bit of that? Or do I grab a great big slab of that delicious looking mud cake? But what if I run out of time/room in my belly? Oh wait a second… maybe I do want to try that octopus over there… Surely it would taste good, right? I am a huge fan of calamari and a bit of an adventure-seeker. Or perhaps the mud cake first…

So there are kind of a lot of different foods to eat. A lot of new food that I haven’t experienced before. A lot of people around me who are interested in how I’m going and what I’m doing. So yeah, there’s a lot. I’m busy, but it’s a good busy. A happy busy.

On top of it all, I try to go to gym, stay healthy, and also maintain a dignified social life instead of becoming a reclusive hermit.

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No, the other type of hermit…

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Yes, that’s better.

And no. I can’t grow a beard that fabulous. Yet.

I get through it all though (at least I normally do) and I do it with quite a bit of aplomb.

The work placement at Lifeline is pretty much the main course for me right now. It’s the big juicy roast sitting right smack-bang in the middle of the table looking a million dollars. And it is the main reason I’m writing to all my fine readers today, actually. I’m sure some of you have gone through some sort of work placement in your lives, but for those who haven’t (or haven’t done it for uni), I thought I’d give you a run down on how it goes.

The university organised it all for me, which is spectacular. They got me into contact with Lifeline and started the whole process off. I basically walked into the door for the first day of training without having organised a thing. Pretty great.

I went through a few weeks of training (about two days a week) to gain a proper understanding of how to take calls, how to communicate with the callers, and how to relieve their distress. Throughout the training, I got to observe one of my supervisors taking real calls on the phone, which was a great learning experience.

I finished the training, and have now had 3 shifts on the phones talking to anyone who needs help. It’s been a valuable learning experience already and I’ve enjoyed it beyond my 32wildest expectations. Yes, it has been very difficult and challenging for me, but it’s been a good difficult and challenging.

I’ve taken calls about suicide, mental health issues, family and relationship issues and many other difficulties in people’s lives. It’s amazing to be in the human services work place environment – it’s a great experience for me and I know it will be an invaluable experience.

Until next time!