The new semester equation

How do you determine your readiness for a new semester? Are you ever ready?

If you’re anything like me, feeling absolutely prepared isn’t something I experience often. I like to take advantage of every moment during the holidays to relax and enjoy things I don’t usually get to do throughout the semester. This time round I spent my holidays in the tropical, warm North Queensland weather laying on the beach, visiting the Great Barrier Reef and doing many other tourist activities that allowed me to wind down. But when I returned to my extremely cold hometown, I had plenty of time to reflect on think about what worked well last semester and the areas that need improvement.

For me, kicking off an awesome semester is like a fun version of a maths equation: ‘A New Semester + Me = A Fresh Start’. Just like many maths equations, there are many different ways to reach the answer.

make a fresh start - motivational

The method I use to configure this exciting equation involves devising new semester resolutions and includes the following sums:

Important dates + diary = organisation!

At the beginning of the semester, I write down all important dates, including assessment due dates, work shifts, uni classes, appointments and anything else I know that will be happening throughout the semester. It’s so easy to get caught up in study mode that you forget to go to one of your shifts or you forget about your dentist appointment! By writing things down, you can focus on uni while keeping tabs on your life-outside-uni at the same time.

Study with highlighters - note taking success

Highlighting + study notes = colourful study!

Highlighters have definitely become one of my favourite pieces of stationery since becoming a uni student. Having a range of different colours and using these to make my study notes pretty and colourful has made a huge difference by helping me remember information for exams and locate information needed for an assignment – it’s a huge time saver!

Less procrastination + more study = productivity!

Ok, so I’m pretty sure ALL uni students know how to procrastinate. Although social media is so much more interesting than study, I have told myself that this semester I will use it in moderation. TV is also one of my biggest time wasters, but now that most TV channels have apps that allow you to catch-up on episodes, I can reward myself with my favourite shows after I do my study!

New classes + new people = new friends!

Although the idea of meeting new people can be daunting, it’s usually the case that they feel the same way too. You won’t always have a class of entirely new people every semester, but I’ve told myself that if this is the case I will be brave and sit next to someone I don’t know. Uni is so much more enjoyable when you meet new people and are social! And, most importantly, I will continue to communicate with lecturers and ask questions because their help is invaluable.

Smile + relax = have fun!

At the end of the day, I see the most important part of my uni experience as being happy and making the most of it. It’s easy to get so caught up in study that you forget to give yourself time to relax. Look after yourself, smile and relax.

take a smile

Best of luck cracking the code to your new semester equation and showing your degree who’s boss this semester!

New semester plans

Alright everyone, I’m sure we have all now taken the time to reflect on last semester- the procrasti-partying (if you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know that this is my specialty), the three cans of Red Bull a day, the late-night dinners consisting of raw two-minute-noodles and half a Snickers bar you found in the back of the fridge (yes, we have all been there), the constant concern you don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, and of course that horrible feeling you experience when you’re rushing to get an assignment done in time. We’ve also seen the effects this lifestyle has had on our bodies – I find myself looking more and more like the girl from The Grudge – and our minds. If there was ever a time that I could have been cast as an extra in The Walking Dead, it was between 26 March and 18 June.

What's the plan? Planning for success

I think it’s pretty clear that something has to change this semester…

So here are my new semester plans!

Firstly, I really want to find that work/study/life balance people have been raving about. Now, considering I lack balance at the best of times, this could be quite a challenge. Finding this balance is a problem that I know a lot of uni students face; you may need to pay for rent, or maybe you have a family to support. This makes it hard to put your university studies as the number one priority.

For me, I have a problem with saying no. So if my boss asks me to work an extra shift or two a week, I find it really difficult to pass up on the extra hours. It’s not like I think the fate of the sales representative world couldn’t possibly go on without me (it turns out the world doesn’t actually revolve around me) and therefore I’m sure my boss could find someone else to fill my shift. I struggle to say no because I feel as if I’m letting my boss down, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way when they choose their studies over work.

But here’s the thing: the job you have now is probably not going to become your future career, whereas the opportunities given to you by studying at university will lead you to your dream job. I always think of uni as training for my future job, and everyone knows that unless you’re trained properly, you can’t do the job. So why skip training? Plus, you’re paying to go to university. I will admit that I don’t enjoy wasting my money; whenever I go shopping I am straight to the sales rack before I look at anything else, and the same goes with my university fees. I’m sure everyone wants to get the best value for money, and the best way to do that when studying at uni is to put one hundred per cent into your degree- don’t waste a minute!

Planning your career: from Plan A  to Plan B

Secondly, because this is probably my last semester as an on-campus, stereotypical ‘uni student’, I want to make the most of it. I want to go to the end of year ball, play laser tag and maybe even do a fun run. Not only do all of these events include free food, but they’re an awesome way for students to feel like they’re part of the uni community and provide an opportunity to network with other students. Connecting with other students can really help if you’re looking for some assurance that you’re not the only one stressing out about final exams.

Following on from that, I want to get myself ‘out there in the world’ this semester. I’ll never get over how quickly my degree has gone by. Seriously guys, I feel like it was just yesterday I was looking up formal dresses with my school friends in the back of class instead of listening to the teacher, because who REALLY needs to know how to figure out the volume of a triangular prism? Although I have tried getting myself out there throughout my degree (work experience with ABC Western Queensland in Longreach, covering media events for USQ and Ipswich), I feel as if my resume doesn’t have quite enough for me to feel one hundred per cent ready for the big, wide world that I’ll be exploring in the next few years.

No matter what degree you’re studying, gaining practical experience and making contacts is super, SUPER important!

No guys, seriously.

Career and life planning: what direction?

Because let’s say you’re studying astrophysics: you may know all of the theory about how to dismantle and rebuild a rocket ship from the inside out. You may know exactly what every part of the rocket ship’s engine is called and what makes it work, but actually pulling apart a massive rocket ship, with your boss watching you and reminding you that this needs to be done within the next three hours, is very stressful!

My fourth and final plan for this semester is to ask more questions. This semester, I want to be a gross, bathroom mat. And by that I mean that I want to soak up all things possible (in case you were wondering where I was going with that). As this is probably going to be my last semester studying applied media, I want to obtain as much knowledge about film, television and radio as humanly possible.

So these are my four semester plans. There aren’t many as I’m not really the planning type. I plan on enjoying my studies this semester and spend time reminding myself how fortunate I am to be able to study at such an awesome university.

Keeping plans simple to ensure success

I hope we all can take on this next semester with a more positive outlook… and ditch the Red Bull!

University isn’t just White Fellas business, but Black Fellas too.

It has now come time to choose your path, do you go to university or do you do something else with your life?

Elders, Uncle and Aunty, Sista and Brotha, a university education is available to us and within our reach. Our mob and our country, need more of us to go to University so that our history and our ways won’t be lost and buried in White Man history. Time for us to stand proud and strong and support each other to go to university and become something our country and community will be proud of.

University isn’t just for those with white skin, but for us all.  Some people within our own community, our own mob, will tell you education is a waste of time and will lead nothing but heartache. I am here to say they are all wrong.

I am now onto my second degree at university, this time at USQ. When I completed my first degree, I did not know what I wanted to do, the field that I chose was competitive and work was hard to come by, but because I had my degree in my hands, another door opened up for me.

I landed a job overseas in Japan, teaching English to Japanese middle school children. I was paid to do something that came naturally to me, English. I spent over 3 years living in another country, learning about a different culture to the one that I grew up in. But without that degree, I would have never have had the opportunity to go and work overseas.

Now why did I choose USQ this time around? Quite simply:

  1. I wanted a university that would work for me and with me
  2. To study a degree that would lead to a career
  3. I wanted a uni that has won awards
  4. And has an excellent reputation both here in Australia and overseas.

I trawled through the various university websites, checked out courses and sent numerous emails to lecturers and admissions people with questions about the courses that were offered, I visited the Toowoomba campus numerous times for their Open Days and checked out the various schools and faculties before submitting my application.

USQ was my only choice; it has a great online component, fantastic on-campus lessons and teaching staff. But not only that, I met fellow Indigenous students who were working towards their degree in many different areas. There is even an Indigenous Centre to help you network, make friends and succeed in your studies.  Murri Meet-Up is a deadly program to learn from other students and at the Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies, the tutors are around to help and there’s a chill out areas in the court yard or common room to have a yarn with other students. USQ ticked all the boxes for me. I am now doing a course that I love, have met wonderful USQ people from the USQ Team who make university life meaningful and got to learn more about our country. I have found many Sistas and Brothas here, too.

The old saying of being seen and not heard is long gone here at university, if you have something to say, then say it and debate it. Like many people about the place there is ignorance as they haven’t heard the truth about Indigenous culture, but at USQ they’re making an active attempt to do the right thing for Indigenous Australians and our future children.

Education is for all and is not just limited to those with an OP score. If you didn’t have an OP score when you finished school, USQ has an alternative entry program that can help you gain entry into the course you want to pursue, Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program or IHEPP. This is a one year program that will help you get into university and get you into your future career. Check it out

USQ fly our flags high and continue to share the importance of our Elders, the importance of helping our mob and to watch us succeed in becoming Deadly graduates when the time comes. Not many universities can hold their head up high and say that they are trying to make Indigenous students feel included in all aspects of university life.

So what is stopping you from going after your dream?

I am unstoppable

Meet up with the USQ mob here at campus and follow your dreams to a rewarding future.

Whether you want to be a teacher or a doctor or nurse, there is a degree here waiting for you. Your USQ mob will help you every step of the way and when it comes time to graduate, you know that your mob here at USQ and at home are standing up there on the stage with you.

Have questions about joining the USQ student mob? Ask me!

- Julie

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:

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

How to get an assignment started (when it’s just not coming to you)

Ever experienced the pain-staking task of starting that dreaded assignment late, because that magical epiphany just didn’t come your way? Well even if that moment of great revelation doesn’t seem to come easily at times, let’s see if we can’t make some adjustments for these instances and get that assignment on track and underway!

First things first- fight the urges, you’ve got this. My top procrastination moments include indulging in a gourmet lunch… because that seems like a better idea than staring at the blank document for another second, aimlessly trying to gather my thoughts. How about those times I decided to get up and clean the light shade because I noticed they were getting dusty while staring around the room off-task and distracted… Oh and there goes my son again with the play dough, I might just choose to impress him and make a garage for his match box car again rather than continue on. I have even found myself daydreaming and then suddenly remembering that my hair could do with a fresh colour and my assignment comes out on the bottom yet again.

Egg procrastibaking

(Yes, that is one of my all-time favourite snacks thought of and created in a history making moment of procrastination)

If you are anything like me, there is hope out there! Take comfort that with just a few minor adjustments to approaching those assignments that just don’t seem to be coming to you, you can fight the urges and beat some of that frustration.

  1. It seems obvious but- know what the assignment is, read the outline early and give yourself time before you even need to get it underway to wrap your head around the task at hand.
  2. If it helps highlight, highlight and highlight some more. Highlight that marking criteria, the readings, relevant lecture slides and even learning objectives.
  3. Brainstorm, take the time to make a colourful, creative and interesting mind map of your ideas, how they link together and relate back to the assignment. Conceptualising the assignment in this manner can help open up your mind and give you a framework that you can build on.
  4. Plan ahead and break-it-down. Bite-sized pieces can literally make things that little more easily digested and give you the opportunity to become increasingly motivated, making progress by way of miniature-goals.
  5.  Don’t forget to work logically and if there is an example- follow the format. Relate the points that are covered in each paragraph of the example back to the topic of your assignment and get them covered.
  6. What about getting a change of scenery? I like to take my study outside and catch some of the sunshine rather than sitting in my ever-so un-inspiring lounge room for hours on end. (Tip: Just don’t forget to use paper weights… sometimes the wind comes along to rain on your parade and oops there’s 90 pages littering your entire backyard.)

Study Backyard

Failing all of this I am sure we are all apt or will become at some stage throughout your degree, well versed in the good old last-minute approach. There ain’t no motivation or inspiration like that of the looming 11:55 pm EASE submission cut-off. WARNING to first timers, this approach may result in serious psychological pain and chronic back fatigue. Not recommended for the faint-hearted- that’s for sure! But really you can expect to gain some pretty awesome assignment writing strategies from your degree. Even the most experienced of us struggle at times to get the ball rolling on an assignment.  If you get stuck you might like to think back to this blog and give some of the tips a go or you might use them as inspiration to develop your own.

All-in-all just do whatever gets it done, happy assignment writing my fellow phoenix’s!

-          Krisi

Midyear study – it’s not too late to start!

Here are the 6 types of midyear students. Are you one of them?

1. The gap year that never ended.

Deciding to take a gap year after high school to do some soul-searching and learn more about yourself seemed like a good idea, but then bills, lifestyle and family commitments made regular paychecks a necessity. Work doesn’t have to be a let-down. Studying your passion can fit in with your travel and busy lifestyle.

You can study online, part-time or full-time. There are so many options to make the most of your time, without having to sacrifice your job or stamps on your passport.

2. The new years’ resolution that is taking longer to achieve than expected.

We all make resolutions that seem easy to keep when we are wearing party hats and counting down to the New Year. Losing weight, learning how to cook, giving up chocolate or finally getting a pet are excellent resolutions, but investing in your future is a resolution worth keeping.

It’s never too late to achieve your career goals, no matter how long ago you made the resolution, and starting your uni degree is the first step to help you get there. At USQ, we believe it is all about the journey and no matter how long it takes you to get there studying part-time, we’ll be here to celebrate when you cross the stage.

3. You got the promotion and now need more skills to go with it.

Have you recently got a promotion at work and you’re worried you don’t know what you’re doing? Where’s your positivity? Your boss believes in you and so do we. Now is the perfect time to boost your confidence at work as you put your studies into action.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full degree, we have over 700 single professional development courses from various disciplines from our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. By completing a professional development course, you’ll walk into your workplace with your head held high and know you deserve your promotion. You’ll be climbing the ladder in no time!

4. The realisation that your job isn’t what you expected.

If you struggle to get out of bed on Mondays (and not just because you had a busy weekend!), cry over your morning coffee before forcing yourself to get into your car to go to work, it’s time to start thinking about your options. Don’t spend any more time in a job you hate or don’t feel valued in! It’s time to reevaluate your career goals and be proactive about taking steps to achieve them. For most career changes, this means going back to uni to learn the knowledge and skills necessary to break into a different industry or get the qualifications you need to get ahead in the workplace. There is no time like the present!

5. The degree that wasn’t quite you.

Have you already started studying or completed a university degree a while ago and decided it just wasn’t for you? You finished high school and uni seemed like the next logical step. Jumping into study without being sure of your future can leave you feeling discouraged.
Never fear, midyear entry at USQ gives you the opportunity to apply for a different degree, and perhaps you may gain credit for a previously completed course. Choosing the wrong course isn’t the end of the world, it can actually be a good thing! You now know what you want to achieve and how a degree will help you get there, there will be no end to your passion, interest and engagement, and this will be reflected in your grades.

6. The midlife sea-change.

Have you recently packed the kids off on their own university adventures, been made redundant, or woken up one day with the realisation that it’s time to follow your own career dreams.

Spend some time thinking about what your passions, interests and hobbies are. Do you want to study to gain industry knowledge and develop a career, or are you studying for interest’s sake? What are you most passionate about? This is your ‘me’ time and there is no right or wrong answer to these questions; only you can decide what you want for your future.

Whatever reason you have for wanting to start study, the best thing about starting your degree midyear is that you will be further ahead of the game than if you wait another six months and start Semester 1 next year. Many USQ degrees even run classes during a third semester over the Christmas holidays, so you can catch up with your peers.

Feel like you’re in way over your head and need some help working out the difference between minors and majors? Check out this YouTube clip!

If you want to find our more about your options, talk to us!

Future students contact details:

Phone: +61 7 4631 5315
Freecall: 1800 269 500

Find us on social media #usqedu #usqstudy #usqmidyear

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:


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.


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.)


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!


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!

Following my Passion –pathways to USQ

I always had an overwhelming desire to attend university, but I was also uncertain that I had the ‘Right Stuff’ as they say to actually do it successfully. Year in year out I went to Open Days to get as much information about what is required and how much was involved so that I could make an educated decision about actually doing it. I did receive all the important information about enrolment and course detail and the amount of positive vibes from staff, students and lecturers at the open days was amazing. But I was still unsure; after all it has been a few years to say the least since I have been to high school and I did not finish year 12. Did I have the writing and mathematical skills, could I complete assignments to the level required I wondered, all of this raced through my mind every time I considered University life as a student, but the ‘USQ fulfilling lives’ logo always inspired me along.

But then I discovered the Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) on offer at the USQ. ‘This could be my chance of a lifetime’ I thought and i’ts only one semester to find out if I did have the ‘Right Stuff’. It gets better and better because I could study it while still working and I could do it externally or on campus and after successfully completing the TPP I was guaranteed entry into my course and wait… it’s FREE!!!!!!!

Wow it’s free! That is my kind of price! This was definitely for me; I had nothing to lose, after all this was a win – win situation. So without giving it even a moment’s thought I took the plunge and went ahead and enrolled. It was so easy I could apply online directly to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in the comfort of my own home. My first day came and I was bursting with apprehension, excitement and awe. Here I was I thought, I have gone ahead and finally made the commitment to my future dream…. I am finally a studying student! How cool is that?

They tutored, instructed and supported me to develop my writing, mathematical, computing and general study skills and along the way they built upon my self-esteem and self-confidence. The lecturers were incredible they were always available to explain the little intricacies that I did not quite understand in a friendly atmosphere. It helped me to get a real feel for university life because those other students that studied TPP with me were in the same boat as I was, they too were unsure if they could do it. We all paddled our boat together to achieve the same result, to get into our chosen courses at the USQ, all the while wondering if we would sink or swim and we are still good friends to this day. The program flew past so quickly and before I knew, it was over.

The TPP was instrumental in fulfilling my dream of attending university, because just as the slogan says; ‘Fulfilling Lives’…..It certainly did! It really was my pathway to success. USQ prepared me for what was to come and without any question of doubt in my mind they had convinced me that I had made the right decision, that I could do it and that I deserve it. So I urge you all, stop thinking about it ……do it! Don’t dream it, be it! Click on the link below and make the right decision for you, if you are doing it for your future you won’t regret it.

- Lisa

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.


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.

The how to guide: for supporting your studying child.

When your child first starts at university it can be scary and confronting – and that’s just the parents!  There is that niggling fear that your child cannot survive without you and you are also concerned that they cannot do things for themselves; they may starve, or not know how to wash clothes, or be on time for lectures and how will they cope financially? You will need to provide financial, moral and emotional support for your child and it is not as hard as you may think! Believe me, they won’t starve.  Here are my top 5 tips for supporting your studying child:

#1 – Be prepared to let them go!
When your child first starts at University they will call you every 5 minutes just for a chat or to ask the most simple of questions. Don’t worry, they have not made friends yet, just listen to them! After 2 weeks or so you will probably hardly ever hear from them because they would have made a group of friends so they will not need those long chats from you anymore. Don’t cling to them – ‘let them go and fly the coop’; it’s the best thing you can do for them. After all, this is the time in their lives that they will form lifelong friendships.

#2 – Be the stability in their lives!
Starting study can be an overwhelming time in your child’s life.  Make sure that you are the rock for them to cling to in their times of need. This emotional backup from the family is just what will make your child resilient to the uncertainties in their lives. Above all, remain calm in anxious moments.

#3 – Be interested!
Make sure that you remove their fear of failure by being interested in what they’re doing. Support their decisions, even if they choose to change courses a number of times while they are finding their feet. Leave the decision of what happens in their lives to them. This will teach them independence, but they’ll still know you’re always there for them.

#4 – Money! $$$$$$
Naturally this part of support is the part we all accept as parents, but it may come in many different facets. There are always the books; paying for each semester’s books is a great way to help your child financially, as these are quite often a very expensive part of studying. But there are small things that can help, like the occasional tank of petrol in their car, paying for their internet and student fees. If they don’t have a car pay for their bus passes. If they live away from home – I found taking frozen leftovers of last night’s casserole, roast or stir-fry really popular and helpful. Leftover desserts are particularly popular with Uni students, and taking them out for an occasional treat for dinner is a great break from their usual student cuisine.

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#5 – Encourage them!
This is a very basic part of supporting your child…… but important! Be sure to encourage them to stay focused on the end goal of their studies, because they will undoubtedly have moments where it seems so far away and unachievable. Encourage them to apply for available scholarships, make use of the support services available on the university campus such as the Learning Centre for help with problem areas of study, career counselling, and join on campus clubs such as sport and to seek support from their appointed Student Relationship Officer. Check out his link to some helpful tips on supporting a child in study.

Let me know if you have some other useful tips on supporting a studying child!

- Lisa