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:

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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!

A day in the life of a uni student…

What does your typical uni day look like? To be direct, mine isn’t always eventful. Sometimes I feel like I’m on auto-pilot, doing the SAME thing every day. Nonetheless, does it make me geeky or cheesy to say that I am enjoying every single minute? No word of a lie, on a daily basis I find my uni experience more rewarding and the amount of ‘ah-ha’ moments I am experiencing is substantial. I’ll step you through the basics of a day in the life of Kristie with the hope that at least some of my uni student encounters match yours…

6:45AM: One eye opens, I roll over, frantically trying to find the snooze button ASAP to stop the noise that has just suddenly awoken my precious sleep, whilst questioning (every single morning) why I set my alarm so early, even if my first class starts in just over an hour.

7:00AM: This is when the constant battle between my head and my body takes place. My head is saying “GET UP KRISTIE, you’ll be running around like a moron trying to get ready in time for your first class”. My body objects “surely you can spare an extra five minutes of relaxation”. Who wins? That usually depends on how many hours sleep I have had. The class I have that morning perhaps could also be a factor, but shhh – that’s our secret!

8:00AM: The starting point to my uni day. This is usually experienced one of two ways – going to a lecture and having to face 3-4 flights of G Block stairs or switching on my laptop ready to chip away at one of my study schedules. I try and adhere to kicking off my day at this time on weekdays as I find that treating a uni day like a work day pays off with some free time you never thought you’d have.

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10:00AM/11AM: Around this time of the morning, my tummy is usually demanding my care. I also believe that breaks are so important if you have been in class and/or studying away for a couple of hours or more. Getting myself into the routine of stepping away from my computer/textbook usually avoids the aftermath of my brain simply telling me “no more” and my body shutting down. However, I attempt making this break a maximum of 20 minutes so I remain in study mode.

12PM/1PM: Another break and body fuel-up is in order, as well as catching up on other things that ‘need doing’ before getting back into the swing of things. Some may believe I am a perfect example of multiple procrastinators that are pictured below (you may need to zoom to read the blurbs). Either that or I experience a variety, if not all of the stages of procrastination, which can also be seen below.

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3PM: Yep, you guessed it! An additional break to revitalise and prevent mind-clog

5PM: Time to stop work. Living out of home comes with the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, washing, the works – all the joys of adulthood. Once I have attended to my household duties, it’s time to wind down and think about the day to follow (Home and Away may also be included in this equation). By doing my work during the day, I can enjoy this time of the night and I believe that relaxing before bed is crucial for a good night’s sleep. However, if I’ve had a slack day or a full day at uni, I do utilise this time for some catch up on study and assignments!

Of course these time frames depend on my uni schedule but this is the rough idea. You’ve probably just read this and thought – “Is that all she does all day, every day – studies, eats and goes to uni?” Not quite. I also try and fit in exercise as a source of my motivation. After all, sitting down all day needs to be broken up one way or another, and somehow I think sitting and eating being the consumption of my day wouldn’t be very good for me. When I’m at uni, I usually go for a stroll around the campus at least once a week to see what’s happening, and I also like to treat my eccentric fascination with the USQ Bookshop! Additional to this, I may spend some of my day baking, kicking a soccerball around, and I’d be avoiding the truth if I didn’t include a scroll or two on Facebook and Instragram. On the weekends I ensure I spare the time to enjoy spending time with my loved ones.

USQ Print Express

Becoming a volunteer is something I’d like to do again in the very near future. USQ are in the process of starting up a program called BEAMS which involves being a mentor for school aged students to assist them with believing in their potential and aspiring to achieve. I’m really looking forward to participating in this experience and I think it’s a fantastic opportunity being an Education student. If you are interested in becoming involved and/or want more info, see: http://www.usq.edu.au/current-students/opportunities/beams Tell me about your day as a uni student! Is it very similar or very different to mine?

Kristie

Changing careers ……It’s a learning curve!

When I think long and hard about the career changes in my life I can count a total of twelve to date and I say to date because there will definitely be at least one more to come. That is when I finish my degree at the USQ and go out into the big wide world again and into my new chosen career. I have done everything from being a door to door salesperson to data cabling.

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And with each career change in life comes the usual range of emotions and thoughts ‘should I, shouldn’t I?’ and of course ‘What if? Or to put it another way: ‘To career change or not to career change, …………..is that the question?’ There is and always will be the lingering fear of failure. It is important to remember that changing careers is a learning curve because with each new career you learn new skills, some physical and some mental. These skills will help build the bank of knowledge and abilities that will eventually make up the whole you.

The important questions to ask are:

1. Is my current career like this?

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Flatlining?

2. Or is it more like this?

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Plummeting fast?Or would you like your career to look more like this?

3. Just a bit more exciting?

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If you answer yes to one of the above then you may need a change in your career.

Coming to uni is a positive step in making the ultimate decision, but it is by no means the final step, because then you will have to follow through into your chosen career path and onto success. There will be successes along the way and it’s important to focus on them, but also to learn from your mistakes.

  • You shouldn’t get hung up on the failures, after all as long as you learn from the failures you have gained a positive new skill.
  • It is important to stay positive and focused on what YOU want from your life. No one else will do it for you and would you really want someone else to make those decisions for you anyway? This feeling of empowerment is very seductive and really good for the ego; trust me I know from experience.
  • Above all be committed to your choice because this could be the first step to a brilliant and exciting career! Also remember that you will add to the bank knowledge and experience to make yourself a whole new multifaceted, dynamic and interesting person.

With each new career change, comes a sense of fulfilment and gratification and the trepidation and concern that you originally felt will ebb away like a receding tide. I have found that people very quickly forget failures but the successes that you achieve stay with you and are remembered sometimes much longer after you can recall them. This sometimes can be a bit creepy or bizarre really. I remember once walking into a room (at work) and having a complete stranger walking up to me and shaking my hand whilst he introduced himself and telling me that he was so pleased to meet me after having heard so much about me. It made me wonder what my boss had been saying about me, while I secretly hoped it was all true.

Here is a link to a clever you tube clip that may give you a laugh, I hope you enjoy it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9NeHYeNlEA

So when it comes to changing careers, remember that:

                                    The certainty of trying   =   the sum of succeeding!

- Lisa

The (un)official university bucket list

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

1 – GET CULTURED – SIT IN ON AN UNRELATED LECTURE

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

How big is the class?

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

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

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

Have a clear getaway plan.

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

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

2 – PULL AN ALL NIGHTER IN THE COMPUTER LABS

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

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

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

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3 – GO TO UNI IN YOUR PJS

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

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

4 – BREAK OUT THE UNIVERSITY BREAKFAST MENU

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

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5 – GET REALLY GOOD AT PING PONG

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,
Tom

Driving all the way from School to University!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flashbacks and a Fresh Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the best!
Kristie

A balancing act: Studying, travelling, living!

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

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

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

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

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