Insider scoop: helpful things to remember while on placement

Did somebody say it’s time to get out in the world, get a feel for how your knowledge relates to the workplace, develop some awesome skills and plump out that resume of yours? If this is you at the moment, don’t worry. I have been through the same thing twice now and I assure you, you are going to LOVE it!

If you are anything like me, then you are just busting to get hands on experience and more involved, but it is also completely normal to feel nervous if you don’t know exactly what to expect. My suggestion, no matter how you are feeling, is to get eager! This is an EXCITING opportunity because you can get a bit more of a taste for what it is like working in a field related to what you are studying.

When I was on my most recent placement, I jotted down some things that were helpful for me to remember.

Insiders scoop on work placements

Here is my insiders scoop:

  • While placements are giving students work experience, it is still important to be PROFESSIONAL. Especially when your university, lecturer or a co-ordinator have organised your placement for you, it is important to do your student body and university proud as well as being professional in the organisation you are placed at.
  • Know your expected LEARNING OUTCOMES. Work with your course lecturer and placement organisation to achieve them and develop professionally. Don’t fall into the trap of being a bystander in this valuable opportunity; make the most of it. You shouldn’t just be making coffee!
  • Understand the terms of each particular placement. Every organisation and placement is different and there are different expectations about the days, times and hours you are expected to be in attendance. DON’T OVER-COMMIT to a placement if you won’t be able to fulfil the requirements. Placements provide a great learning experience, but they shouldn’t be hell on earth!
  • ASK QUESTIONS. This is your opportunity to gain valuable workplace knowledge. Don’t be shy and ask questions that will help to increase your knowledge about the industry.
  • VALUE-ADD to the organisation. Immerse yourself in your new role, practise the relevant skills and gain context for all off your theoretical knowledge.
  • Don’t forget to ASK FOR SUPPORT from your loved-ones. They can help by making dinner or washing clothes if you find that you’re a bit strapped for time during your work placement.
  • ENJOY YOUR EXPERIENCE. Develop professional relationships and broaden your network.
  • REFLECT on your experiences. Take the opportunity to sit back and see exactly what you have been able to achieve as a result of your industry experience.
  • Have a celebration! REWARD YOURSELF for all of your efforts. Completing your work placement probably wasn’t easy. Some of us study, work, have families and friends that we need to strategically work around in order to participate in and achieve this goal. So well done, you deserve it!

What do you guys, my fellow students, find helpful to remember when you’re on work placements?

What’s your insiders scoop?

The honeymoon is over: preparing for a splendid semester!

So, it’s that time of year again: the start of semester. It only comes around three times a year and only two times for some. It’s a time filled with (for myself, at least) equal parts of trepidation and excitement.

New classes. New subjects. New assessment.

This is how we feel most of the time at the beginning of semester:

Harry Potter #Igotthis

‘I’m ready for the classes, the subjects and most importantly, the assessment. I got this.’

For some of us, this is approximately three weeks in:

Hermione - I know the answer!

‘Yes, I know the answer to that. I’m keeping up with all of the assessment and study! Wooo! Go me!’

Midway through semester:

The mid semester blues

‘I kind of just want it to be over. Is it holidays yet? I should be studying, but I really don’t have the motivation’.

End of semester:

End of semester stress

‘Ergh’.

Needless to say, assignments and study can take their toll, so it is best to start early to gain some momentum for those last few weeks of study before the final exams!

It can be hard to get motivated at the beginning of semester when exams and assessment pieces seem so far away… So here are some tips to stay motivated at the start of semester that I’ve picked up during my three years of study.

Normally, I will try and write all the assessment due dates on the first pages of my note books for each particular subject. This way, they are easily accessible and I will know exactly how much I need to get done and when. Due to this, these assessment pieces are never far from my mind.

I also enjoy having a thorough understanding of each subject’s content by the end of week 1. I don’t mean knowing all of the content, I mean knowing what the content is. This means that I have a very good idea of how much study I need to complete during semester, as well as how long the assessment pieces are likely to take me. Some assessment pieces will take a bit longer than others, of course, so these are normally started a tiny bit earlier if they are due at the same time as others.

It’s also about peace of mind as well. I don’t ever have any assignments pop out of nowhere with three days to go before they are due, or 25 psychology articles on DiReCt (the course readings) that I haven’t had a chance to look at with only two days before the end of semester exam…

Writing down a general idea of your responsibilities and other activities throughout the semester is a good idea (I personally love the massive calendar we get mailed at the start of every year).

These may include things such as sporting commitments, work or… music festivals!

splendour in the grass musical festivalI was lucky enough to go to this particular festival last weekend!

Because I knew I would be away for the first week of classes, I utilised my organisation skills and adjusted my schedule so that I could fit in these amazing three days full of music, friends and food and still feel confident about the semester ahead!

Hopefully these tips will help you feel equally as confident about tackling the new semester!

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!

That G-RAD-uation Feeling!

RESULTS ARE OUT!  Congratulations to everyone who will be graduating in September.  It’s a rewarding moment, receiving THAT email after years of slaving away behind a keyboard.  After enjoying the immediate obligatory celebrations, there’s a bit of a gap before your graduation ceremony.  I remember a friend asking me “why bother going to your graduation ceremony, isn’t it pointless if you can just get your degree mailed to you.”

Here’s why…

Firstly, you get to wear an awesome hat and gown.  You know, the ones you always see in those American college films and they toss their hat in the air and by some miracle all catch their own respective hats.  Now is a good time to mention you’re technically not allowed to throw the hats now.  Did I mention the gowns are basically Hogwarts robes?

ProTip:  Take a wand to graduation and duel members of other faculties for maximum enjoyment.

tom graduation

Another part worth going for is the chance to be snapped by the local paper.  Personally, I love every bit of limelight I can crawl my way into, so with local newspaper photographers doing the rounds, there was ample opportunity.

ProTip:  Being friends with the valedictorian goes a long way to increasing your photo chances.

I did worry that the ceremony itself was going to be a bit of drag, much like the old-school assemblies.  However, on the day, you feel an emotional investment with each part of the proceedings.  From marching through the middle of town, to the keynote speeches, and even the individual presentation of awards to each student.  Standing in the wings waiting for my turn to receive my award was the best part.  Watching each student before me push their chest out, lift their head and stride across the stage, you know that they are feeling the same pride that you are.  It was at this moment I realised what I was about to be awarded wasn’t just a piece of paper.

Achievement unlocked graduation

What you receive during that fleeting moment on stage is ultimate satisfaction.  Each all-nighter pulled, each early morning lecture, each overdue library book fine, each social event neglected all culminated into an abundance of achievement and self-gratification.  That’s a feeling I could never recreate opening my degree in the mail.

I’ve since had my degree framed and it is something I am proud to hang on display for everyone to see.  There’s no better feeling than graduating uni, and I’d love to do a postgraduate degree just to do it again.

tom graduate

Until next time,

Tom

Kick-start the brain with some healthy study snacks!

On these cold winter days, it is easy to snack on all the wrong foods while you’re buried in study books. I know I do. But there are lots of options for us to choose that we don’t have to feel guilty about afterwards.  Here are some of my favourite snacks that are healthy and tasty too.

Banana, Honey & Hazelnut Smoothie

Banana, Honey & Hazelnut smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blend 1 peeled, sliced banana with 250ml soya milk, 1 teaspoon of honey and a little grated nutmeg until smooth. Pour into two large glasses and top with 2 tsps of toasted, chopped hazelnuts to serve.

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Halve a small loaf of Italian bread horizontally and toast under the grill. Brush with olive oil, top with tomato sauce, grated low fat mozzarella, parmesan and sliced pepperoni (or your favourite topping). Toast until bubbling. Sprinkle with dried oregano.

Feta dip

Feta Dip

Blend 1/2 cup low fat Greek yoghurt, 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise, 1/4 cup crumbled feta, 2 tsps chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried dill), 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp white or black pepper and an optional dash of hot sauce.

Cut up veggies like carrots, celery, capsicum and cucumbers and use them to dip.

Banana Chips

Banana Chips

Slice a banana into thin slices and lay on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 950C/2000 F until golden for 2 to 3 hours. Let harden at room temperature.

Crunchy Chickpeas

Crunchy Chickpeas

Cook a 440g can of drained chickpeas in an ovenproof dish with 2 tbs olive oil and 1 tsp each of cumin and smoked paprika for 2 minutes. Season with salt, and then bake for 20 minutes at 2200C/4250F.

Bagel with Ricotta and Strawberries

Bagel with Ricotta and Strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spread ½ toasted whole-grain “flat” bagel with 2 tbs fresh ricotta. Top with ⅓ cup sliced strawberries. Drizzle with 1 tsp honey.

Dark Chocolate and Nut Clusters

Dark Chocolate and Nut Clusters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix together ¼ cup unsalted roasted nuts and 30grams melted dark chocolate (70 to 80 percent cocoa). Drop onto wax paper; refrigerate until set.

I hope you all enjoy these mouth-watering snacks as much as I do. So when you reach for all those unhealthy treats we all love, but we know are not good for us, remember that there are some tremendous healthy, scrumptious and inexpensive snacking alternatives. Share your own snack recipes with us all, we would love to hear from you!

- Lisa

Jet-set your way to study success!

For regular readers of my blogs posts, I’m sure that my wanderlust comes as no surprise.  Everything I do can usually be related to the adventure, excitement and cultural experiences of international travel and my university study is no different.  Traveling has, in fact, set me up to be a successful student.

tokyo skyline

Let me explain…

When I travel, I often find myself immersed in cultures that I’m unfamiliar with.  I’m also often surrounded by people speaking a language that I have limited or no knowledge of.  Needless to say, the experience can be both exciting and daunting at the same time.  It’s kind of the way you feel as a student sometimes.  You know, you’re so excited at the beginning of semester as you log into StudyDesk, only to find lectures and readings that don’t make immediate sense to you.  They’re loaded with technical and discipline-specific words that you’re unfamiliar with and you feel a little out of your depth.  For all intents and purposes, the readings and course notes could be written in a foreign language with the amount of sense that they make to you on that first day.  But just as I find in the foreign countries I travel within, it slowly becomes clearer and you learn more and more each day.  In the end, you’re left wondering how it could have ever felt foreign to you because you now speak in that ‘foreign’ language yourself and it all feels like second nature.

Signpost

So now you know what I mean about travel setting me up for study success, right?  Those skills I’ve learned from years of travel are highly relevant and have prepared me to be the best student I can be.  The similarities between study success and travel don’t end there though.  My international jaunts have also taught me how to fight through my tiredness and pull an ‘all-nighter’ when I have to.  You know, you arrive in another country that’s many hours behind the time zone you just came from, meaning that you won’t get sleep until nightfall in your new location – many hours later than what it is in the time zone your body clock is working on.  That ‘all-nighter’ (or more typically, ‘half-nighter’) is a skill I’ve had to utilise a few times when fighting the clock to smash out assignment amazingness.

Uni student thinking

I’ve met a lot of different people in my many years as a travel junkie and I think it would be safe to say that no two people have been exactly the same.  Whether or not an individual appears to be better or worse off than me, the constant is that I can learn something from each and every one of them.  It’s our uniqueness that sets us apart and that same uniqueness that provides an opportunity for learning.  I’ve found the exact same with my study.  Each and every student I’ve ‘met’ and studied with (all online) has helped me to learn and progress in my study.  The collaborative effort and encouragement has been invaluable and set me up for the success that I’ve achieved thus far.

So you see, being a successful student doesn’t mean you have to sit behind your computer, buried behind a wall of textbooks day in, day out.  You can get out there and travel the world knowing that your experiences will set you up to be an awesome student too.  Happy travels!

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 http://www.usq.edu.au/study/degrees/indigenous-higher-education-pathways-program

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:

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

Going the Distance

18 months ago, I packed my bags to set off on a new chapter of my life – attending university away from home. This meant a couple of things: One – I wouldn’t be seeing my family every day, and Two – I would need to become increasingly self-sufficient.  So here’s what I have found on my journey so far…

Technology is AWESOME
Nowadays with Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, SMS and phone calls, it is a lot easier to keep in touch with your loved ones at home without missing them like crazy. Generally, I call mum and dad most days to catch up on what’s going on in our worlds, just like we would at home. Sometimes I think that they don’t even realise I’ve left!

Capture

Make time for visits
There comes a time when all forms of technology just don’t cut it and you start to have family-time withdrawals. I have found that treating weekdays like business hours and studying as much as possible in this time frame helps free up some time every now and then on weekends. Lucky enough for me, home is only an approximate 2 hour car trip away, so when I can, I try to go home for a weekend or my family comes to me. Sometimes we make an occasion out of it and go somewhere for dinner, or even have a nice dinner at home. After all, they say it’s the simple things in life that count!

Go out and make friends
Moving away from home is particularly daunting when you do so on your own and leave your family and friends behind. It isn’t very hard to get caught up feeling lonely and of course this is when the home-sick bug hits you for six. Making friends is the perfect solution to this. For me, I felt that living on college for the first year out of home was a wise choice as you are always surrounded by others and there’s no time to feel lonely. It was a great foundation for new friendships, getting to know the area, and to merely adjust to a new life away from family and home.

There are many other ways to build friendships including joining a sporting club or other hobby organisations. Funny enough, finding a job can also be beneficial for your social life as you mix with other people you may have never had the chance to.

Be organised
In the adult world of living away from family, all of a sudden there’s cooking, washing and cleaning all to be done with no help from your family. It really is a juggling act finding a balance between study and maintaining a house. For me, this is probably one of my biggest downfalls. Sometimes the ‘maintaining a house’ side of things outweighs the ‘study’ as I am professional at finding ways to procrastinate. “I need food to live, right? Cooking myself a three course meal is totally essential and study can wait” – yep, these are some of my famous words since moving out of home. Something tells me that a THREE course daily meal probably isn’t essential and there comes a time where study CANNOT wait any longer.  My biggest attempt at organisation includes preparing foods that can be frozen and used as needed after long days of study or uni, and that way I have no reason for house-procrastination!

capture 2

Although living away from family certainly has its challenges, there are many ways you can make this process easier. Simply, distract yourself by keeping busy and surround yourself with people who make you laugh and are purely good company.  When I have days where I really miss my family, it’s the simple things like picking up the phone that make a world of difference. Other times, it’s important not to let study take over, and remember that it’s OK to take some time out to travel to visit family. After all, they are the ones who have supported me to get here in the first place.

Until next time,

Kristie