Lessons learnt in Week 8

keys-to-happinessAs you may have read in a previous blog post: Go Away Uni, I was going through a rough patch with uni stuff.

But a lot of things have changed! Lots of decisions have been made, big changes have been made, and I’ve learnt so many things from this experience.

So yes – it has been a HUMONGOUS week. I would say that this week has been the toughest week since I’ve been at uni. It truly has been a test of emotions.

Here is what has been happening in Daphane-land:

I withdrew from one of my subjects

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I know, I know. It’s week 8, what the hell am I doing withdrawing from a subject this far into semester?

Yes, I have to pay for the subject and I understand that.

But WHY did I withdraw? Besides from the horrendous torture (okay, I am over exaggerating here.), I had to think of the big picture. Realistically, I know this is going to be my worst subject and I know that I’m not going to do well. And I know I will have to put in so much work to get a decent mark, and this means I need to take study time out of my other important subjects.

Why should I jeopardise my other subjects when I have a chance of doing well in them?

It’s really important for me to get into that quota/core subject next semester (there’s only a set number of places, and you need to do this subject to move on to 3rd year zoology subjects). So I need a good average to get into that subject or it will make things very difficult next year.

After speaking to many people, we all came to the one conclusion. It would be better for my to withdraw, than get a crappy mark and drag my average down.

Lesson #1: It’s better to have a withdraw on your transcript than a really really bad mark*

*And of course the warning is, having 1 or 2 withdraws is OK, but anymore is worrying…

I’m reducing my study load and extending the length of my course

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This decision for me, was the hardest decision I’ve made in a very long time!

SO! Second year has been a massive eye opener for me. It’s no longer a walk in the park, EVERYTHING is new and it’s hard (this is MY experience, not the whole of second years’ – just keep that in mind. I don’t want to scare you all away!)

I knew I had to reduce my study load to 3 subjects instead of 4 for certain. But I don’t know why, but I was REALLY opposed to the idea of extending the length of my 3 year course to 3 and a half years.

I just, I didn’t want to stay longer than I have to!

I did look into the intensive subjects, but there weren’t any relevant ones that interest me.

So I made a pros and cons list:

PROS:

– If I extend, I will have more time to focus on my subjects, put in more time and do better

– I can actually enjoy the subjects rather than just working towards the assessments

– I can enjoy uni more!

– If I graduate mid year, I can graduate at Wilson Hall (What can I say, graduating at Wilson Hall is the dream)

CONS:

– I won’t be graduating with my best friends :(

– All my friends in my year would be gone

And of course at the end of the day, I realised how ridiculously silly my list was (especially the cons) and how naive I being.

It’s MY education. Why should I cram 4 subjects in per semester and probably be ridiculously stressed and not perform as well, when I can spread my subjects out, stress less, perform better, and enjoy my time more at uni!

I don’t want to leave uni knowing that I haven’t made the most of it while stressing and cramming study in. I want uni to be a positive experience, not a bad one.

I asked one of my zoology lecturers for her input. And I told her that doing 4 subjects a semester has been really hard. And she looked at me with disbelief and said, “You’re doing 4 subjects are semester!? Do 3 subjects per semester, 4 is way too much!”. And I felt so relief! I was so glad that she felt the same way as me. And it was very reassuring to hear that from her :)

And I know what some of you are thinking, I’m reducing my study load because I’m doing too much stuff. The answer is NO. It’s more of the matter of keeping my sanity. I need a balance of study and everything else. Doing things like volunteering, playing sports, playing music, socialising, and running Unimelb Adventures makes me happy and somewhat, sane.

So instead of graduating in december 2014, it will be august 2015. Extra semester for Daphane!

Lesson #2: It’s perfectly okay to extend the length of your course! It’s not the end of the world if you don’t graduate with your friends.

You’re never alone!

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Just wanted to thank everyone for their support and lovely comments via blog, facebook, phone, and in person! You are all lovely! I would hug you all if I could!

Uni can be a rather lonely place, even when you’re surrounded by so many people. Don’t ever forget that there’s people out there who are willing to help you!

The number of times I have been back and forth to the Science Student Centre this week to sort out of my study plan is TOO HIGH!

Lesson #3: It’s okay, to NOT be okay! If you’re feeling down about uni, there’s bound to be someone out there who feels the exact same!

And I think the biggest lesson of all…

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For me, what all this has taught me is that: whenever things aren’t working out, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Sitting around hoping that this phase will pass is not doing you any good. Identify the issue, and find a solution!

But of course I’m making it sound easier than it is, and this is where you need to seek for help.

Lesson #4: Ask for help and advice! Whether if it’s from your family, friends, uni staff members, lecturers, psychologists etc. JUST ASK FOR HELP.

Sooo…are you okay now Daphane?

Overall, yes! Dropping that subject lifted this massive weight off my shoulders. Less tears, and less drama for me.

I am looking forward to the rest of my course! Reducing my study load will be better for me academically and health-wise.

One thing I am worried about is the exams coming up. But I’ve got time to work on that!

So I guess this should be good news for you all, you’re stuck with me for another half year! Plus, that means Unimelb Adventures has been extended too!

Hope you all enjoy your weekends, and smile! :)

Daphane

x

9 Comments

  1. I underloaded last semester (in my second semester of first year) for similar reasons as you, in the hope of getting a better average than last semester. As it turned out, I didn’t do so well in Linear Algebra, and the extra free time I had as a result was basically spent on a lot of non-study related stuff anyway, so my average didn’t improve at all.

    From someone who has been there before, hang in there :)

    1. Oh no! Using that extra time to do other un-related stuff was one of the things I had in the back of my mind when I was thinking of underloading. Hmm…I will need to work on that.

      Thank you kind stranger! You are lovely :)

  2. Haha I went through this last year! :P I even wrote about it in a blog too! Haha, this post was awesome :D Really enjoy reading your work!

  3. Hey, I didn’t reduce my semester or anything but I’m suppose to be a 2nd year student right now. But since I transferred from RMIT and didn’t get to transfer all of my credits for the past year, so i pretty much became a mid-sem student. I’ll be graduating in the Wilson Hall at the same time as you^^ so you won’t be graduating alone from our year level :) (class of 2011, yeah? Lol)

    1. Woo!! That’s awesome! I mean, awesome that I’ve got someone who will be graduating with me! That’s annoying that all your credit didn’t get transferred over :(

      Hopefully I can catch you around campus one day Julie!
      Daph

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