A Guide to Starting Uni

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Starting uni is definitely an exciting adventure, but it can be confusing at first! Here are some tips to help you get started.

 

Attend orientation camps and events – and it doesn’t matter if you go alone!

The best time to make friends at uni is right at the start. I went to an orientation camp in my first year, and it was there that I made close friends that I still have now, going into my fourth year. You don’t have to have a group of friends to go with – these camps and events are all about making friends, and everyone is so nice. It is super reassuring to see a familiar face on campus on your first day when you might be really nervous! I have made most of my friends at uni through orientation, clubs and volunteering, rather than in classes.

 

Find out where your classes are before the first day

You will probably stop by uni to collect your student card anyway, so make the most of your time on campus and do a ‘trial run’ of finding your classes. As an example – my first ever uni class was on the biology floor of the psychology building – and the class was French! The app ‘Lost on Campus’ is a lifesaver when it comes to finding your way around.

 

Financial Aid

Uni comes with a lot of expenses, so make sure to visit the Financial Aid website, which has many resources and opportunities for financial assistance.

 

Read ahead

One thing I noticed when I started uni was that there was a heavy workload and so many ideas were new to me. It is best to start the year feeling somewhat familiar with what you will be learning, as there will be other things you have to sort out when you first start such as transport, accommodation, social events and finding where things are, so you don’t want to fall behind. Gradually you will see classes on the LMS become ‘available’ on the LMS, which means that you can browse through and take note of when assessments are, as well as have a read through any readings that are available. On this point too…

 

Get organised early

If you have to buy textbooks, it is good to do so before O-Week / Week 1, because there are really long lines at these times. You could go when you go to collect your student card and find your way to your tutorial rooms and lectures. It is also good to check out the university subject handbook and plan your timetable before class registration (hint: there are a lot of uni parties on Thursday nights, so you might not want to schedule too many classes for Friday if possible!). You can find out when registration opens for your subjects here. Make sure to be set up early to get the classes you want – the tutorials either side of lectures fill up SUPER quickly, so make sure you have a Plan B. You can schedule lectures back to back, because they start 5 minutes after the time on the timetable, and finish 5 minutes earlier (so, a 9:00am – 10:00am lecture is really 9:05am – 9:55am). Tutorials (tutes) usually go for the full hour.

 

Set up your laptop and get free Microsoft Office!

More details here.

 

Get ready for those sweet STUDENT DISCOUNTS!

Make sure you sign up for UNiDAYS and Student Edge.

 

Make a Student Connect appointment

I found my Student Connect appointment super helpful when starting uni, as they advised me how to plan my time (I had two jobs) and I felt more confident about starting my university journey afterwards. You can learn more here.

 

Familiarise yourself with at least one library

In my first year, I was so intimidated by the library that I didn’t go in there for about the first eight weeks of semester… and I feel like my life would have been a LOT easier if I had known my way around the library from Week 1. You can have a look around yourself before uni starts, or go on a library tour. I also recommend familiarising yourself with ‘Discovery search’ which will be very helpful for assessments. Basically, you use this search to find academic journal articles, which you will use to support arguments in essays, and for research. You should also sign into your university account with Google Scholar (instructions here, just click on ‘Google Scholar preferences’) so that you can access articles you find on Google Scholar. This is important because you want to be able to access complete texts, which you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise unless you paid for them.

 

Join at least one club

This is a great way to meet people. I joined a whole bunch in first year and then I could choose my favourites to continue attending (I wish I could have attended everything, but there are only so many hours in a day unfortunately!). Here is a list of clubs you could join.

If you have Facebook, make sure to ‘like’ the Facebook pages of clubs and societies to be updated on events and ticket sales. Remember with extremely popular events, people start lining up for tickets earlier than the advertised time.

 

Join a mentoring program

When I was in first year I participated in a mentoring program run by the Faculty of Arts and also one run by the Student Union (UMSU). I found these programs great for making connections and learning tips from older students. I even joined as a volunteer in the UMSU program in my second year.

 

Buy a planner

Another thing you will need for uni is a planner! Now is a good time to buy them as many are on sale. You will have a lot to plan, from work, to club meetings, to events, and most importantly, assessment due dates (which come up sooner than you expect)! Typo have some super cool ones, and there is a Typo store at Melbourne Central station.

 

Plan your transport route

It is good to know exactly what train / bus / tram you will need to catch, and how long it will take, to avoid any unnecessary stress or lateness on your first day of uni. Here are some helpful transport tips:

  • Pretty much every tram going along Swanston St takes you to uni. You can get on at both Flinders Street and Melbourne Central if you need to get the train first
  • There is a ‘Melbourne University’ tram stop, but you can also alight one stop earlier, at Lincoln Square – which might be quicker, depending on where your class is
  • If your train passes through North Melbourne, you’re in luck! Read about the 401 bus that goes from North Melbourne to uni (and vice versa)

 

Wishing you the best of luck for university! :) You’ve got this!

 

 

 

 

Fun things to do during the uni holidays! (Part 2)

If you haven’t seen Part One, you can do so here.

Visit the Aquarium

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Umm, how cute are penguins!? And totally Found Dory.

The aquarium can make for a very fun morning or afternoon out, especially if it’s really hot outside! Make sure to bring along your student card for a concession ticket.

 

NGV

You have probably read Jen’s awesome posts about exhibitions at the NGV on the blog. Current and upcoming events include:

 

 

Brunch at Manchester Press

This is such a cool restaurant that serves amazing bagels! The address is 8 Rankins Lane.

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Mmmm… bagels and pretzels.

Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens

There is nothing better than enjoying a summer day with great food in a beautiful location, and then going for a stroll around the gardens afterwards!

 

Get involved in volunteering

Summer is one of the most popular times for volunteering, whether it be in your local community or through university! The UMSU website is a great place to start looking for some volunteering opportunities.

 

Puffing Billy

If you are up for an adventure, why not jump on the Puffing Billy train and see the beautiful Dandenong Ranges? More information can be found on the website here.

 

Drive-in movies

If you’re like me and are still on your Ls (I’m getting there okay… hahaha) find yourself a friend who isn’t on their Ls and watch a movie from the car! It works out a bit cheaper than movie theatres #studentbudget, and you can bring as many blankets and pillows as you like.

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Vegie Bar

Another food place to recommend – Vegie Bar! Their website: http://vegiebar.com.au/

On Brunswick Street (number 380) this restaurant offers delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes! It is super popular, so there may be a bit of a wait sometimes – but it’s so worth it.

 

Screen Worlds (ACMI)

I actually found out about Screen Worlds in my first year at uni, and have actually been a couple of times since – it’s awesome! The exhibition covers the history of television, gaming and the internet. It’s really interactive and another good indoor activity when it’s hot outside.

 

Free yoga

Located nearby in Federation Square. Starting in February, there will be free yoga classes at lunchtime. What a great way to help prepare your body and mind for another busy semester at uni. More info and exact dates here.

 

 

 

Fun things to do during the uni holidays! (Part 1)

 

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We’ve worked hard all year, and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the break before starting uni for another year or a graduate position. Here are some ideas for fun activities to do during your holidays:

 

Pidapipo

Where? 299 Lygon St

Why? It’s the best gelato ever. My favourite combination is one scoop of chocolate combined with a refreshing scoop of a fruity gelato! It is perfect for a hot day – you could even grab some after a pizza lunch or dinner on Lygon St. It is also a great meetup place, because of course, people travel in to the university from all over Melbourne, so you can meet up with your friends who might not live close to you, somewhere near uni!

Website: http://pidapipo.com.au/ 

 

White Night

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When? 17 February 2018

It is so much fun to see Melbourne so colourful and full of lights! This night only happens once a year, so it’s really special.

 

Zoo Twilights

Miss Bands, BBQs and Bevs?

One of the cool things about going to uni in Parkville is that it’s the same suburb as the zoo! All the proceeds go to the Fighting Extinction conservation program, so that’s the perfect reason to head to the zoo and enjoy some food, drinks and music.

More info can be found here: https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Whatson/Music/gigs/Pages/d83aae20-6d48-4abb-91af-5ba071e5abf8.aspx

 

Christmas in Melbourne

 

The city is well and truly in the festive spirit this year, with so many fun Christmassy things to do!

You can take a break from the heat with ice skating (and at O’Brien Group Arena, Santa is visiting on the weekends) visit the Myer Christmas Windows, shop at a Christmas market, and more.

For more Christmas-themed activities, check out What’s On Melbourne, where our info was sourced from.

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Study hacks

We work hard all semester, but sometimes, we just want that final boost when it comes to the lead-up to exams. Here are some of my favourite ‘study hacks’ – tried and tested for those elusive H1s.

 

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Cues

If you studied VCE Psychology, you probably know about this. I like to give my brain prompts to associate what I learn while studying with recalling it in the exam hall. I like to handwrite my notes with the same type of pen / pencil I will be using in the exam, wearing the same perfume while studying and in the exam, etc.

 

Make arbitrary information memorable

Sometimes, you are just reading over your notes and thinking “there’s no way I’ll remember this!”

So how do you make that information memorable? Think of a link between the new information and something that you already know. Turn the information into a story or relate it to something that has happened to you.

If you are musically inclined and want to turn your study notes into a song, here’s some inspiration.

 

Change up your notes

Don’t just write down what was on the slides – engage with the content. Ask questions and answer them with information you’ve learnt, turn chunks of texts into diagrams, and colour-code. It is a richer process (and also more enjoyable than just copying things word-for-word!).

This tip was inspired by an article on The Conversation – definitely have a read if you are interested in transforming the way you take prepare your notes.

 

Flashcard apps

These are especially helpful because they are portable – when you have a quick break, you can go through flashcards instead of Facebook. I recommend the Cram phone / iPad app and also Anki for your laptop. These apps can prioritise what you don’t know so you can master it.

 

Get in a positive frame of mind – but don’t rely on motivation

If you visit our Twitter page, we have been posting some inspiring study quotes! You can also think about your end goals – e.g. ‘I want to ace this exam to be one step closer to getting into Honours / my dream postgrad degree / my dream job’. However, sometimes that motivation doesn’t come – and that’s when we need to just start anyway. Personally, I find it more mentally exhausting procrastinating than actually doing whatever I need to do. Even if it’s not the best study session you’ve ever had, you’ve still put time and effort in, which is what counts – we can’t be studying machines all the time!

 

Stayfocusd app

This is an extension for Google Chrome that has helped me immensely in the past week completing final essays and exam study – it’s amazing how much work I can get done when I limit social media to ten minutes per day! I’m working myself up to blocking online shopping too – but I’m not quite there yet…

 

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Happy studying and good luck – you’ve got this!

 

My experience studying Arts at Unimelb

Hi readers!

If you haven’t read one of my posts yet, my name is Bella and I have nearly finished the third year of my Arts degree – just one exam to go!

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I remember in high school, there was so much course information out there, it could get quite overwhelming. It is hard to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life while managing all your VCE subjects! I remember that hearing about other students’ experiences in different courses was helpful to me in making my decision, because it’s informative to know what it is like being a student studying what is written in the course guide. So, I’m hoping that this post will be helpful to those who are beginning university studies for the first time, or considering changing courses. Remember that everyone’s university experience is unique – but this is mine.

 

Why this course?

In high school I was a Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholar  – through this program I had visited The University of Melbourne several times. I could feel so much positive energy on campus – it was so welcoming – and stunningly beautiful (as a Harry Potter fan, I loved the Old Quad’s similarity to Hogwarts).

 

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The Old Quad – not a still from a Harry Potter movie!
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Now, this will sound a bit cliché but bear with me: I feel like many prospective students visit multiple universities, and have a moment when they can really see themselves at one. That’s what happened to me at Melbourne – I could really envision myself as a student there. It wasn’t really a single moment for me, but a cumulative effect of me visiting the campus and researching the study options.
Speaking of the study options, that was another part of what made me decide to put the Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne as my first preference. At the end of high school, I had a few career options in mind, but nothing set in stone. I felt like I hadn’t really experienced what the world had to offer yet, and wanted to explore areas I was interested in. I ended up doing well in high school – not only because of the wonderful teachers I had – but also because I followed my interests all the way through. If you’re passionate about something, that motivates you to work hard, and you get results. Even if these results aren’t always exactly what you had been hoping for, you enjoy the process.
I knew that I wanted to major in Psychology because it was my passion. In terms of the practical side, a major in Psychology also has wide applicability in terms of career options: of course there is the career option of being a psychologist, but you can also be an academic, work with businesses as an organisational psychologist, work in public relations, work as a teacher – the list goes on. I also wanted to continue my French studies to become fluent, and knew that I could take subjects in other cool learning areas in the BA, such as Communications. A Bachelor of Arts allowed me to do all of these things.
This was what drew me to the Melbourne Model, where you can explore your interests in broad undergraduate studies and specialise in postgraduate studies. This definitely took a huge weight off my shoulders while completing the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) because I didn’t have to worry about planning my career straight after high school, but I also had a firm goal to work towards and inspire me to study.

 

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First year

You don’t have to make any firm decisions about your major in first year, but in my opinion, it is beneficial to have an idea in mind. Have a look at what the requirements are for your major in the handbook, and try to make sure that you set yourself up in first year to pursue whatever major you would like to. Some of the majors, like Psychology, have specific subject requirements for Level 1 (first year).

Everyone has to do an ‘Arts Foundation’ subject – a full list is available here. I chose Reason, because I had always been interested in Philosophy. I didn’t really mind what foundation subject I did, because I was just keen to learn as much as possible – Reason was fantastic because not only did you learn how to think critically in an Arts degree, you learn about many great philosophers and their ideas, and a bit about history. There are some foundation subjects that help with majors – for example, I believe that Language would be helpful for those studying Linguistics or English. You can change your classes in the first few weeks of uni, so if the one you pick isn’t the right choice for you after all, you can always do another one instead.

 

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For Psychology, we have to complete two subjects in first year. I also studied French each semester, leaving me with one Arts elective and two breadth subjects to choose. Breadth is another awesome thing about Unimelb – you can enhance your employability by complementing your course with subjects from other faculties (I studied Principles of Business Law in first semester, because I knew that the knowledge would be helpful for whatever career I chose) and also pursue other interests (in first year I also studied a subject called Spontaneous Drama: Improv and Communities, because I had enjoyed drama in high school and as an extra-curricular activity in Year 11 and 12).

 

 

Second year

In second year there were four psychology subjects that I had to take, and four other subjects I could choose. I completed my final level of French and a Creative Writing elective in first semester, and in second semester I ended up underloading (I did three subjects instead of four) – to be able to complete an internship in Public Relations. Safe to say that the internship went well, as I am still working for the company today – an amazing culture and team. I recommend doing an internship or getting some kind of work experience if you are interested in taking Media and Communications subjects – from my own experience and conversations with other students, this is really helpful when completing assignments.

 

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One of my favourite uni memories – when baby animals came to visit campus at the end of my second year!

 

Third year

This year I continued my Psychology and French studies, as well as studying Media and Communications subjects. I haven’t completed any breadth subjects this year because as a Psychology student in the BA, some of our breadth subjects are subjects in the Psychology major. I also decided to cross-credit my French subjects and apply for the Diploma in Languages. So, I will be completing this Diploma and my BA in four years (instead of the standard three years for a Bachelor’s degree) – meaning that next year will be my final year. Doing French in the Diploma means that I can take more French subjects as well as pursuing all my interests in the BA. The last four subjects of the Diploma are also HECS-free (yay!). There are also concurrent diplomas in other areas, such as Music! I’ve seen on the Diploma in Languages web page that you can also undertake it as a Graduate Student – it’s never too late!

 

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The super cool staircase in my favourite building on campus – Arts West! I was so excited to take classes in this building when it was completed in my second year, replacing a former Arts West which was a building at the uni before I started.

 

Overall, my time at Unimelb so far has been nothing short of incredible. There are such inspiring lecturers and tutors, so many subjects available, a wonderful campus environment, excellent facilities and so many volunteering opportunities!

If you have any questions about my experience studying the BA, leave them in the comments below!

– Bella 😊

A guide to getting organised for exams

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when exams and final assessments are looming! So, here are some organisation tips to keep in mind, to make sure you’re ready to perform at your best.

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Materials

Something that has helped me all 5 semesters that I have taken exams has been making sure my stationery is ready to go. I make sure that I have the correct calculator and then make a trip to Officeworks to stock up on any stationery that I have run out of. I put all my exam materials into a clear zip-lock bag and keep it in a safe place so that it’s all ready to go for exam day (or days) and I don’t have to think about it anymore. I also make sure I have a clear drink bottle without a label and a watch with a working battery to take with me.

For take-home exams, another strategy that has made me feel more organised is setting up my Word document with the correct formatting, spacing settings, required font, etc. This means that when the take-home exam question/s are released, you’ll be ready to just start brainstorming and then typing your amazing essay!

 

Bookings

Remember to use the Book It system if you need to use a computer at uni during SWOTVAC or the exam period. It can be very frustrating to arrive at uni only to find that there aren’t any computers available. You can make more than one booking, although there is a limit at three, so if you are planning to head into uni a few times in the week you can book your place at a computer in advance. The same goes for group study rooms!

 

Make your bed every day

This always helps me feel organised and feel like my day is off to a good start. I make my bed first thing every morning!

 

Let your friends know that your exams are coming up

This is important because towards the end of the year many social events start popping up. Make sure you let your friends know in advance that you will be taking exams and might not be able to go to everything, or reply to any messages immediately. Write down all your social events in your diary so you can leave enough time to complete study and assessments. If any of the social commitments are flexible, perhaps schedule them for after exams, or when you have a week-long break in between exams.

 

Organise your desktop

There usually are a lot of files that aren’t saved in the correct place by the end of semester. Sometimes, it happens! You have to leave a lecture quickly, and all of the sudden the file with your notes is saved as something you probably won’t remember in a folder for another subject. It can be very useful to go through all your files during SWOTVAC and sort them out. You don’t want to be looking for notes when you have limited time and getting stressed because you can’t find them. Some people also find colour-coding notes very helpful. This is also a nice extra revision technique!

 

Clean your living space

I’m sure there is a saying that is something along the lines of “tidy space, tidy mind”. It is so true! Make sure your living space, and particularly the area you will be working in, if you will be studying at home, are spick and span!

 

Wishing you all the best for exams and final assessments.

 

If you have any other tips for staying organised, share them in the comments below!

 

Bella

Three Ways to Save Money on Coffee in Week 12

Coffee is our fuel for Week 12 survival. I always feel a bit guilty spending the $4 on coffee when I could be spending it on flashcards to memorise definitions for upcoming exams. The caffeine usually washes away that guilt, though.

However, if one spends $3.50 a day for the five days of Week 12, it’s the same as, like, two months of Netflix. And that’s if you can somehow survive on one coffee a day (I can’t).

A bite-sized post to read on a quick study break, here are three ways to reduce your spending on coffee.

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1. There’s a boiling water tap in the MSD

Up on level 2, there is a small kitchenette with a boiling water tap, which means you can bring tea or instant coffee in a keepcup and just fill it up with water when you arrive! Apparently I’ve been living under a rock the size of the MSD, because I’m in third year and had no idea that this existed until recently. This is a game-changer. Nescafe also make nice coffee sachets (I know this because I once got a free sample at Flinders Street Station… while waiting to buy a coffee). If you just feel like a warm drink but not caffeine, you can also buy chai tea from the supermarket (Coles at Melbourne Central has chai tea).

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2. Get off the tram one stop earlier

Not only will the short burst of exercise help wake you up in the morning, but in between the Lincoln Square and Melbourne University tram stops is 7-Eleven, where coffee is only $1. I was also stoked to discover this because that’s like 3 and a half for the price of one. They also sell snacks, breakfast food and lunch in case you forget to bring it with you for a big study day. As the weather is getting warmer, the $2 iced coffees are really refreshing too. I also made sure I tried and tested it – I also recommend the cappuccino.

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3. Sleep

Sleep is great (as we all know) but especially because it works to reduce spending on coffee in two ways: 1) if you get enough sleep, you most likely won’t be craving as much caffeine, and 2) if you wake up feeling refreshed and don’t hit the snooze button ten times (guilty) you will have time to make a coffee at home before you leave, and not have to buy one every day.

But, as I’m sure you’re screaming in your head as you’re reading this, we can’t all sleep as much as we would like to in Week 12. That is where this helpful app I’ve found comes in – it’s called Sleep Cycle. Basically, you schedule an alarm for an interval of a wake-up time (which you can set yourself: I believe 30 minutes is recommended, but I usually set mine for 15 minutes). So, if you wanted to wake up by 7am, you would choose this time and then set the interval for, say, 30 minutes, and then you would be woken up between 6:30 and 7am. Supposedly it works by waking you up in your lightest phase of sleep by monitoring activity with your smartphone’s microphone, so that you wake up feeling refreshed. I’m not questioning it, because I feel like it totally works. Another thing I love about this app is that if you haven’t plugged in your phone properly or forgotten to, when your phone is on 5% battery it wakes you up with an alarm, reminding you to charge your phone so you don’t oversleep.

Wishing you all the best for Week 12 :)

Bella

 

Please note that ‘Unimelb Adventures’ is an independent blog and does not publish sponsored posts. So, any opinions given in relation to products, applications and the like are those of the author.

Beating Procrastination and Writer’s Block

 

I asked on Instagram (our account is @unimelbadventures, if you wanted to follow us) what posts you would like to see, and I am proud to present our first reader-recommended post – thanks @isthatflawless!

 

 

Procrastination (noun)

  1. The action of delaying or postponing something.
  2. The enemy of a university student!

 

Writer’s block

  1. The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.
  2. Really annoying.

 

Procrastination and writer’s block can be our enemies as students. Before I suggest some tips to overcome them, let’s consider why we do these things.

While I am a Psychology student, unfortunately I can’t say exactly why each of you reading this may procrastinate, but I can reflect on experiences and knowledge to let you know that people often procrastinate because they want to do a task really well, rather than being ‘lazy’ (it can be easy to fall into the trap of negative self-talk while procrastinating!)

Now we know that we want to do our work really well. And the best way to do that is to work on it efficiently – which can be hard to do at the last minute, fuelled by 500ml energy drinks (tried and tested = 10/10 do not recommend).

Previously, if Procrastination were a subject, I would definitely get an H1. Now, I like to think I’d get an N. I will share with you some tips that have helped me! Many strategies will be applicable to writer’s block too, but I will specifically address it towards the end.

 

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  1. Break it down

Have you ever started an awesome TV series and been like:

“Yes, five seasons, twenty long episodes per season, I’m set for ages!”

You feel like you’re only watching a little bit each day, and then all of a sudden there isn’t a ‘next episode’ button? At the start, watching the whole series seemed like a mammoth task that would take forever – but after watching it in small segments, it was all over in a few weeks (or one week… Yep, I’m guilty of that one). It’s the same with assignments (except it feels like you have to press the ‘yes I’m still watching’ button a bit more often, as you have to create the content). Firstly, plan out the tasks you will have to do, set days to complete each (you can adjust as you go – I often find research takes more time than I expected, and proofreading less time than expected), and then get cracking on your H1 piece of work!

 

Please read the following step in the tune of ‘We’re All in This Together’ by the cast of High School Musical:

  1. Together, together, together everyone! Together, together, let’s go get that H1!

Sorry not sorry for getting High School Musical stuck in your head.

Make sure you check out the Discussion Board for each of your subjects on LMS – often there’s a thread for study groups. Study groups essentially force you to do some work, because you make a commitment to show up. Just like actually putting on your gym gear and travelling to the gym can be the hardest part of a workout, sometimes opening your laptop and committing to study can be the biggest hurdle to overcome.

If you are having trouble in a subject, ask! In my experience, when I have been a bit shy or worried about asking a question, all my worry has faded away when my tutor / lecturer has been super helpful.

If you need some extra help, you could attend an Academic Skills workshop, or even have a tutor; StudentVIP and notices around campus can be a good resource for finding tutors. If you’re studying an Arts subject, make sure you check if it’s offered in the PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) program.

 

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  1. Productive breaks

We just click on Facebook to check our inbox, and then end up tagging our friends in memes, then before we know it, it’s been three hours! It can be great to set breaks with time limits you can stick to. Here are some ideas:

  • Do a short workout – there are heaps of workouts on YouTube of varying lengths – just type in something like ‘ten minute ab workout’. You could also go for a walk around the block
  • Find a TV show with 20-30 min episodes to watch (ideally you will be up to date with the show, so you can only watch one episode at a time)
  • Watch a TED Talk – I don’t know about you, but watching TED Talks always makes me motivated to go and do good in the world!
  • Check out a helpful study article (we have heaps on our blog!)

  1. A perhaps counter-intuitive tip…

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘if you want a job done, give it to a busy person’. I know that I’ve achieved my best results when I was busiest. Being busy means that you have to schedule time to work on a task and it has to be completed in that time. Just like a looming deadline, it just has to be done, and that is often key to pushing through the temptation to procrastinate. You can create your business – e.g. say that ‘on Saturday I will be going out to brunch with a friend, and I want to have my assignment done by then so I can really enjoy my outing as a reward – even though the assignment isn’t due until Monday. Then I can give it one last proofread if I want to, without the stress of the last minute.’

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Source: Giphy

 

  1. Writer’s block

Firstly, start by getting inspired! Find other literature in your field of study, have a read through the articles, and note what you like about them. Did they start with a really nice quote? Did you like the way they contrasted sources in their literature review? Work out how you could use similar methods in your own writing.

Secondly, even though your brain might feel blocked, just try to write down a couple of dot points. Don’t set yourself any restrictions – they can be as out-there as you like! Once you’ve started writing, your brain often kicks into action and starts generating more and more ideas. Think of it like one of those games where you have to think of as many uses as possible for something. Often the first ideas are pretty conventional, but by the end you have some wacky (and awesome) stuff! If you still are having trouble, take a short break – see Tip #3 for some ideas – and then go back to brainstorming, feeling refreshed.

 

Bonus tip:

Because exams are coming up soon, here is my last tip. This can be REALLY hard at first, but I have found it so helpful every year I’ve been at uni. If you have a long commute, leave your book and headphones at home and study your notes on the train. There’s often nothing else to do except look out the window. Put your phone in your backpack and under your seat so you aren’t tempted to scroll through Facebook. Think about this – even if you only did this for ONE of your subjects for a TOTAL of ONE hour a week – that’s TWELVE more hours of exam study you will have than you would have had otherwise for that subject.

 

And finally:

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Source: Giphy

 

What are your tips for beating procrastination and writer’s block? Share them in the comments below!

 

Bella :)

What to do during a long break at uni (when you don’t feel like studying)

 

 

When faced with countless midsems and assignments, sometimes we look a bit like this:

Source: Giphy

 

We all need a break from time to time, and in the middle of mid-sem and assignment season, in-between classes can be the perfect time to refresh and recharge so you can perform at your best in your subjects. Have a productive break from study with these ideas:

Firstly, do you have a break in the middle of the day on Tuesday?

A lot of students do! This means that there are a lot of events on at this time, including:

  • Wellbeing: There are a variety of workshops offered to help with procrastination, anxiety, and more. Just follow this link and scroll to the ‘Wellbeing’ section.
  • And, as you will see on that page, there are plenty of other events on offer in several categories, including: ‘achieve your academic goals’, ‘careers and employability skills’, ‘English for Academic Purposes Workshops’ and ‘Study overseas’.
  • Many clubs have their events on Tuesdays. A good plan for finding out when and where events take place is by checking the notices on the portal and around campus, as well as searching for the club’s Facebook page. On the Facebook pages, there often be events you can RSVP to – so there will be a reminder in your phone.
  • Tuesday at 1pm is also when a new band arrives in North Court each week, organised by the student union! If you want to be one of the first people in line for the free BBQ food, arrive at around 12pm.

 

Get active

Well, maybe not quite like this… / Source: Giphy

After sitting in class for a few hours, most of us are ready to get moving when we have some free time. MU Sport allows you to hire courts and various equipment, so why not get some friends together and enjoy a game? There is also the gym and pool, and group fitness classes.

Freebies!?
There are even some free classes – see them (shaded orange) on the timetable. 

 

Explore your surroundings

The Parkville campus is so close to the vibrant Lygon Street! Some must-visit places on Lygon include:

  • Universal (meals at low prices – perfect for students!) (Number 139-141)
  • Pidapipo for ice cream (make sure you go in the twenty minutes of Melbourne sunshine before the next season of the day arrives. The ice cream is so good that it doesn’t even matter if it’s cold outside, though) (Number 299)
  • Readings – reading a book for leisure can seem like an unbelievable idea when you have so many course readings – but even if you don’t have time to read now, you can stock up on some great reads for summer! (Number 309)

 

Galleries

We have the Ian Potter Museum of Art right on campus, with free admission!
There are also plenty of other galleries near uni – check out the Top 5 recommended by Art History student Jen here .

 

Cafés

Because we all need to update our Insta with a brunch pic now and then, right?

There are so many cafes with delicious food and drinks near campus, including the popular Seven Seeds, Humble Rays and The Vertue of The Coffee Drink!

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An example of the brunch picture YOU might be taking on your next study break for the ‘gram (taken by me during a study break at Humble Rays)

You could even get a matcha latte – I’ve seen it advertised in a few cafes that they boost concentration (like I ever need an excuse to buy a matcha latte).

 

Well there you have it, a few ways to productively spend your well-deserved break!

 

What is your favourite way to spend a break? Let us know in the comments below!

 

– Bella

Perform at Your Best: How to Manage Exam-Day Nerves

Ah, exams: The final hurdle to jump over before the summer break. The huge, sad hurdle, that really gets in the way of watching Netflix…

Because exams often make up a large part of your grade, it’s totally natural to feel nervous. Here are some things to do before, during and after the exam to beat those nerves and be able show your markers what you know!

 

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Before the Exam

• I like changing up my studying methods for memory-based exams – I use concept maps, flashcards (Cram is an excellent flashcard app, because all your cards are on your phone!), posters, and notes.
• When preparing for an essay-based exam, it can help you feel more relaxed if you brainstorm some answers to possible topics. You can take a look at previous exam questions (if available) and practise with those. Your tutor or lecturer may supply them, or you can visit the library website.
• If you know you have some exam questions which allow you to focus on certain areas of the course, pick your course area to write on ahead of time if appropriate. That way, you can prepare thoroughly for certain areas you feel confident in and feel on top of things – rather than trying to cover content in detail for the entire course.
• Blast some happy music and have a one-person dance party (you know you want to). A great stress-reliever!
• The psychology student in me is coming out here – but here’s a #lifehack for studying. Basically, your brain uses heaps of things in the environment to ‘cue’ memories. What you want to do is build up an association between studying content and remembering content (in the exam). It can be as simple as spending sunny days studying on the lawn next to the REB, or wearing the same perfume when you study and take the exam.
• Work out what you don’t know. I know, I know, this can be a totally scary idea. However, it has helped me immensely when I sort out all my notes into three piles: ‘Got this: H1 central’, ‘Somewhat confident’ and ‘What was that again!?’. Then, as exam day draws closer, I can really focus on the latter two piles.
• Ask questions! Even if your tutor isn’t allowed to answer certain questions regarding exam content, make use of the discussion board for your subject and ask your classmates.
• Set out ‘incidental revision time’ – bring your notes along on your public transport commute, to read in your break at work, while waiting to meet someone, etc. It all adds up!
• Exercise! Get out there in the sunshine and go for a walk to relax. If you find it hard to set aside time for fitness because you feel ‘guilty’ for not studying (first of all, you totally don’t need to – but I get it!) record your notes and listen to them while you walk or run! If you’ve seen The Imitation Game – running every day totally worked for Alan to solve Enigma. So if we all go running, we’ll be that smart too…. Right!?
• Plan. Schedule your whole week for SWOTVAC to feel organised and calm about what needs to be done. Don’t forget to pencil in some leisure time!
• Test yourself on your content as you make notes – this has been shown to increase retention. You could even write notes in a question-answer format.
• Study sessions with friends: It can make you feel much more confident going through topics with others. They do say that if you can teach someone else, you’ve got it! If this doesn’t work out, check out noticeboards and club communications to see if any are offering revision sessions!
• NON-study sessions with friends: enjoy a few coffee or lunch breaks, where there is a rule to talk about anything except exams. Your brain will thank you for the quick break!

 

The Day Before

• It’s really up to you if you study or not the day before. A day won’t make a huge amount of difference in terms of the content you remember – so go ahead if it boosts your confidence, but you can also take a day to relax if you think that will be more beneficial. If I have work or take a day to relax, I do set aside an hour or so at night to read over my notes, mostly for a confidence boost.
• Materials: get everything organised the night before – make sure you’ve got your student card! Try and fit your items into a clear bag/pouch to avoid the mad scramble to the shipping containers.

 

 

The Day Of

• Breakfast… This is something I found super interesting when I initially came across it: We’ve all heard the ‘eat a big breakfast’, right? However, if there is a lot of food (or greasy food) to be digested, your body’s energy and resources go into digestion, rather than to your brain. So have a medium-sized, healthy meal – as early before the exam as you can, to allow time for digestion and to enable your brain to operate at its peak.
• Like studying the day before – the idea of studying on the day of an exam can relax some people, but not work for others. It’s really up to you; like studying the day before, it’s important to put things in perspective. If you’ve been working hard for three months, a couple of hours before the exam won’t make much difference either way. I have a really long commute to the city, so I feel relaxed if I bring some notes along and read them on the train. It’s super quiet on the train, and reading notes on the train has boosted my confidence with my exams in first year and this year. I throw my notes out at the station though – and then walk to the REB ready to go and do my best, taking some time before the exam to just get mentally ready to go in.
• If someone tries to talk to me about exam content before an exam, it makes me nervous because I start thinking of concept I might not understand/remember perfectly. If this is the same for you, a good strategy I use is to talk about what I’m doing after the exam. You can think of what you have to look forward to rather than what you have to make it through.

 

After the horror exam

  • Easier said than done, I know – but like talking about the material immediately before the exam, talking about my answers afterwards gets me super worried! At the end of the day, the exam is done and you did the best you were capable of under the circumstances throughout the semester and the exam itself. Celebrate by treating yourself to a coffee as suggested above, or a doughnut (because Doughnut Time is at Melbourne Central now. That is only one station away from Parliament…)

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Wishing you all the best for the exam period! Study hard, and walk tall – you can do it!

-Bella :)
Note: These are some tips that have helped me at uni – however, I am not a professional. If you are feeling as if your exam worry is becoming too much, you can contact Counselling and Psychological Services here. They have also published some great tip sheets, such as this one for exam anxiety .

 

 

5 Steps to Applying for Exchange

One of the wonderful perks that comes with being a University of Melbourne student is the life-changing opportunity to spend a semester (or two!) on exchange as a part of your degree.
“What’s so great about exchange?” You may be asking. Well, besides the fact that a majority of students who have gone on exchange describe it as the best experience of their lives thus far, you will be paying University of Melbourne tuition fees (rather than those of the university you are attending) and obtain credit towards your University of Melbourne degree.

However, many students are turned off by the tedious exchange application process. Well, this article will make it more digestible for you by breaking it down into several steps. You’ll soon be on your way to a school of your choice!

If you are planning to go on exchange in Semester 1 2017, do note that the exchange application deadline is 29 May 2016, so read on and get started now!

 

Step 1 – Check Your Eligibility

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you are actually eligible to go on exchange on the Eligibility Requirements page. Some key requirements for undergraduate students are as follows:

You must have…

Attended a compulsory myWorld First Step Session (see below) and have completed, or are about to complete, one year of study and 75 points at Unimelb by the application due date

Grades: You need a weighted average of at least 65% (H3) in your degree. If you are wanting to obtain credit for a concurrent diploma overseas, note that you have to have this average in your diploma subjects too.

You need to be able to… study the equivalent of a full-time load.

Eligibility requirements for graduate students and other types of students are available on the page as well.

 

Step 2 – Attend a myWorld First Step Session

This, as you’ve just read, is a compulsory component of the exchange application process. Simply put, it is a general information session for any students considering going on exchange or studying abroad. Please note that your application will not be accepted if you have not attended a myWorld First Step session.

Click here to see when the next session will be held, and make sure you book it ASAP because slots run out very quickly!

 

Step 3 – Choosing a Destination (Be Careful!)

You’ve attended the talk, now you can walk the walk – here comes the best part! Be prepared to spend hours looking through University of Melbourne’s partner institutions whilst daydreaming about all the potential adventures you’ll have. With approximately 180 exchange partners in 39 countries around the world, you’re bound to be spoilt for choice!

However, there are certain essential things to take note of when choosing institutions. For example, each institution has special conditions that specify the restrictions they have for exchange students. Shown below is University College of London’s (UCL) Special Conditions:

exchange 1These conditions may affect your ability to go to the institution. For example, I originally wanted to go to UCL on exchange. However, upon reading this section, I realised that I wouldn’t be allowed to take any Politics and International Studies subjects there, which is problematic considering that is one of my majors…

Besides the institution’s special considerations, do read through all the other program description tabs very carefully to obtain information on the academic year, subject handbook, living options and so on! It’s a holistic approach: make sure you’re considering your life in and out of uni!

 

Step 4 – Start the Application Process

Okay – here’s where things start to get serious. The exchange application form contains various sections, and will ask you for:

  • when you attended a myWorld First Step Session;
  • your second and third preference destinations if your first preference is not possible for some reason;
  • the languages you speak and how well;
  • any disabilities or chronic illnesses you may have;
  • an exchange essay
  • your study plan
  • your financial plan
  • details page of passports for all the citizenships you hold
  • permission to pass on your name and email address to other students interested in the exchange program
  • confirmation that the information you have entered is true and correct.

You can view more details on the application form here. However, I will focus on what I find to be the most time-consuming process of the application: The study plan.

 

Step 4a – Complete Your Study Plan

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The first step to completing this study plan is choosing your subjects. The fact that Global Mobility Melbourne has dedicated an entire page on choosing subjects goes to show that this process requires a fair bit diligence on your part. I will leave you to read the nitty-gritty details on that page, but the process can be summarised into 3 steps:

  • Read the ‘Credit Load’ tab in the brochure page for your desired partner institution very carefully to figure out how many subjects you must successfully complete overseas in order to get an equivalent load credited to your degree in Melbourne.
    • Important: It is compulsory that you are enrolled for full-time credit load whilst on exchange!
  • Scour the partner’s institution handbook / course schedule / subject list to find subjects that interest you and fit into your University study plan. Do note that the subject description, prerequisites, assessment information and other administration details are required as well.
  • Get these subjects approved by your faculty advisor

Also, this will probably be highlighted during your myWorld First Step Session but I shall mention it again: Get started on choosing subjects early, as it will probably take longer than you expect! For example, some partner institutions’ websites do not provide all the information you need on their subjects. This requires you to e-mail the institution personally to request for it, which may delay your process.

 

Step 5 – Submit Your Application Form on Time

So you’ve finally got your study plan approved by your faculty advisor, written your exchange essay, completed your financial plan and so on, all you need to do now is hit the submit button.

As you would have noticed, applying for exchange is a mostly independent process. However, support is available – Global Mobility Melbourne’s comprehensive website will guide you through it all. For any further questions, you can contact the lovely folks at Stop 1.

Life after unimelb

Hello strangers! It’s been what, 3 months since I graduated – how crazy’s that? A lot has happened since my unimelb days. So much so, I feel like I’ve grown into a different person.

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Who even is this person?

Since graduating from my science degree, I’ve been fortunate to secure a full-time job at Deakin in the International Marketing and Comms team and I’m absolutely loving it! I love the work, I loooove our team…I can’t complain about a thing (but you know, if Deakin had a Carte Crepes or a Prontos equivalent, that’d be nice).

It was hard letting go of unimelb after being so invested in it. But leaving to explore other opportunities turned out to be one the best decisions I’ve made.

My job focuses on recruiting international students through the digital side of things. The work I do involves managing social media, sourcing and publishing stories on our baby blog, running campaigns in our key international markets, creating videos, photographing events etc.

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Ermahgerd I have business cards.

Work keeps me on my toes and there’s no ordinary day in the office. One day I’m photographing a festival on campus, the next, I’m travelling to our Warrnambool campus to get footage for a new campaign. Work is pretty exciting and I’m learning so much. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I count my lucky stars everyday.

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Working from sunny Warrnambool

Learning how to adult 

Adulting has been a fun and scary ride, full of its own challenges. It’s hard to know what you’re getting yourself into until you’re there living it. But I guess if we know what to expect around every corner, life would be pretty boring.

I was so nervous in the lead up to my first day of work. I was questioning and overthinking everything.

“Will I fit in?”

“What if they don’t like me?”

“What if I’m not good enough?”

“WHO DO I SIT WITH FOR LUNCH?!”

I felt like a jaffy all over again…but a jaffy that’s getting paid to go to uni.

It took a few weeks to settle into the 9-5 life (well, our team works 8-4). I wasn’t used to sitting down for long periods of time, nor was I used to driving in everyday. But it took longer for me to find a work-life balance.

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Welcome to my 2nd home – the office

Another part of adulting is paying off my HECS (yay, fun, woo). I was always told that when I start working, only a tinsy amount of my pay would go to HECS and that I won’t even notice it.

Well, I noticed it alright.

Verdict on adult life?

Adult life is…kinda nice! In fact – adulting has done wonders to my health. I’m not constantly tired, stressed, or anxious about assignments. And with the spare time I now have, I’ve started investing more care in myself (not sure why I waited till after uni to do that, but better late than never!).

However, the thing I miss most about uni is the social side of things. I miss soaking up the sun on South Lawn, I miss all the free BBQs, and most of all, I miss my uni friends! FOMO syndrome is real.

My next steps

As we’re nearing the end of the year, I’ve been thinking about returning to uni to study. I’ll most likely do a Master of Marketing Communications back at unimelb, or a Graphic Design course at RMIT. Part-time of course.

Part of me is excited at the thought of returning to unimelb to study. But another part of me questions the value of another degree. Am I doing another degree for the sake of having another degree? (If that makes sense?) Or will it be more worthwhile getting work/life experience? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyways, I’m going to put my applications in and see how I go! Wish me luck.

Enough about me, how are you going?

Is unimelb treating you well? Have you had a good semester? Hope exams and final assessments were kind to you. To those who finished their last exams/assessments for their degree – congratulations!! You should be super proud of yourself.

If you’re feeling anxious about about finishing uni – that’s perfectly normal and I’m sure you’re not the only one. I know I was freaking out about graduating back then.

On the bright side – this is an exciting time of your life because you can choose what you want to and the direction you want to take. So much power!

Anyways, hope you are all well and hope you enjoy a well deserved break!

– Daphane

p.s. You can stay in the loop of my happenings at my new blog.

Re-enrolment time: What subjects should I take for breadth?

There are seemingly endless possibilities for breadth. From a biomedicine student wishing to pursue a language to a commerce student wanting to release their inner Tina Fey in Spontaneous Drama, there really is something for everyone!

This is both a good and bad thing. The choice can certainly seem overwhelming. Reading all the descriptions for potential breadth subjects for my second year took up a significant chunk of my study (read: procrastination) time.

In terms of my breadth experience, in Semester One I completed Principles of Business Law, offered by the Law School. The subject was very popular and interesting, with minimal assessment throughout semester (yay for two open book, multiple choice tests!). However, the exam is worth 80%, so some hard-core study is required. In Semester Two, I had an absolutely fantastic time taking Spontaneous Drama: Improvisation and Communities, offered by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. I enjoyed putting together my own improvised performance as well as learning about many improvisers and styles. These two examples highlight what I believe to be a good option for breadth – having a taste of the postgrad life by sampling subjects offered by the graduate schools, that don’t have a corresponding bachelor degree.

I have done my research and compiled some other options for you to consider…

Languages*

While Arts does allow you to major in several languages, other undergrad degrees don’t have that option. You can start a language from the very beginning at level one, or enter at a later entry point (check out the handbook. You can use the ‘Language Placement Test’ result or your VCE study score). Choosing a language provides consistency to your breadth subjects. Note that languages are challenging and do require a high level of commitment – but the opportunities that result are endless!

Note: if you can’t fit a language into your degree, consider applying for a concurrent diploma in a language. See Sonia’s post here.

Breadth Tracks

If you can’t quite roll that French ‘r’, but want to have some consistency to your breadth subjects, you could consider a breadth track. These can be found through a search of the University handbook:

arrow 1

Just select the “Breadth Tracks” option, type an area of interest and click “Go”!

E.g. typing in ‘law’ brings up the following:

breadth post 2

Alternatively, select “all breadth tracks” in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen to see all of them!

arrow 2

 Or just have fun!

It can be a lot of fun just going where the wind takes you and even going a bit out of your comfort zone for breadth. Evidently, business law and improvisation don’t have much in common, but both subjects were out of my comfort zone and I immensely enjoyed them both. See the picture above, but choose “find breadth subjects” and browse to your heart’s content.

Things to Consider

  • Some majors (popular example: Psychology) and minors require that you use your breadth subjects to undertake subjects required for the major. Check these requirements in advance of selecting your subjects.
  • Consider what postgrad degree you would like to pursue, if you intend to stick around at Unimelb for more than three years (and who wouldn’t want to?). If you want to do the JD, for example, you could try out the law breadth track.
  • If you’re feeling stuck, consult with an adviser at your student centre. Individual 20-minute appointments can be booked via the Student Advising System (SAS). These are extremely helpful and the advisers are very knowledgeable of all things subject-related. I am by no means an expert on university subjects – this post is designed to be a springboard for breadth ideas rather than comprehensive advice!

Don’t hold your breadth – get choosing!
– Bella

 

*Editor’s (Travis) note: Spanish is an amazing breadth. Do it.

The Antics of Week 9 Explained

Prosh Week (aka Week 9 of Semester 2) is a long-standing Unimelb tradition. It’s a great way to relax and have fun before exams and final assessments. It is kind of a mystery until you get involved. I would ask 2nd and 3rd year students what Prosh was – they would reel off many things that sounded crazy, but fun! “A billy kart race… through campus!?” I would repeat in surprise…

How the week plays out: you join a Prosh team and get points by participating in events. There are ‘big’ teams and ‘small’ teams (with ‘small’ teams composed of less than 20 people). From the stories I’d heard, I was originally a bit reluctant to do Prosh, as I really had no idea what to expect. But, one of my friends asked me if I would like to be in the small team he was captaining.  I decided to go for it, in line with my goal to become more involved at uni this semester! Monash and Swinburne also had a team this year, and I believe they take part every year.

Image: funnyjunk.com

Just kidding, Monash and Swinburne teams. You guys are awesome. It was fun meeting people from other unis!

Here is an insight into what went on in Prosh this year. I went to as many events as I could, and this post will not cover everything that happened. It will cover some of the best bits and those events that I attended! Of course, some still have to be a surprise for those wanting to do Prosh next year.

Pre-List

The Pre-List is given out a couple of weeks before Prosh Week, and there are things to do on there to “clear your conscience” before Prosh Week, like donating blood. There are also random items the judges need to run events on the list. There might also be other things, like those McDonald’s Monopoly tokens (That was such a good idea. Imagine how many the judges have now!? They probably have won everything).

Each team is also given a theme and a colour, e.g. “Yellow Minions” or “Tweed golfers”. These themes are evident to other teams on…

Monday

The main thing that happens on Monday is pre-list judging and the opening ‘ceremony’. The judges are welcomed in by all the teams, and each team performs a song. These were all hilarious. There were ballerinas, scouts, and more people than I expected doing the splits.

Tuesday

One of the events on Tuesday was the Billy Kart race through campus. All karts had to be “Prosher-powered” and there were some innovative designs. I was a marshal, holding back some confused people leaving Castro’s as billy karts zoomed past. It was a lot of fun to watch!

Wednesday

A trivia night was one of Wednesday’s events. As well as rounds of trivia, each team did a parody of a music video. These were so funny! I particularly enjoyed the parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’. That team had the choreography down to a tee.

Thursday

“Proshession” was on Thursday. We protested about protests throughout the CBD, led by the judges. This was a lot of fun and we got some strange looks as well as laughs from city-goers. We also may have protested through an accounting lecture. Sorry, accounting lecture.

The 24 hour scavenger hunt started on Thursday. This is the main event for Thursday/Friday (Friday is also the day of the results party). It is a great bonding time for the teams. I’m not sure if anyone would have gotten the 5000 points for “kidnapping Maroon 5” … but hey, one team might have!

Image: diylol.com

The best thing about Prosh is that you only have to do what you are comfortable with. Unimelb has such a supportive student population, and it’s really all about the fun!

I’m so glad I got involved in Prosh Week this year! I can’t wait until next year, when I hope to do the events I didn’t get a chance to do this time around. Moral of the story: even if you have no idea what something is at uni, just go for it and get involved!

So U Want to Get Involved? (U-Week 2015)

As a first year, I’ve discovered that while the freedom associated with being a uni student is awesome, it can be a bit daunting suddenly finding yourself in an environment with no set schedule. It also takes a lot of courage to strike up a conversation with a totally new person.

If you’re feeling the same way, I’ve found being involved in clubs and activities has really given me a confidence boost, and great new friends.

‘U Week’ was held in Week 2, centred on promoting ways to get involved in the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU). There was a performance by ‘The Delta Riggs’, free fairy floss and cupcakes, a ‘Big Bazaar’ for selling second-hand items in North Court, a barbeque and numerous student volunteers around to answer questions.

Image: memegenerator
Image: memegenerator

Within my first semester I have had the chance to be involved in a range of UMSU activities and events, and there is still more I would like to try out in the future, such as the student theatre!

Clubs are a great way to meet new people, as sharing a common interest is a great conversation starter. Some of my favourites are: M-ASS (Arts Students Society), Envi (Environments Students Society) and the French Club. It’s a good idea to ‘subscribe’ to club events via their Facebook page (as well as the general UMSU Activities page) to find out what’s coming up to get involved in! Different clubs have different events, but casual events, such BBQs, as well as the more extravagant parties and balls are popular.

Another union-related event I loved was Destination Melbourne. This is a first-year orientation program which I went to in late January. It was awesome staying at St Hilda’s College, doing an amazing race around the city and making amazing new friends. It’s on every year, and I would love to return as a host next year (fingers crossed!). I often meet people around uni, and when we find out we both went to DM we instantly have something to bond over, it’s great!

Image: Author's own
Image: Author’s own

It was fun to try something new and help out at club events in my first semester. I had a chat with UMSU Activities Officer James Baker, who also started out helping out at events, and now loves his role as the Activities Officer: “Being involved in UMSU is something that I began through volunteering programs, coming in through clubs, and realising how much fun can be had at university, alongside the academic side.  I couldn’t recommend getting involved enough, it has been the highlight of my life so far!”

Your SSAF contributes to the activities run by the Union, so it’s well worth making the most of what’s on offer! Some upcoming events are Mudfest (20th-29th August) and a Cocktail Party on the 26th of  August. Of course, you can have a look at their website for all the upcoming events.

In my first year, I really want to say “yes” to every opportunity and get involved as much as I can! There are plenty of ways – you just have to know where to look.

Hope everyone has had a great start to second semester!

– Bella