Overheard on Campus in Week 12


Cassie is a third-year Commerce student, majoring in Economics and Finance. She is addicted to podcasts and long distance running.


1. “I stopped paying attention in Week 5 and have no idea what’s going on with any content after the mid-sem.”


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2. “Will you take a photo of me on South Lawn?”

3. “Oh, no, I’m not going away. I have an internship this summer.”


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4. “Should I buy a Unimelb hoodie?”

5. “I don’t know why people say this subject is hard, it’s really not that bad.”
“Yeah, totally…”


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6. “I need 2000 more words.”

7. “What’s another word for ‘argues’?”


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8. “I deserve this cupcake, right?”
“Dude. Yes. It’s Week 12.”


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9. “I am so not looking forward to Swotvac.”

10. “I watched eight lectures yesterday.”


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11. “I figured out if I get 55 on all my exams I can still get an H2B average.”


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12. “Do you think this will be examinable?”

13. “Let’s catch up over summer.”
“Yeah, totally.”


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14. “Hey, did you understand the Week 7 content?”
“Uh, I’m not thinking about it until Swotvac starts.”


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15. “Who’s your tutor?”
“Yeah, so, I don’t know his name.”

16. “Week 12 feels.”


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Cassie’s top tips for getting thrifty around campus

Cassie is a third-year Commerce student, majoring in Economics and Finance. She spends several hours a day listening to true crime and/or politics podcasts, and is addicted to long distance running.


If you’ve been living the lavish university life, your bank account may be hurting after a few too many indulgences. So if you’re looking for some tips to cut back your spending, or just some harsh truths about where you’re spending it all, you’ve come to the right place!

  1. Stop buying coffee!

This is obvious because it’s true. Coffee is incredibly expensive. Maybe just ‘treat yo’ self’ once a week, or invest in a loyalty card and make use of your free tenth beverage every now and again! Check out my other blogpost about the different coffee spots around campus and where to find the cheapest brew.

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  1. Take public transport to Uni

Parking at University is both; super expensive and stressful. Take the bus/train/tram or simultaneously save on the gym membership by walking or riding your bike.

Source; PerezHilton
  1. Prepare your meals

I’m not talking meal prep like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, you could even set aside some leftover pizza if that’s your thing. Meal prepping is not hard and can save you some much needed dollars. Allocate one night a week (like Sunday) and just put aside a couple of hours to pack up some lunch and snacks for the week ahead.

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  1. Cheap eats

If you must buy food on campus, then hunt around for cheaper options! I promise you it’s possible to eat good, cheap food on/around campus. One to try: Don Don! All their dons are less than $8, and they’re damn good. This also means that regardless of whatever juice craving you have: Boost may not be the thriftiest option for you. We all know that Boost is the Prada of drinks and you are not making the Kardashian level amount of money that you would need to drink Boost regularly (even with the free tenth beverage!)

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  1. You do not need new stationery every semester

I know it makes you feel glamorous but you don’t need new pens. Use the same pens as last semester. Also, for most degrees you don’t need every shade of amazing $20 highlighters. Buy one.

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  1. Don’t buy your textbooks

You know what else the library is good for apart from napping between classes and charging your phone? It houses all your textbooks! If you really don’t want to share, buy them second hand! Details can be found here.

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  1. Don’t buy water

Taps are a thing. Bring a drink bottle and don’t buy water. You’ll save money and help the environment at the same time. Win-win!

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  1. Get your finances in order

You don’t have to be studying Commerce in order to get your finances in order. Interest is an important thing and can make a big difference to your savings. Find the savings accounts with the best rates here. Most banks also have term deposits, which reward you with high interest and do not allow you to withdraw money – forcing you to get thrifty!

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  1. Leave your money at home

If you literally cannot control yourself because you love that A-list lifestyle, then leave your wallet at home, and remove Apple Pay from your phone. It’s may seem like an overreaction, but it works.

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– Cassie

Swotvac Tips

Cassie is a third-year Commerce student, majoring in Economics and Finance. She is addicted to podcasts and long distance running.

It’s almost swotvac. It’s the time of year when you realise you didn’t understand 75% of the content this semester, you stopped doing your tutorial work in week 3, and you never actually went back and watched those 12 lectures you skipped. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips on how to survive swotvac.

  1. If you can, avoid the library

When people are studying and stressed, and they’ve been in the library for 12 hours every day for the last week, things get gross. If you can, avoid the library because you will get sick, you will feel disgusting all day, and you will not be able to get up and go to the toilet because either the librarians will come and take your stuff away or some ninja student will steal your seat.

  1. If you must go to the library, do not arrive between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm because you will waste half your day trying to find a seat

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Anyone who has lined up to get into the Law Library or Giblin Eunson during swotvac knows that it is pure carnage. I’m not kidding – it is the Hunger Games and the scenes are concerning. It is also the only way you will get a seat during swotvac. You either have to arrive really early or really late or you won’t find a seat. You can also book spaces online at https://bookit.unimelb.edu.au/ but get in early because reservations fill up fast!

  1. Find a good café, and get a loyalty card

You will be drinking a minimum of two coffees a day. Loyalty cards where the 10th coffee is free seriously deliver the goods in swotvac.

  1. Stock up on healthy snack foods

Image source: 9GAG

That’s right, healthy. I’m talking about good fats. Nuts, avocado, sandwiches and fruit. Do not eat sugar all day or try to survive on coffee; you will crash and burn and you will feel absolutely shit. A healthy, well-fed brain will struggle to understand some of the ridiculously difficult things you are studying, and a starving brain will give up.

  1. Make a list and set yourself deadlines

Schedule yourself. Plan what you have to do from the exam date backwards, and put it in a calendar. Then, stick to it. If you finish what you had planned to do that day, take the night off. Seriously this is a golden rule and it is very easy. Just take 15 minutes on the first day of swotvac and make a list.

  1. Get at least one person to study with

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You don’t need to sit down and study with them, but find one person per subject, add them on Facebook and annoy them with questions. The likelihood is that they are also desperate to ask someone else questions and you’ll help each other out. It also helps to have someone to vent to about how f*cked up the practice exams are.

  1. Have scheduled breaks

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At the start of each study day, plan out little reward breaks. Like, when you finish a practice exam, watch EllenTube for half an hour. These are really important and they’ll make you less likely to procrastinate later. Little goals are good, and you deserve it.

  1. Don’t let the first few days get you down

When you suddenly realise that you don’t understand half of the content, don’t panic. That is what swotvac is for. All non-first year students will tell you that it is totally normal to teach yourself a lot of the course in swotvac.

  1. You will have a breakdown, it is okay

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Every swotvac you will have one breakdown around the time when you do your first practice exam and you fail. You will call your mum or your best friend and you will cry. This is normal. It is okay. Cry it out, go eat a big bowl of pasta, take the night off and get back to it tomorrow. Everyone has this and it is totally normal.

  1. ‘Do Not Disturb’ is your friend

If you’re on a roll, use the ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on your phone. It won’t notify you when people contact you unless you go over and pick it up. Procrastinating is so easy in swotvac and minimising your distractions can help a lot. Another useful procrastination reductions method, particularly for essay writing, is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working in 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between. You can read more about how it works and its benefits here.

  1. Sleep

Some students brag that they sleep four hours a night and still smash all their exams. You are not that person. It doesn’t matter how well you function on four hours of sleep, it’s scientifically proven that everyone functions better on 7-8.

  1. Exercise

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You don’t need to go to the gym everyday day but get outside and get some fresh air. You need to take care of your body in this time. It will make you more productive and reduce the frequency of swotvac breakdowns.

  1. If you don’t get something, your friends don’t know and your online tutor is confusing you (it can do more harm than good), go to a consultation

Just go. Get in line with your planned question. Have work to do while you wait, because you will be waiting. 2 minutes with a tutor can save you hours of torture while you try to figure it out yourself. It’s also a great place to meet other students so you can help one another, and often they’ll ask about something you don’t get either and you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

  1. If you need a break, take a break

I thoroughly believe that when you hit a wall, just come back to it later and go do something else. You will have days in swotvac where you get nowhere. Don’t waste your time and end up in a pool of lecture slides and tears. Take the afternoon off. Take the night off. If you feel good enough, take the day off. When your brain cracks the shits, just let it have a little rest.

  1. Plan a gift to yourself when your exams are over

Image source: Geek and Sundry

Studying sucks. Treat yo’ self.

– Cassie

Coffee on Campus

Cassie is a third-year Commerce student, majoring in Economics and Finance. She is addicted to podcasts and long distance running.

If it’s your first semester at Unimelb, or you’re sick of getting lost trying to find House of Cards (we’ve all been there), you’ve come to the right place! Here are some student coffee recommendations, with random life tips thrown in for fun!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of places to go on campus, but if you’re in a coffee-rut, give one of these a try! Also, shout-out to off campus gems like Seven Seeds, but be prepared to wait if you head down there. Whilst the coffee is damn good, the line is mighty long.

Narelle – House of Cards

Source: Cassie Lew

Order: Small Soy Flat White
Cost: $3.60

Narelle’s rating: 4/5

Q: What are you studying?
A: Science.

Q: Why do you go to House of Cards?
A: I think it’s the only one that’s open at 7/7:30am which is the time I try to get in…because I’m insane.

Q: Have you ever bought food from here?
A: Yep, banana bread. It’s better toasted.

Q: What’s the deal with the card system?
A: So, they give you a card with your order and then it’s sort of like Grill’d, where there’s little slots to put them in. You can nominate a cause for them to donate to. I always donate to health.

Q: If you weren’t going to House of Cards, where would you go?
A: Castro’s. 100%.

Q: If you could give science first years one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Write down literally everything the lecturer says.

Matt – Ho Ho’s Canteen

Source: Cassie Lew

Order: Regular Cappuccino
Cost: $3.50
Matt’s rating: 4/5

Q: Introduce yourself. Who are you, what are you studying and are you part of any student societies or co-curricular stuff?
A: My name’s Matt Lagamba. I’m studying a Bachelor of Arts, and I’m on the Student Union Student Council as well as part of ESSA (Economics Student Society of Australia).

Q: Why do you come to Ho Ho’s?
A: Other than it being the thoroughfare between MSD and Arts West, it also has surprisingly good coffee and, I think it’s a secret – well I don’t know, it’s on their Broadsheet page as well – they use some weird milk that’s meant to be better for coffee making.

Q: Have you ever bought food from here?
A: Yes. So, the story with Ho Ho’s is their previous owner was like a chef trained in London – a super legit dude – and then he left, and these new people bought it. So, the food dropped a little bit but it’s still decent. It’s got an Arab flair. Bit overpriced, as are most things in Union House, but they do $11 bowls of pasta that are huge and really good.

Q: If you could give first years one piece of general advice, what would it be?
A: Part of me wants to say attend all your classes, but you can do just fine without attending all your classes. So, I would say try and stay at university on campus as much as possible. By your third year you slowly realise that the campus is amazing, and life and the relaxing times of being a young twenty-something year old quickly fall away.

Geena – Castro’s Kiosk

Source: Cassie Lew

Order: Large Skim Chai Latte
Cost: $4.60
Geena’s rating: 4/5

Q: What are you studying?
A: Bachelor of Science. I’m a third year, physics major.

Q: Why don’t you drink coffee?
A: I used to drink it a bit. I don’t really like the taste, and I just used to drink it ‘cause it’s like a “social norm,” but then I discovered there are better beverages – like chai!

Q: What do you get involved with at uni?
A: Where do I start? Anything to do with the physics department. I’m on a departmental committee – the equity committee. I’m also on the Physics Student Society where I’m diversity officer. I’m part of the student-staff liaison committee as well. Oh, I’m a Science Student Ambassador now too.

Q: Why do you come to Castro’s?
A: ’Cause it’s attached to the Physics Building, and I literally live right around the corner. And it’s the best on campus as far as I’m aware.

Q: If you weren’t going to Castro’s, where would you go?
A: At the Farmer’s Market the guy there brews his own and it’s so good. It actually tastes like spices instead of flavouring. I had one on Wednesday. It’s so good!

Q: If you could give science first years one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Don’t worry if you’re not the smartest person in the room – learn to collaborate with your peers and not compete with them.

Farah – Books & Bites

Source: Cassie Lew

Order: Regular Flat White
Cost: $3.60
Farah’s rating: 4/5

Q: What are you studying?
A: I’m studying commerce – accounting and probably finance. Third year.

Q: Why do you come here?
A: ’Cause it’s always on the way to The Spot.

Q: How many coffees do you have per day?
A: Just one.

Q: Do you ever have more than one?
A: Yeah, during SWOTVAC.

Q: Do you ever get food from here?
A: Yeah, um, it depends. They usually have sesame chicken with rice, and it’s cheap – it’s like $8.90. I come here for lunch like three times a week. It’s good.

Q: If you could give first years one piece of general advice, what would it be?
A: (Laughing) Um, don’t take group assignments lightly.

Hamish – Standing Room

Source: Cassie Lew

Order: Cappuccino
Cost: $3.70
Hamish’s rating: 4.5/5

Q: What are you studying and what is your coffee order?
A: I study a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting and finance and I switch it up between a cappuccino and a flat white.

Q: Are you part of any extra-curricular activities?
A: I’m the President of 180 Degrees Consulting and I actively participate in case competitions as well.

Q: How many coffees do you have a day?
A: Uh, depends on how intense my workload it. Normally it’s one but if I’m staying up a bit later at night I’ll have two or three a day.

Q: Have you ever bought food from here?
A: I have! I have gotten my favourite food to get from cafes which is a chocolate croissant. It’s quite good.

Q: If you could give first years one piece of general advice, what would it be?
A: Get involved in as much as you can at uni and get to know as many people as you can. It’ll help you in ways that you can’t quantify.

– Cassie