How to Vote for Student Elections Painlessly

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

Disclaimer: UniMelb Adventures prides itself from being a non-affiliated, apolitical publication and this article serves to inform the student population about general elections. This article was written originally for Farrago Magazine and has been abridged.

So its Week 7 and you have an assignment due on Friday. You’re rather tired and you just want to go to that regrettable 9am tute you got into because you forgot about class registration followed by a 2 hour lecture about why you should buy this textbook that the lecturer made and how it’ll teach you real life skills. However, you have a five hour gap between those two classes so you decide to go to the Baillieu to get some study done.

As you head to the Baillieu, you are bombarded by a kaleidoscope of Pink, Red, Orange and Black Shirts telling you to vote for them and how they’ll change your uni experience.

Flustered, you walk away from the Baillieu and feel rather peckish. Union House hasn’t filled up with people yet and you want to grab something eat there. However, as you head toward Union House, you see yet another swarm of Pink, Red, Orange and Black Shirts telling you, well you guessed it, to vote.

Seeing as you have nowhere to go, you watch as each shirt shoves each other telling you why they will once again change your uni experience. The tussle then descends into a melee and you get caught up into the screams, rap battles and backflips and you end up becoming the one screaming.

At this moment, you just want to go home and maybe skip uni all together. For most people, you could just say “no thank you” or “I’ve already voted” and thats the end. But here’s the thing:

Elections actually matter.

Your vote is rather influential in how the Union represents you in the following year.

So listen up, we’re in for a magic tram ride of a trip on what elections are and how to vote.

First Off, What is UMSU and why should I care about them?

UMSU is the University of Melbourne Student Union, which represents all UniMelb students. It is responsible for things like student clubs and activities, as well as student services and advocacy. So think of the ‘free’ student BBQs, carnivals or weird parties that happen throughout the year because your student contribution, the SSAF goes towards the services of the union.

Okay but, why should I vote if I don’t need to?

Voting lies at the heart of-Okay let’s not get dramatic. Voting is important and vote early, vote often like they do in Chicago.

In seriousness,  don’t vote often but vote early if you need to.

Voting in student elections is important because you get to choose who represents you, how often you can get more free food or find the help you need. If you’ve got issues about university admin, enrolment, grades and even your commute, UMSU on paper is supposed to represent your concerns about your university life.

You’ll have to vote for many positions. From president, the top dog of the union to the General Secretary to the fun aunt that is the Activities office and so on.

So vote, otherwise you won’t get a say on what matters to you during your years at uni.

So you’ve stopped screaming and actually going to vote, so how do you actually do it?

This is where things actually get messy and weird like your 4am essay due tomorrow. We will try our best to explain to you how to vote as if you were a five year old. The only problem? Five year olds can’t or don’t vote but its good to know.

  1. Go to a Polling Booth

A polling booth is where you vote. Here, you get a piece of paper called a ballot where you put down who you want to vote for. You can find polling booths at the following locations:

  • Baillieu Library
  • Union House
  • FBE Building
  • Murrup Barak (open Tuesday, Wednesday)
  • Southbank (open Tuesday-Thursday)
  • Burnley (open Wednesday, Thursday)
  • Stop 1 (open Tuesday-Thursday)

Most polling stations open around 10-11am and close around 5-6pm. We will get back to you when the finalised times are set but show up after 11am and you should be okay on how to vote. If you can’t be at any of these booths to vote, you can submit a postal vote at

             2. How to Actually Vote

You’ll get multiple colorful sheets requiring you to vote on many things and many positions. The first few pages are regarding OB positions such as President or Welfare followed by Committee and Council contests. The premise is the same with those, vote for who you desire but its better to preference all for Committee/Council seats.

You have to preference THE NUMBER ONE for WHO YOU WANT TO WIN. YOU CAN THEN PREFERENCE YOUR 2ND MOST FAVOURITE AND SO ON, depending how many candidates there are. However, the elections are using what is called, Optional Preferential Voting which means you can vote in the following ways:

  • Vote for One
  • Vote for All
  • Vote for Some

Here’s an example of the ways you can vote:

The ways in which you can vote for student elections.


  1. Run Away

After you’ve chosen who you want to win, you put the ballot inside a cardboard box. You are now a democratic citizen who is exercising their rights as a student. You can now run away from the Color Run and Circus and head back into another one, your classes. Yay!

So When Do I Know Who Won and Stop Caring?

Don’t stop caring but generally you’ll find out late Friday of voting week on who has won President and maybe the other OB position. Usually Farrago, the student magazine will have live tweets and rolling coverage on Facebook. So stay tuned to see how your vote ended up and the joys of democracy will start flowing in?

About the Author:

Alain is a third-year student who still hasn’t gotten his P’s licence. He still spends too much at uni, and rather going to some cafe, he’s lazy and you’ll probably see him in Arts West a lot doing something for Farrago Magazine and more recently, editing this blog. 





What to wear to uni according to a first year vs. a fifth year

what to wear cover

Ezri (The First Year):

For many of us, university is the first time that we get to pick out our own outfits each day in place of drab school uniforms. Between 8am lectures and working frantically for an assignment due tomorrow, outfits might be the last thing on our minds. But fashion is a great way to express yourself – a  rocking t-shirt that says “Unicorn Hunter” can add an extra kick to your day, and a shirt that states “Eat. Sleep. Anime.” is a fantastic way to strike up a conversation with a potential friend. Especially for us jaffies, it’s worth knowing some hacks about what’s simple yet glam to wear, and what outfit traps to avoid.

Daisy (The Postgrad):

Wear clothes. Seriously. I know you’ve been working on your thesis for 25 hours straight and don’t know what day it is, but your supervisor will be freaked out if you show up in that Pikachu onesie again. Something with minimal coffee stains is a good bet. If you’re totally lost, look at what the youths are wearing and copy them. It’s what I do.

The Early Start


A hoodie never fails in the crisp morning air, as well as being super snuggly and a great way to cover whatever you threw on in the haze of sleep earlier that morning. Pair this with leggings or jeans and you’re all set!


A blanket scarf is a great way to wear a blanket without looking like you literally rolled out of bed.

winter clothes

Cooler Days


  • A woollen sweater with boots is a chill but fabulous way to start the day. Tip: If you have a long day on campus, make sure the boots are wedges and comfortable!
  • Accessorise with practical beanies to keep your head toasty, and mittens to protect those hands you’ll need in the lecture room – there’s nothing worse than having cold hands whilst madly scribbling notes from a lecturer that talks way too fast.


  • I know it’s tempting, but please don’t just put on warm socks under your sandals if you’re not willing to commit to That Look.
  • Beanies are great for pulling down over your eyes. Hide your dark under-eye circles and hide from the world.

Warmer Mornings


  • Jean shorts and a singlet with a cardigan (long or short sleeve) gives an awesome look for walking on campus.
  • A romper or t-shirt and skirt is a lighter option. Summer colours like orange and yellow also add a brighter aspect to the day and make you stand out from the crowd! For a more flowy look, try wearing a casual skirt with a snazzy t-shirt or singlet.
  • Keep in mind: Don’t be afraid to mix and match bright colours or patterns! I find contrasting a deep colour shirt with a plain bottom or vice-versa will always match.


  • Cut the sleeves off your t-shirts! Who needs cute singlets when you can look like that guy that your mom told you to stay away from?
  • Wear red to intimidate your enemies. Pink is cute too.

summer clothes

Days Where You Have A Lot of Classes


  • Since you may be sitting for long hours, comfort is a priority! No matter what the weather outside, lecture halls can also get quite chilly with the air-con blasting, so be sure to have a spare light jacket that fits easily into your bag!
  • It’s all about layers! As mentioned before, temperatures can vary, so wearing a jumper that felt great in the early morning can be the wrong decision when the sun comes out and it’s 30 degrees.


  • What not to wear: an invisibility cloak. Go to your lecture!



  • Though safety is a top priority in the labs, that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t rock an awesome style underneath the lab coat. Of course, let’s not forget how long practicals can be, so make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable for long periods standing up and moving about the lab.
  • Opt for runners/sneakers or comfortable close-toed shoes. There’s nothing worse than being kicked out of a lab for wearing sandals by mistake.
  • Try to keep it less bulky and wear thin layers, or otherwise have heaps of room in your bag to stuff in jackets and jumpers.
  • Pick something with short sleeves, and in general, clothes that have less chance of being a fire hazard!


  • I’m an arts student, what are practicals? Please, somebody give me a job.
  • For critiques and workshopping, wear something with long sleeves on which to wipe your tears.

Final Tips


  • Every night before bed lay out your kick-ass outfit ready for the morning.
  • Check the weather. I find it useful to turn on notifications from a weather app, so I don’t even have to think about checking!
  • Keep in mind what kind of day it will be. Exhibit A: Should you really be wearing those high-heeled boots when you have a full day of walking around the gigantic campus?
  • See what works for you in the mirror beforehand, and don’t sweat the little stuff like accessories, which can make a major difference to your outfit! Most of all, have fun, and relish in the chance to express your true self through what you wear!


  • Copy what Ezri is wearing and try not to panic that you don’t know what’s in style anymore.

About the authors


Ezri is in her first year of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. She enjoy writing about university, fashion, books and some other quirky stuff (yes, she’s referring to her love for many fandoms, including Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit!)  She consider herself a semi-organised, colourful ambivert that loves to chat with friends as much as sitting down with an awesome book!


29693920_10216409525095008_1133880568_oDaisy is a student in the Masters of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing program and a volunteer at the Book Co-op. She enjoys studying, working out, and screaming into the void.


Best coffee on campus? We did a fully legitimate scientific test to find out


For decades, the student community at the University of Melbourne has faced a deeply concerning issue; namely, that of sourcing the best possible coffee on campus. A unique drink in both its caffeine-providing qualities, its enormously polarising nature, as well as its cultural significance in our city, coffee has frequently been a subject of debate.

While existing literature points to some tentative conclusions in previous studies done on this topic (see: Adventures, Unimelb (2017)), the small sample size, lack of diversity among test subjects and crippling lack of peer review means that results remain inconclusive. To this end, we aim to undertake a comprehensive study, and establish beyond reasonable doubt the best cup of coffee to be found on our campus. You’re welcome. 


We’re not sure. A couple of us thought no-one would win and that the only reason House of Cards and Standing Room are as popular as they are is because of the Placebo Effect. Whilst we collectively did want to test the validity of this hypothesis, a couple of us also had an individual favourite whom we were rooting to win. Honestly, all of us really just wanted an excuse to drink a lot of coffee.


We recruited seven testers to make sure we had a wide and diverse sample size.

We purchased a small soy flat white from the following vendors: Hoho’s, Dr DAX, Castro’s, House of Cards, Brew Sisters, Baretto’s, and the two Standing Rooms (Union House and MSD). We thought that a soy flat white best represented the coffee culture of Melbourne.

Aiming to conduct this as a blind, and therefore unbiased, test, we procured eight paper cups from Hoho’s (s/o to them for humouring us on this one, you guys are the real MVPs). Each cafe would use those cups instead of their own branded ones—this was so that when we tested the coffees, we wouldn’t know which one came from where.

We then parted ways to get all of our soy flat whites as close to simultaneously as possible in order to keep the coffees’ temperatures consistent. Upon returning, we each took a sip or two of each coffee, until the seven of use had all tasted all eight coffees.

The testers



  • Not really a seasoned coffee drinker but has been drinking at least one a day of late
  • Favourite coffee is homemade Italian coffee
  • Hasn’t tried all of these cafes before and is a Capricorn



  • Used to enjoy Starbucks but has since moved onto McCafe
  • Shamed her favourite cafe on campus (Castro’s) during the course of this test
  • A lover of soy flat whites/chai varieties
mark profile

  • Once had 5 McDonald’s lattes in a weekend road trip
  • Is a diehard fanboy of Moccona instant coffee, but willing to fork out for a House of Cards latte
  • Has very low standards (in coffee or in life? You decide)
alain profile

  • Survived 32 hours in LAX with Cold Brew Starbucks
  • Likes coffee sugarless, strong but not overpowering
  • REALLY wants to try rainbow glitter coffee



  • Once took a barista course
  • Can drink 7 coffees in one hour
  • Loves a mocha from Hoho’s
  • Is the best reviewer (according to himself)
  • Was once a young, happy Arts student who thought coffee was for sad people with full time jobs
  • Used to be embarrassed about ordering hot chocolate at meetings and converted to cappuccinos until they were just palatable
  • Now studying a Masters in Business and drinks coffee weekly
  • Went to Hoho’s pretty much daily last year and will defend them to the death 
  • May or may not be the former president of a major student body
  • Has lost the ability to smile without looking like she’s dead inside

The criteria

While purchasing each coffee, we recorded:

  • the time taken to get the coffee, from the getting in line to receiving our drink (note that we did this at ~12:30pm on a Tuesday, so our results are pretty indicative of how long it takes to get coffee during the lunch hour rush)
  • the price (and also any surcharges for soy milk)
  • their loyalty rewards system and Keepcup discounts, if any

When drinking the coffees, we rated on a scale of 1-5 for the following criteria:

  • texture
  • bitterness
  • smell
  • general taste

This was followed by an overall score, which is totally different from the ‘general taste’ criteria (not that any of us could explain why). These overall scores (not the general taste scores) for each coffee were averaged and ranked to present the following results.

The Results

The winner: Baretto’s (SO UNEXPECTED)

Cafe Score Price (incl. soy) Wait time
Baretto’s 3.67 $4.40 4m45s
Standing Room (UH) 3.39 $4.20 4m23s
House of Cards 3.36 $4.00 4m43s
Standing Room (MSD) 3.16 $4.10 5m00s
Brew Sisters 3.10 $3.50 5m51s
Hoho’s 3.09 $3.90 4m52s
Castro’s 3.07 $3.30 1m51s
Dr DAX 2.24 $3.80 3m53s

Results breakdown by each tester

We realise that coffee is really subjective, and that the scores we gave each place varied a LOT depending on our personal preferences. Our rankings were derived by taking everyone’s averages, but we also wanted to break them down for each tester’s individual tastes. Below, we’ve listed each tester and their coffee preferences. You can click on each person’s name to see a detailed breakdown of how they rated each place (and some sometimes useful, sometimes bizarre commentary).

Read if you: are a smol second yr who just wants some decent coffee, is that too much to ask for? 
Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 1.5, watery 3 2, cardboardy 2, very heavy handed on the milk so quite bland 2
Standing Room MSD 4 4 5, how coffee should smell 3, nice but acidic aftertaste 4
Hoho’s 3.5, a little watery 3.5 4, has character 4, acidic but not overly so 4
Standing Room UH 4.5 3.7 4, sweet? 3.5, a little too acidic 4.20
House of Cards 4, could be creamier but I’m not mad 4 4, gentle and creamy 3.5, a little weak 4.5
Castro’s 1.5, watery 2 3, a lil weak and lil sugary 2, watery 2.5
Brew Sisters 1, it looks lumpy 4 3.5, a lil sweet 2.5, very acidic 2.5
Baretto’s 3.5 4 2, suspicious 4.5, not too acidic and quite full 4
Read if you: don’t like bitter coffee and LIKE A LOT OF FEELINGS IN CAPSLOCKS.
  Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 3 2.5 not very bitter 1, smells like straight up soy milk 2, I think they used So Good. Vitasoy +calcium is better 1.5
Hoho’s 1.5, SO WATERY WTF 2, a bit bitter, mostly tastes watery 3 2 2
Standing Room UH 4 3 3 1, has a bitter aftertaste, and not a good kind of bitter 3.5
House of Cards 1, watery (could be because it spilled) 2 1 4 3.5
Castro’s 2, too foamy, seems more latte than flat white 2, kinda bland, I can’t tell if this is acidic or if I’m just basic 4 smells like Christmas winter  2, OMG THIS TASTES LIKE WEETBIX ABORT 4
Brew Sisters 1, thick foam sediment on sides of cup, I’m slightly scared 1, very bitter, could use some sugar 2 1.5, tastes like instant coffee, but the kind of 2am SWOTVAC instant coffee. Good when you’re desperate 1.5
Baretto’s 3, foamy which is fun, but this is meant to be coffee not a bubble bath  1, very bitter, don’t like 5, smells exactly how you expect coffee to smell 3, watery 4.5
Read if you: want to talk like you know coffee without knowing coffee at all. 
  Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 3, light taste but then the bitterness kicks in which is nice 3, barely a bitterness, appears quite late into the aftertaste 4, distinct and inviting aroma 3, underwhelming 3.2
Standing Room MSD 5, good incremental texture that gives a kick 5, good acidic bitterness 4, a really good inviting bitter overtone 5, excellent, good incremental consistency and bitterness. But looks like someone cried into it 4.6
Hoho’s 4, consistent and does the job 4.5, consistent, nice bitter overtone 2, a weird acidic bitter smell 3.5, good booster but weird inconsistencies 3.6
Standing Room UH 3.5, smooth but a bit on the light side which encroaches around your tastbuds 2, very slight bitterness 5, very pleasant bitter smell 3, a light-bodied coffee that I won’t mind drinking. But I need more bitterness 3.5
House of Cards 3, smooth, almost decaffinatedovertone but pleasant for afternoon or late afternoon 1, bitterness is non-existent  4, a good constant bitter smell 2, the bitter smell taste has deceived my sense as it has no bitterness in the taste 2.5
Castro’s 3.5, a bit more heavy-bodied wiht a consistent aftertaste which is nice. Milk slightly overpowers the texture 3, a good subtle kick but could be more noticeable 1, barely noticeable and light, does not indicate the strength and consistency of the coffee 3.5, subtle and light, not necessarily good to wake up to but if you’re studying or working it’s not overpowering 3
Brew Sisters 3, light-bodied and slowly constant aftertaste 2, watery, barely bitter with a small kick 3.5, aerated acidity with a tinge of wood smell  3, muted and light-bodied with smooth milk consistency 2.7
Baretto’s 5, a thick, creamy consistency that makes you want more. Quite impactful 2, barely any bitterness but is a decent palette cleanser during the day 1, there’s no smell to this. Are you sure it’s not decaf? 4, good moderate taste but with a few inconsistencies in the smell and bitterness 3.2
Read if you: care about the opinion of someone who once did a barista course. Once
Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 3, not quite smooth enough 1, can’t taste any bitterness over the soy 1, only bad smell 1, just way too much soy  1
Standing Room MSD 4, very smooth but not enough roughness of coffee 3, not bitter enough, tastes like soy milk with coffee rather than the other way around 4 2, too much soy but apart from that it’s decent 2
Hoho’s 3 3, hint of bitterness but overcome by the soy 4, just slightly not enough coffee smell 3, soy is a bit too empowering 3
Standing Room UH 4 4, great bitterness but too acidic 5, very good smell, nice hint of acidity 3, a bit too acidic 3
House of Cards 4 3, not enough bitterness. But still tastes like coffee 4, smells a bit too rough 4 3
Castro’s 5, smooth texture with a hint of roughness  4, great bitterness but not acidic enough 3, too much soy smell 5 4
Brew Sisters 5 5, great bitterness and acidity! Will make your day 3, no hint of acidity 4, just slightly too acidic 4
Baretto’s 5 5, great balance of bitterness and acidity 2, smell of coffee is too rough with only a little hint of coffee 5, the soy complements the acidity well! 5
Read if you: like really bitter coffee, and confusing metaphors about your coffee. 
  Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 2.5, thin 3.5, quite noice 4, smells very coffee 3.5 because it’s bitter which I like 4
Standing Room MSD 3.5 2.5 3 3.5, could have more coffee taste 3.5
Hoho’s 3, all I can say is…not bad? 3, not quiiite there 3, slightly underwhelming 2.5 3
Standing Room UH 4, very nice, creamy 1, somehow is sweet despite us not putting any sugar in it 3.5, I’m not sure at this point  3.5 3.5, it’s not bitter but I like it which scares me
House of Cards 3.5 2, bland 4, FRAGRANT. WARM AND FUZZY 3.5, slightly bland 3.5
Castro’s 1, so watery 1, bland, not bitter at all 3, smells like Brunetti’s grandpa. He has a pleasant grandpa 2, I can taste the grandpa 2.5, I hope Brunetti will take my advice and support his grandpa, morally, financially and socially. Maybe grandma is dead. Maybe he needs to find a girlfriend. I dunno.
Brew Sisters 4, very smooth 4.5, SO STRONG, SO GOOD 4.5, very coffee 4.5, nice 4.5
Baretto’s 3, the score got pulled down because I got distracted by how bland it is 2, blaaaand 4, warm and fuzzy 2.5, quite bland 3
Read if you: are in fifth year, coming to the gradual realisation that all taste and preference is a lie and just want a nap. 
  Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 3, STIFF 2, milk is very overpowering 1, I can’t smell anything 2, THIS IS NOT BONSOY 2
Standing Room MSD 2, watery 3, weirdly acidic undertone, I think this gave me a headache which I dunno if it’s the coffee or just me  3, smells like coffee 3, guess it has mildly more taste than the other ones 3
Hoho’s 2, watery 4, bitter, nice (I’ve given up smelling coffee at this point) 4, niiiice. Not sure why. Just nice. 3.5
Standing Room UH 2.5 slightly less watery but still 3, not bitter which is good because I don’t like bitterness 3, smells like coffee 2.5, slightly bland 2.5
House of Cards 3 2, like no bitterness? Why do we even have this as a criteria again? 3, nice balance but kinda bland 3
Castro’s 2 2, milky but somehow manages to be bitter without being aromatic which is like, how even? There’s no smell 2. tastes like normal milk not soy milk. How??? 2
Brew Sisters 3 2, I BET THIS IS STANDING ROOM BECAUSE THERE’S SOMETHING SLIGHTLY WEIRD ABOUT THE TASTE 4. ok for some reason I actually quite like this overall? Which scares me 3.5
Baretto’s 2.5 2, not bitter enough 2, not great but can’t put my finger on why 3, bland but also fragrant 2
Read if you: are a grad student who just wants a hot drink sometimes but sometimes also needs to drink coffee to impress prospective employers? We dunno how grad students work.
  Texture Bitterness Smell General taste Overall
Dr Dax 1, bad mouth feel 1, very bitter, almost acidic 3, strangely buttery 2, acidic and too bitter, would not drink again, slimy 2
Standing Room MSD 3 3, not bitter, but almost metallicy Almost fruity, nothing like coffee 3, kinda meh, vaguely Gloria Jeans feel 4
Hoho’s 2, a bit gritty, not smooth enough  2 5, creamy and not too strong 3 2.5
Standing Room UH 5, very creamy 5, not very bitter 4, strong, warm 4, creamy and not too strong 3.5
House of Cards 4 5, not bitter at all 2.5  4, kind of sweet, not too bitter 3.5
Castro’s 2, weirdly coats your tongue 4.5 not very bitter 2 3.5, nothing special but not bad 3.5
Brew Sisters 2, slimy and coats your tongue in weird way 3, good balance, not too bitter Weirdly metallic 4. smooth, good medium blend, not too strong or bitter 3
Baretto’s fluffy, smooth 3.5, strong without being acidic 2.5, super strong the kind of coffee most people like 4


8. Dr DAX (average overall score: 2.24)

So Dr DAX is where all the uni staff go for their lunch/coffees/to sit around and look professional, which might go towards explaining why they did so badly – they’re clearly not in tune with what students want. Not only did it record the lowest average overall score, it also took home the wooden spoon in literally every other criteria. We suspect that they use a weird variety of soy milk and NOT Bonsoy, which every good Melbourne hipster knows is the only acceptable type of soy milk. Whatever soy milk they used completely overpowered both the smell and the taste of the coffee.

On the plus side, they performed well for waiting time (3min53s—well below the median of 4min34s) and were also the third cheapest at $3.80, including a 40c soy surcharge. You can save a further 10% on this price by either bringing a Keepcup or showing a valid University student ID (but you can’t claim a 20% discount by doing both). Also, every tenth coffee is free!

  • Most favourable score: Tiff (4 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Ezra (1 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “[A] light taste but the bitterness kicks in, which is a good constrative (sic) texture” – Alain
  • Meanest comment: “Almost unable to taste the coffee” – Ezra
  • Best summary comment: “I am scarred” – Yan

7. Castro’s (average overall score 3.07)

Castro’s soy flat white was actually quite a divisive drink, and though it earned a few high scores, some detractors dragged its score to a less-than-stellar average. Some found it watery, whilst others found it to be just the right blend of bitter and creamy flavours.

Even though we couldn’t all agree on the flavour, the waiting time was by far the shortest of the lot at 1min51s. We’re not really sure if this is the norm or if we just happened to pass by when there was nobody there. Still. On top of this, they also had the cheapest coffee at $3.30 with free soy! There aren’t any discounts for Keepcup users, but you’re already saving a fair bit compared to the competitors anyway.

  • Most favourable score: Tash & Ezra (4 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Yan (2 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “Great coffee taste and the soy complements the lack of acidity” – Ezra
  • Meanest comment: “OMG THIS TASTES LIKE WEETBIX ABORT” – Tash
  • Best summary*: “[It] smells like Brunetti’s grandpa. Brunetti has a pleasant grandpa. I hope Brunetti will take my advice and support his grandpa at the end of his life. He needs to morally, financially and socially support his grandpa more. Maybe grandma is dead, maybe he needs to find a girlfriend, I dunno.” – Tiff

*this summary is somehow symbolic

6. Hoho’s (average overall score: 3.09)

Though they were kind enough to lend us some cups to use, their coffee didn’t fare too well in our blind test. Granted, the standard deviation of our scores for Hoho’s wasn’t huge—yes, we crunched the numbers. All the numbers. In English, this means that we generally all agreed that their coffee was fairly decent but not amazing, and there was a greater degree of consensus here for a coffee that has wide appeal.

They were pretty middle-of-the-road in the other components of the test as well: they had the fourth highest price ($3.90 including a 20c soy surcharge), as well as the fourth longest queue (at 4mins25s). However, they also give you more options to customise your drink—they do matcha lattes, as well as beetroot and turmeric lattes (which all of us are too scared to try) for an extra $1.  

  • Most favourable score: Mark (4 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Tash (2 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “Has character” – Mark
  • Meanest comment: “It’s coffee I guess” – Tiff
  • Best summary: “Good but not great” – Emily

5. Brew Sisters (average overall score 3.10)

This quiet little coffee cart next to the swimming pool just managed to inch ahead of Hoho’s. Its smooth taste had a fair degree of bitterness, and it managed to capture high ratings from some of us. Others thought that the drink was a bit suspicious in its appearance and texture (“slimy” – Emily), which also meant that scores here did vary significantly.

Though they had the longest wait time (at 5min51s), they also have a range of other drinks as well as free milk alternatives—this small soy flat white came in at just $3.50, the second-cheapest option out of those tested.

  • Most favourable score: Tiff (4.5 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Tash (1.5 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “Great bitterness and acidity, can make your day” – Ezra
  • Meanest comment: “Tastes like instant coffee, but it’s kinda like the 2am SWOTVAC instant coffee. Good when you’re desperate, cheap and easy, gets the job done” – Tash
  • Best summary comment: “I dunno man” – Yan

4. Standing Room MSD (average overall score 3.16)

This coffee was by far the most controversial—remember how we calculated standard deviations?—and this one’s scores were by far the most spread. On one hand, it was Alain’s favourite drink, but a few others found it underwhelming or watery (“Ahh, bean water” – Tiff).

Unfortunately, Standing Room (MSD) did not fare so well in other areas: it was the third-most expensive coffee at $4.10, and it also came with the second-longest waiting time (5 minutes exactly). However, its unique location and ambience make it a steady favourite of the University community. Just not a steady favourite of ours.

  • Most favourable score: Alain (4.6 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Tash (1 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “A really good bitter overtone that invites” – Alain
  • Best summary: “Pretty good I guess” – Tiff



Yes, this happened about halfway through the test. It was Alain’s fault. Science is hard.

3. House of Cards (average overall score 3.36)

For many of us, we thought that this was the steady favourite to win. Unfortunately, they fell a little short today. Possibly because this was the one we spilled everywhere. Generally, we agreed that this one was a little on the mild side, which only suited the preferences of some. On the whole, it was a fairly uncontroversial drink given all the hype, but still performed well enough to claw its way into the top three.

Their price ($4.00) and waiting time (4mins43s), however, were each a little over the median, and they don’t have any kind of rewards system (unless you happen to draw the joker card when ordering, in which case you receive a free coffee; for the uninitiated, a pack of playing cards is their alternative to assigning order numbers). They also don’t like other cups—you’ll only earn the Keepcup discount of 20c if you have their own specifically branded cup, and they weren’t even happy to put the coffee into the Hoho’s cup that we were using, unless we carried it inside one of their cups. This was truly an ordeal.

  • Most favourable score: Mark (4.5 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Alain (2.5 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “Smooth, solid” – Tiff
  • Meanest comment: “My dog makes better coffee” – Tash
  • Best summary comment: “Could be a bit creamier but I’m not mad” – Mark

2. Standing Room Union House (average overall score 3.39)

Narrowly inching into second place is the Standing Room located inside Union House. Whilst its MSD sibling produced the most divisive drink, the soy flat white here was the least controversial, with all but 2 testers scoring it as either 3 or 3.5 out of 5. It fared well in the texture department (scoring almost 4 points, or an H1 score, for its smoothness), but the taste seemed to be a little on the acidic side.

Interestingly, buying this drink here costs $4.20, 10c more than the exact same drink from MSD (the difference comes from the soy surcharge)—thereby also making it the second most expensive. You can’t score any kind of discount on that, but you can get one free drink upon purchasing their Keepcup. They also had a decently brief wait time at 4min23s. A fairly strong performer all around, perhaps.

  • Most favourable score: Mark (4.20 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Yan (2.5 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “Strong, warm” – Emily
  • Meanest comment: “This is pretty lame and also has a BITTER AFTERTASTE…it’s not a good bitter.” – Tash
  • Best summary comment: “At this point I’m not sure” – Tiff

1. Baretto’s (average overall score 3.67)

And there’s our winner! Surprised? So are we. We literally only tested this place because Yan has it on good authority that this is where Glyn Davis, our esteemed Vice-Chancellor, goes for his coffee.

This was actually the only one to score at least one 5 out of 5 overall score, and it was lauded for its strong, blended texture and full flavour (though a few detractors thought that it was too rounded/tasted bland). It also held the highest average in the general taste criterion, making it the definitive winner of our test.

Does quality come with a high price tag though? In this case, the answer is unfortunately in the affirmative: even without soy, the $4.00 price tag on a small flat white is already just above the median price of the eight soy flat whites tested. An additional 70c for soy makes this by far the most expensive drink (though you can save 30c by bringing your own cup?). You decide if this is worth it!

  • Most favourable score: Ezra (5 out of 5)
  • Harshest critic: Yan (2 out of 5)
  • Kindest comment: “VERY AMAZING!!!” – Ezra
  • Meanest comment: “Very foamy and looks like a meteor fell in” – Tash
  • Best summary comment: “Fluffy, smooth…super strong, robust” – Emily

Final comments

In conclusion, not a single one of these coffees received an H1—it turns out that many of us realised just how weird coffee actually tastes when you drink it critically. Let’s observe a minute of silence for Yan (who gave the lowest overall scores, 2.63 on average) and Tash (who had the meanest comments to say about most of these drinks). In her words, “I thought I liked coffee but they all taste the same now…COFFEE IS CANCELLED.” We conclude that everyone should drink tea. Or instant coffee. We might even test a few of those next time.

About the author

mark profile

Mark is a second-year Economics major parading as an Arts student. His idea of a good time is Mariah’s Daydream CD on loop plus biscuits and maybe a good book (he’s currently reading Frankenstein). His favourite joke is that he’s like a ninja at the gym because nobody ever sees him there. He’s funnier in real life, he promises. Find him on instagram @myin.rbc

What if I Didn’t Make Friends in O-Week?

Source: Giphy

We all have that dream. You show up to your host tour on your first day of uni and become best friends with the other person who’s also late. You find solace in the person sitting next to you in your Power tutorial. You meet the coolest person who you immediately click with on that o-camp. The dream of meeting your next best friend as soon as you start uni is one that we’ve all had, but it’s not always a reality.

And that’s okay.

Here’s some secrets.

I don’t remember anyone from my host tour.

I left my orientation camp only sort of knowing a handful of people.

I didn’t get coffee with anyone I didn’t know already in my first semester.

I made my best friends after my first semester of university.

Not everyone is going to make friends the second they step foot onto campus. But there are always things that you can do to boost your confidence and ensure that you’re not going through uni by yourself.

Clubs and Societies

Think of a hobby or interest you have. Chances are there’s a club for this and they will most likely have a Facebook page where you can learn about their upcoming events. By participating in clubs events you can find people with similar interests. Even more, if the club has recurring BBQs or picnics, this is the perfect opportunity to help a society out and cook a snag. Going to events and offering a hand means that people will see you more often, you’ll  develop familiarity and potential friendships! For a list of the clubs, click here.

Friend Requests

You’re almost guaranteed to add a lot of people on Facebook or follow them on Instagram and Snapchat. I’m not saying the more people you add the more likely you are to make close knit friendships, but it means you’ll develop a circle of people you do know. If you’ve just added someone on Facebook, don’t be shy about sending them a message! It might not feel like it, but they’re probably just as keen and just as scared about contacting you as you are about them.

And even if you don’t talk to them straight away, you might find yourself in a class with them in second semester, and having already met them, you might be more inclined to talk to them again.

Safe Spaces

If you identify as a woman/non-binary or member of the queer community, there are spaces in Union House where you can go and relax. Decked out with couches and goodies and amazing student representatives, the Women’s Room can be found on Level 1 (straight ahead when you come up the stairs and then to the right) and the Queer Space on Level 3 (turn right when you get out of the elevator). You’ll also be able to find support and information in these rooms on various issues if you need it.

UMSU, the University of Melbourne Student Union, also has other departments and services available . Want to help out at BBQs and parties? Have a look at Activities. If you’re looking for more communities of likeminded students, check out People of Colour, Indigenous, Disabilities. All these, plus more, can be found here.

Get Involved

Getting involved in things that aren’t clubs can also be a really good way of meeting new people at uni. Write something for Farrago and visit them in the Media Space (level 4 Union House), attend some PASS sessions if you’re an Arts Student and keen to smash out those H1s, and even pitch us an article if you think there’s something we should be writing about! The more you participate, the more people you’re going to know.


It can be a difficult time if you’re not finding people to connect with immediately, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Taking time for yourself is really important. It can sometimes become very stressful at uni without a strong support network so I highly recommend looking at the Unimelb Services website for a place to seek out some help.

For me it took a lot longer than it felt like it took for other people. Eventually it was actually in tutorials where I ended up with the same people from first and second year that I found some of my friends. Participating heavily in societies like Ring of Choir also helped a lot.

Everyone moves at different speeds. If you don’t make friends in your first few weeks of uni, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, it’s more common than you would think. In your first semester you might be a jaffy with few friends, but by third year you might have found the best group possible. Just keep doing, and dreaming.

Source: Giphy

58 tips for surviving first year

We asked a bunch of people hanging around uni what their tips were for new students and here’s what they said.

(Please note, Unimelb Adventures is not responsible for anything that may happen to you as a result of following these tips)

  1. Call family members/friends back at times when you know they won’t have their phone and leave a voice message. That way you can complain together about how you “keep missing each other!” when really you’re knee deep in Doritos and a Netflix marathon (Jacinta, UMSU Disabilities Officer)
  2. Don’t talk about your ATAR. You got into Unimelb, everyone knows you’re smart (Emily, UMSU Host Director)
  3. If you want to meet people and attend some great parties, join faculty clubs. They’re massive and you come in contact with like, 200 or 300 people. And join smaller clubs that cater for your hobbies, and email them to find out about what events they run (Blake, UMSU Host Director)
  4. It’s a lot easier to make friends in clubs than lectures and tutorials because some people don’t like talking to people in tutorials – I certainly don’t (Yan)
  5. Get the Lost On Campus app to find buildings! (Alison, UMSU host volunteer)
  6. All lectures are captured (theoretically) so you don’t need to go to them (Blake)
  7. But you should otherwise you’ll forget to watch them (Blake)
  8. Learn to enjoy subsisting on sausages (or bubble & squeak) and white bread (Conor, keenest jaffy 2017 #2)
  9. Jaffy = just another (f***ing) first year
  10. How to skim read an article: just read the abstract, subheadings, first paragraph under every subheading, the first sentence of every paragraph after that, and the conclusion (Alain)
  11. Check your hurdle requirements – say you have 11 weeks of tutorials and a 75% hurdle requirement, you only need to attend 8 tutorials to pass (Blake)
  12. You can ask your lecturers and tutors questions – I didn’t work this out until second semester, but there’s no one monitoring your progress so you need to make sure you’re keeping up by yourself. When I asked questions everyone was really friendly and helpful and I got the help I needed! (another Emily, UMSU host volunteer)
  13. Find a quality older student who you can ask questions, get advice from, and who can just generally point you in the right direction for life. A bit like…a mentor… (Beiwei, UMSU Mentoring Director)
  14. Get involved in literally everything! (Daniel, UMSU Gensec)
  15. Check out the UMSU Countercourse Handbook for student reviews of your subjects – it’s a lifesaver for weeding out those classes that look interesting on paper but are actually super boring. You can find it here (Yan)
  16. You can usually get free food Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from UMSU events + club events. Monday and Friday…just don’t bother coming in (Blake)
  17. If you want a good Strava workout plan, you can intentionally place your classes as far as possible. For example you can have a tutorial at the education building then proceed to have your next tute at David Caro (Alain)
  18. First find your passion and then accept that there are no jobs in that field (Conor)
  19. You can avoid people handing you flyers in front of Bailieu by just never stepping foot in a library (Yan)
  20. A lot of UMSU departments have weekly collectives – go to them because they have SO MUCH FREE FOOD (Blake)
  21. On that note, check out Farrago magazine for a calendar of all UMSU events (Blake)
  22. Invest in a good backpack, because you don’t have lockers like in high school and you’ll need to carry your stuff around all day (Emily)
  23. The Rowden White (on the second floor of Union House) has great beanbags to nap on (Priyanka)
  24. Printing at the Rowden White is cheaper than printing at the other uni libraries AND you can pay by cash rather than needing your student card (Jacinta)
  25. UoM Counselling offers free counselling/ someone to chat to if you just want to talk. If you’re looking for longer term support they can also help refer you onto other services (Blake)
  26. If you want to get frisky in the Systems Gardens know that just because the windows in the buildings surrounded it are tinted doesn’t mean people can’t see out of them. PhD students CAN see you and ARE judging your technique (Yan’s roommate)
  27. If you see free food, don’t just take it and leave – find out why it’s there and talk to someone (that’s how you get more of it) (Emily)
  28. Go play Quidditch or something, I dunno. I don’t have fun, leave me alone (Callum, UMSU Enviro Officer)
  29. Don’t join any political student faction until at least your second year of uni (Josh, keenest jaffy 2017 #1)
  30. Or just don’t join like, ever (Goldie)
  31. If you’re confused about the last two, check out this link (Yan)
  32. A lot of arts majors recommend that you do Power as your foundation subject but it’s really boring and it doesn’t really make a difference in the end (Yan)
  33. Accept and embrace Chem and Calc 2’s insanely high fail rates (Conor)
  34. Never enrol in a prac that starts later than 3pm (Conor)
  35. Bring a keep cup for your coffee because coffee cup because you can get cheaper coffee (Blake)
  36. Dye your hair a weird colour and use it as a good conversation starter (Nick, VCA Coordinator)
  37. You can also study with free wifi at RMIT because Eduroam lets you connect at any uni (username: your student email, password: your myunimelb login password). This also applies to Vancouver (Alain)
  38. No one goes to uni run events, they usually have the best food and little competition for it. You can recognise them by the people in businesswear standing around and the lack of promotion (Emily)
  39. Clap at the end of your lecture. It’s mandatory that this happens at the end of every lecture up until the end of your undergrad!!! (Conor)
  40. Accept that you’re going to spend more time behind a barbecue than in a library if you get involved in a big club (Conor)
  41. Be associated with your closest pub very quickly (Fielden)
  42. It’s not weird to sit by yourself at lunch and no one will care (Yan)
  43. If you can’t beat the bell curve, convince everyone else in your tutorial to transfer so that you BECOME the bell curve (Blake)
  44. If you identify as a woman, there’s a women’s room on the first floor of Union House (go up the stairs and keep walking straight, past the elevators and it’s your right) is a great place to chill, take a nap, or microwave your food. They also have free pads and tampons (Yan)
  45. Similarly, if you identify as a queer student there’s a queer students lounge on the third floor of Union House – turn right when you get out of the elevator and it’s at the end of the hallway (Yan)
  46. You can get cheap food and $2 chai (and like, real chai with spices, not chai out of a packet) if you sign up for membership with the food coop for $15 (it’s on the first floor of Union House, straight when you walk up the stairs and then on your left) (Lucy, Enviro Officer)
  47. If you volunteer with the food co-op it’s also a really good way to get café experience if you want to find casual work in that area and need stuff for your resume (Lucy)
  48. Take care of your welfare! (Cecilia, UMSU Welfare Officer)
  49. To make the grades you need, seduce your tutors (with your stellar essay writing skills and excellent grasp of theories) (Blake)
  50. If you’re ever, say, hungover and at uni at 8am, Prontos does breakfast pizzas. Think eggs, bacon, mushrooms and spinach. It’s greasy as hell and amazing (Yan)
  51. As an international student if you don’t have $200,000 you’re screwed (Nick)
  52. Buy bleach – for getting stains out of your clothes, and you know, other stuff…(Nick)
  53. Only match with people who study at Unimelb on Tinder (Beau)
  54. Find out your alcohol limit BEFORE you go out and party (Nick)
  55. The Book Co-op (level 1 Union House, not the co-op bookshop in Stop 1) has cheap second-hand books and text books (Jacinta)
  56. Instead of ceremoniously burning them, donate or cosign textbooks, books and readers through said Book Co-op (Jacinta)
  57. Get involved in a club, leave said club after however so many years, feel better than ever because you have more time to sleep and drink things that aren’t beer. THEN inevitably come back to said club when you realise it’s all you have and hate yourself for it (Conor)
  58. And of course, “just put yourself out there!!1!1!” (everyone ever)


A Guide to Starting Uni

giphy (1).gif
Source: Giphy


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!





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.”


Source: Giphy

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.”


Source: Giphy

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…”


Source: Giphy

6. “I need 2000 more words.”

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


Source: Giphy

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


Source: Giphy

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

10. “I watched eight lectures yesterday.”


Source: Giphy

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


Source: Giphy

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

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


Source: Giphy

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


Source: Giphy

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

16. “Week 12 feels.”


Source: Giphy

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!

giphy-downsized-large (1).gif
Source: Giphy


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).


The Old Quad – not a still from a Harry Potter movie!
giphy (6).gif
Source: Giphy


Capture-clock tower.JPG


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.


giphy (8)
Source: Giphy

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.



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.


baby animals.JPG
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!


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 😊

The best places to chill out at uni

It’s important to take a break during the business of SWOTVAC and exams, so the team have prepared a list of our favourite places to chill out at Unimelb!

giphy (3).gif

Source: Giphy

The lawn next to the Sidney Myer Asia Centre

Photography: Bella Barker

The water here is so calming, and there are two cafes close by (Cafe Resource attached to the ERC and Shanti Bagwan Cafe in the Alice Hoy building).


Queen of Hearts Cafe (Located in the HUB, Southbank Campus)

It has couches, a student lounge area, nice seating, table tennis and a foosball table! To get the equipment you’ll have to ask the baristas to lend you table tennis equipment and the foosball ball! They also have great playlists playing in the background (i.e. 90s hits <3 ).

Women’s Room

There are couches, blankets, bean bags, heat packs, you name it! All the necessities that keep you going. It feels homey pretty much!

Levels 2 and 3 of Arts West

Level 2 has beanbags. Enough said.

Arts West
Photography: Alain Nguyen

On Level 3, there’s a comfy corner that looks like a bed, and feels like a bed.

Concrete Lawns

OK, maybe not on the actual concrete, but there’s a nice stretch of grass nearby, as well as some benches along the edge  –  making Concrete Lawns a great place to chill out on a studt break (and if you’re studying again next semester, when you have a break between your classes!).

An old favourite – South Lawn!

The perfect place to relax on a warm day, with a good view of the clock tower / Old Arts.

Photography: Bella Barker


Rowden White Library

The classic, the one and only, the Rowden White Library. What else can you say about this magical place, other than it has tons of free stuff to borrow, as well as the legendary beanbag room where you’ll find couples hogging up space, Game of Thrones Screening and snores?

Outdoor study area

Located in between the Sidney Myer Asia Centre and the Eastern Resource Centre, this study space is so tranquil! Perfect for enjoying nice weather with a change of study environment.

outdoor area
Photography: Bella Barker
Outdoor study area.JPG
Photography: Bella Barker

University Oval

Combine some fresh air with sunshine and exercise (exercise optional). There’s usually a few people kicking a footy around, or simply enjoy one of the most open spaces this close to the city.


Buy a beer or a coffee (or don’t). You’re mostly just there for chats under the tree.

Photography: Chris Ebbs


System Garden – Tucked in behind Babel and Botany Buildings

Great spot to enjoy some sunshine and sit on the grass surrounded by some beautiful garden beds. Like South Lawn, an ‘oldy but a goody’! It’s a relaxing spot to sit down and enjoy your lunch, or to read.

System Garden.JPG
Photography: Nicole Ng



The big steps outside the MSD (opposite Castro’s Kiosk)

An awesome spot for some sun and a lunch break, before heading back into the MSD for some study.


Our last favourite place to chill out isn’t on campus, but it’s only a short walk away…



Photography: Bella Barker

Just kidding.


All the best for SWOTVAC, everyone!

The Unimelb Adventures team

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.

Source: Giphy

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).

Source: Giphy

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.

giphy (2).gif
Source: Giphy


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 :)



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.

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.

SghwTC0 - Imgur
Source: Imgur
  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.

Source: toneitup
  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!)

Source: Giphy
  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.

Source: PedestrianTV
  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.

Source: tumblr
  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!

Source: Giphy
  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!

Source; skonahem
  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.

Source: Giphy

– Cassie

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.

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)



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 .



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!

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

21 things that students wish were illegal around campus at the University of Melbourne

Aidan is an Italian Honours student at the University of Melbourne and one of our sub-editors here at Unimelb Adventures. When he’s not studying (i.e. struggling to write his thesis) in the Baillieu library, you’ll find him taking photographs around Melbourne or learning another foreign language.


Every student has his or her pet peeves about the things that happen around campus. Whilst we usually bite our tongues and ignore the aggravating habits of a few, given the opportunity, the Unimelb Adventures community has spoken out and listed the things they wished were illegal (or just found incredibly annoying) around campus at the University of Melbourne.

Here are the top 21 things that the Unimelb Adventures community came up with, accompanied by what is probably your GIF limit for the week.


1. Walking up the left side of the stairs in the Baillieu library when there’s clearly marked sign that says ‘Stick to the right’!


2. Leaving your stuff on desks to ‘reserve’ it in the library during SWOTVAC (for more that 10 minutes)

giphy (1)

3.  Library renovations during semester #Baillieulibrary

giphy (9)

4. Eating any kind of loud or strong-smelling food in libraries and study spaces


5. Unrecorded lectures

giphy (3)

6. Two exams on the same day, or four in same number of days


7. Being harassed by hundreds of student politicians during student elections


8. Not being able to gain access to the Baillieu library without fighting your way through a group of activists daily

giphy (1)

9. Or Union House as people at Boost have no idea how to form an orderly line.

giphy (4)

10. Tutors who never respond to emails


11. The cost of textbooks, even with the Co-op discount #Ididntneedmyotherkidneyanyway

giphy (6)

12. Taking the lift to the second (i.e. first) level in Redmond Barry

giphy (7)

13. Being forced to take the stairs to level 10 to make it to your tutorial on time as the aforementioned ‘people’ unnecessarily use the lift in Redmond Barry


14. 9am classes. Or even worse, 8am classes

giphy (8)

15. When people book study rooms just to hang out with their friends

giphy (11)

16. Tourists blocking your path around old quad

giphy (10)

17. Anyone walking at 0.01km/h and blocking your path when you’re running late for a tutorial

giphy (5)

18. Car parking costs (and the lack of free parking available)


19. Group assignments


20. Students from the next lecture barging in before the previous group has a chance to leave


21. Being denied a free end-of-exam crêpe at Carte Crêpes because you only chose subjects with take-home exams

giphy (2)
Have we missed something? Let us know about some of the things that annoy you most on campus by commenting below!

Getting involved at university and padding your resumé


Aidan is an Italian Honours student at the University of Melbourne and one of our sub-editors at Unimelb Adventures. When he’s not studying (ie. struggling to write his thesis) in the Bailieu library, you’ll find him taking photographs around Melbourne or attempting to learn another foreign language.


“So….. What are your plans for after university?”.

Source: ShareGif

Whilst it’s tempting to try and avoid answering the question and joke about “staying at university for the rest of your life”, at some point you’re going to have to start thinking about the future and start applying for those jobs and internships.

The next problem that you have to face is how to turn those 3+ years of essay writing, group assignment nightmares, and mid-semester breakdowns into some kind of professional-sounding experience. This is particularly difficult as satisfying the selection criteria for job applications when graduation day finally rolls around, or even during university when you’re applying for internships, does not usually involve “pulling all-nighters before assignments before nights are due” and “pub crawls”.

Satisfying all the criteria for jobs is particularly difficult as the demands of university, including its social aspects, don’t really leave you with the best opportunity to go out and get the experience required for your dream position.


Source: Quickmeme

Even if you have worked throughout your university degree, sometimes your extensive experience as a barista and your exceptional latte art skills aren’t going to be the best opening line of your application. The solution? Getting involved around campus.

Not only is getting involved a great way to pad your resume; it’s a great opportunity to make friends, learn new skills and follow your passions. As someone who is currently applying for a series of graduate programs and jobs, I’ve found myself drawing on some of these university experiences and extracurricular activities in order to satisfy some of the essential criteria for certain applications. Even with limited time after my study and part-time work (have to pay rent somehow), I’ve managed to find a few key extracurricular activities to help prepare me for life in the big world.


How I feel paying rent (Source: Quickmeme)

Some of these include: being a committee member for the Italian Social Club, a sub-editor/writer for Unimelb Adventures, and a Model UN delegate with the Melbourne International Relations Society. Whilst these are my personal examples, there are a myriad of groups you can get involved in a wide-range of roles and responsibilities you can undertake in order to prepare you for the professional world.


 Some of the things prospective employers are looking for

  • Teamwork
  • Strong oral and written communication
  • Achieves results
  • Working under pressure
  • Organisational Skills
  • Time management
  • Analytical mindset
  • Leadership Skills

Above are some of the most common criteria that employers look for. Now you may think that you can use just your university studies for the majority of these skills, and this may be true for some of them.  However, it is also great to have some experience outside of just your university studies to draw upon when you’re applying for jobs and internships, and extracurricular activities are perfect! For example, my experience as a Model UN delegate involved debating other students – ie. ‘strong’ oral communication skills – and experience analysing and researching international issues. I also spoke about my experience as a committee member for the Italian Social Club and how that helped develop skills relating to time management, organisation and teamwork as I worked with other committee members to organise and run events for the club, whilst balancing other commitments. Even my short time with Unimelb Adventures has come in handy as I speak about ‘meeting strict deadlines’ related to coordinating with writers to edit articles in preparation for publishing.

Whilst it’s important to try and put your best foot forward, it’s also a good idea not to over-exaggerate your role and experience when applying for your jobs. Whilst it may be tempting to say you pioneered a project that stopped climate change, or that you speak 7 languages, if you are lucky enough to progress to the interview round, you are likely to be further questioned on this experience. So be honest, you’d be surprised what kind of skills you develop through these experiences and how you can use them to your advantage.


Source; DubaiMemes
As there are so many extracurricular activities you can be involved in around campus, it’s also important to make sure that they are the ones you are going to enjoy the most. Whilst it may be tempting to choose only the ones that will stand out your resume, or to employ a cutthroat Frank Underwood-esque approach in your rise to become President (of that society), my advice it to also follow your passions, and it may even help your studies!

For example, my role as a committee member of the Italian Social Club is driven by my love of the Italian language, culture, food, a passion that I wish to share with others. It also ties back to my studies and family history, and it gives me even more opportunities to speak Italian!

Interested in getting involved? Check out this list of all the official clubs and societies on campus or read Alain Nguyen’s blogpost about more opportunities.

For more tips on applying for jobs and internships, check out the Unimelb Careers page for more advice from seasoned professionals

All the best for your applications!

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