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 https://umsu.unimelb.edu.au/getinvolved/elections/

             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. 

 

 

 

 

A Guide to Starting Uni

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

 

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

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

 

Find out where your classes are before the first day

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

 

Financial Aid

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

 

Read ahead

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

 

Get organised early

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

 

Set up your laptop and get free Microsoft Office!

More details here.

 

Get ready for those sweet STUDENT DISCOUNTS!

Make sure you sign up for UNiDAYS and Student Edge.

 

Make a Student Connect appointment

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

 

Familiarise yourself with at least one library

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

 

Join at least one club

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

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

 

Join a mentoring program

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

 

Buy a planner

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

 

Plan your transport route

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

Visit the Aquarium

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

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

 

NGV

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

 

 

Brunch at Manchester Press

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

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Mmmm… bagels and pretzels.

Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens

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

 

Get involved in volunteering

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

 

Puffing Billy

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

 

Drive-in movies

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

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Vegie Bar

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

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

 

Screen Worlds (ACMI)

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

 

Free yoga

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

 

 

 

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

 

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Source: Giphy

 

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

 

Pidapipo

Where? 299 Lygon St

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

Website: http://pidapipo.com.au/ 

 

White Night

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When? 17 February 2018

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

 

Zoo Twilights

Miss Bands, BBQs and Bevs?

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

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

 

Christmas in Melbourne

 

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

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

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

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Study hacks

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

 

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Cues

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

 

Make arbitrary information memorable

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

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

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

 

Change up your notes

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

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

 

Flashcard apps

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

 

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

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

 

Stayfocusd app

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

 

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

 

My experience studying Arts at Unimelb

Hi readers!

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

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

 

Why this course?

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

 

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

 

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First year

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

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

 

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

 

 

Second year

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

 

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

 

Third year

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

 

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

 

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

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

– Bella 😊

A guide to getting organised for exams

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

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Materials

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

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

 

Bookings

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

 

Make your bed every day

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

 

Let your friends know that your exams are coming up

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

 

Organise your desktop

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

 

Clean your living space

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

 

Wishing you all the best for exams and final assessments.

 

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

 

Bella

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!

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Source: Giphy

The lawn next to the Sidney Myer Asia Centre

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photography: Bella Barker
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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.

Tsubu

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

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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.

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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…

 

The REB

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Photography: Bella Barker

Just kidding.

 

All the best for SWOTVAC, everyone!

The Unimelb Adventures team

Cassie’s top tips for getting thrifty around campus

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

 

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

  1. Stop buying coffee!

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

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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.

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Source; PerezHilton
  1. Prepare your meals

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

 

Explore your surroundings

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

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

 

Galleries

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

 

Cafés

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

– Bella

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’!

REad

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

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3.  Library renovations during semester #Baillieulibrary

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

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5. Unrecorded lectures

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

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

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

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

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10. Tutors who never respond to emails

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

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

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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

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

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

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16. Tourists blocking your path around old quad

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

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

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19. Group assignments

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

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

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

Meal Prep: Swotvac 2017 Edition

It can be hard to find time to eat well during swotvac, but it is so important.

Luckily, the Unimelb Adventures team is here to make sure that you get H1s in health and organisation this swotvac and exam period!

All our suggestions are student budget friendly and super simple.

Breakfast

Find something that works for you to kickstart your day!

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Source: Giphy
  • On-the-go: Two slices of bread with your two favourite spreads (e.g. PB + J), cup of milk, and a piece of fruit. At home, you can take two slices of multigrain bread with your two chosen spreads of the day, cut the sandwich in half, pack it in a sandwich bag, drink your cup of soy milk, quickly grab some fruit, and eat it on the way to uni.
  • When you’ll be studying for a long time: Muesli – there are many healthy options available in the supermarket. Just put some granola muesli on top of some greek yoghurt for a breakfast that will keep you full for hours while you study.
  • Winter warmer: Porridge. Microwaves are a lifesaver, aren’t they? So grab yourself instant porridge that you can heat up in the microwave for about 2 minutes, and get yourself some fruit! If you are in a hurry, put your cooked porridge in a disposable cup. Don’t forget to bring a spoon!

Lunch

Options to get you through that deadly 3:30-itis…

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Source: Giphy
  • When you only want to cook once: Falafel burgers with half a bag of pre-packaged lettuce and tzatziki dip. The recipe says it makes 6, but it makes more like 10. You can freeze them and they last forever. Make a batch every two weeks and legit eat them every day during exams – tried and tested. If you’re not vegan you can replace the flax eggs with real eggs. Add some chilli too. If you can’t find dried chickpeas, just drain some canned ones really well. You can also swap the zaatar with any kind of dried herb mix, but if you can find zaatar it is very good!
  • Your new go-to lunch: Rice, veggies and can of tuna/selected protein! Make the rice on the weekend, or the night before a big study day. Scoop 1 cup of rice into a tupperware container, fill it up with frozen veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli), and bring a can of tuna or add your desired protein. If you are feeling extra fancy, you can cook yourself scrambled eggs or a hard boiled egg with this quick meal.
  • To eat at home: If you’re at home, eggs on toast is always good. You can add avocado, spinach, mushrooms or tomato for some vegetables, and some feta for extra flavour.
  • Eat anywhere: Wraps! You can make a big salad at the start of the week and fill your wrap with it every day. You can also buy some cans of tuna/salmon, chicken or whatever you fancy to put in with the salad as well.
  • A classic: Potato salad. Boil some potatoes until they are soft, cut into blocks, add some butter, and mix with cheese, store-bought leafy salad mix, bacon and anything else you like.
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Source: Giphy

Snacks

To keep your energy levels up while you’re working hard!

  • Fruit salads are great healthy snacks to fuel your brain. You can prepare your own at home or if you’re really strapped for time, purchase one from uni, the station, or the supermarket (there’s usually a section near the front with small fruit salads!).
  • Sliced apples with peanut/almond butter – very nutritious, and yummy too!
  • Cut up carrot and celery with hummus, or just bring carrot/celery.
  • Crackers with peanut butter/vegemite, kinda making yourself a cracker sandwich. There are plenty of things you can make with just a piece of cracker as your base. For instance, salad leaves with smoked salmon. Be creative!
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Source: Giphy

Dinner

Suggestions that will keep you studying however deep into the night you need to go…

  • Comfort food: Soup is great to have when it’s cold – cook a big pot and then have it a few nights of the week. Dahl is also a one pot meal and something you can store easily, but it is way more filling!
  • Prep like a pro: Make up a big batch of pasta sauce that you can eat all week. Start off with an onion and garlic and you can’t go wrong. You can use a can of tomatoes, whatever other veggies you have in the fridge (carrot and zucchini are good), some bacon or feta cheese for protein, and throw some spinach in at the end. You can use wholemeal pasta if you want to feel extra healthy.
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Source: Giphy
  • Feeling fancy: If you’re in the market for a huge restaurant-style dinner and can afford the luxury of a slow cooker (20 bucks from K-Mart), grab yourself some meat (off-cuts usually work the best, and are super cheap) and veggies, put it in with a can of diced tomatoes and complete! Restaurant-worthy meals for the whole week. Enjoy them on their own or with the rice/pasta of your choosing.
  • An old favourite: Pasta bake! Boil some macaroni until soft, place in a large baking tray, add milk and cheese, bake in the oven.

Beverages

And lastly, the drinks…

  • You can add some cut-up fruit to your water bottle to give it some pizzazz.
  • If you’re at home, endless cups of tea are a proven way (in our experience, anyway!) of getting those essays written and those notes memorised. Alternatively, bring your tea with you to uni in a thermos.
  • A hot chocolate or chai latte can be a relaxing way to take a quick break from studying. Remember to bring your keep cup with you!
  • But we all know coffee might become the beverage of choice for a lot of you… Luckily, we’ve got a guide for that too.
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Source: Giphy

What you should know if you want to study Psychology

Marilyn is a second-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Psychology, and hopes to become a Clinical Psychologist in the future. In her free time, she enjoys rowing and singing with the University choir.

Majoring in Psychology

Since Psychology is an extremely popular major in this university, here’s a lowdown on the major sequence in Psychology.

An APAC-accredited major in Psychology (APAC stands for Australian Psychology Accreditation Council) requires students to take 10 Psychology subjects over the course of their degree. At Unimelb, 8 of these subjects are compulsory, and the remaining two are electives. (Students in the Bachelor of Arts are limited to two elective subjects, but those pursuing a Bachelor of Science are allowed to pick more elective subjects.) Also, for students in the Bachelor of Arts, two of your Psychology subjects (one from Level Two and one from Level Three), will have to be taken as breadth subjects, leaving you with a maximum of four breadth subjects instead of six.

The screengrab from the Unimelb handbook (below) shows all the possible subjects that can count towards a major in Psychology. Most of these subjects, especially those at Levels Two and Three, build on what is learnt in previous years, and so it is recommended (but not mandated) that students pursue Psychology subjects at the previous level before enrolling in these subjects.

psychology major
University of Melbourne handbook

If you are doing a different undergraduate course and think that Psychology sounds pretty cool, once you’ve finished your Bachelor degree you can apply for the Graduate Diploma in Psychology. In the Grad Dip, you undertake all the subjects from the APAC-accredited undergraduate major. This is often completed in one year, but can be extended if that suits you! Some students choose to do the subjects over three years, at the same time as students completing the undergraduate major. There is a mid-year intake for this course.

Careers in Psychology

After an undergraduate degree in Psychology, you could work in Marketing, Advertising or Human Resource Management.

If you pursue a postgraduate degree in Psychology, you can work in a role more closely related to Psychology, such as becoming a Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist or a researcher. To enter any of these fields requires you to have a Bachelor’s degree with Honours and a Master’s degree, a PhD or even both. This means that any student who intends to enter one of these specialised fields will have to be willing to spend at least six years at university.

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Giphy

You should also know that Honours in Psychology is very competitive! So it’s important to start working hard early to give yourself the best chance. The absolute minimum weighted average required is at least 70%. However, according to the psychology rumour mill, the cut-off for 2017 entry was just over 80%!

The information here is not exhaustive, and only lists a few career paths you can pursue at each level. For more information, check out the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences website, or speak to an advisor at the Careers and Employability Service in Stop 1.

– Marilyn

5 Storage Techniques for Long Term Memory

Ruby is a first year Master of Biotechnology student with a passion for science, books, and all things musical. If you see her around campus, she’ll most likely be scouting for free food, pressing replay on some fresh tunes, or with her nose stuck in a book.

You and me both, Neville, you and me both.

Uni swamps us with information, and I think most of us could agree that a lot of the time, especially if you haven’t been paying a lot of attention, it seems like an unorganised mess. I mean, you zone out of a lecture for one minute and suddenly the class seems to have a handle on Deacetoxycephalosporin-C synthase. Meanwhile, you’re still trying to figure out what the heck the lecture is even about. So you walk out, your brain foggy with all those new words you don’t yet understand. What do you do with that information?

Memory works through the process of encoding, storage and retrieval. Learning how to store information so that it makes its way into your Long Term Memory (LTM) is how you’re going to get that H1…or at least a pass – let’s be real.

Storage techniques for Long Term Memory

1. Mind maps

An oldie but a goodie.

In order to store information for the long term, a technique that is common but largely underestimated is the mind map. The brain is excellent at remembering by association. But when one lecture is about plant cells and the next is about your liver, it’s difficult to connect the information you’re being given. Having topical mind maps is a fantastic way to solve this problem, because you can sort out your lecture material by topic. This will help your brain connect the dots and allow you to revise more efficiently.

2. Connect the new with the old

This uses the same principle of association as the mind map idea, but does it by connecting new information with previous knowledge. This will help you build on information already stored in your brain and learn by association, making new information more meaningful to you. The brain will be able to make more branches on established pathways rather than build entirely new ones.

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New can be better! (Tumblr)

3. Repetition

Yeah, yeah. You probably know this one cause you’ve heard it a thousand times before…get it?

I agree, it’s boring. But it really does seem to work, and I can attest to it. Every night before bed my dad used to count to ten aloud in different languages, and to this day I can still do it. Get those flashcards out!

4. Chunking

Is this easy to read? Or memorise?

THEQUICKBROWNFOX

What about this one?

THE-QUICK-BROWN-FOX

Chunking is usually a way to store things in your Short Term Memory (STM). Your STM can hold around 7 pieces of information at one time, so storing them in ‘chunks’ is the best way to achieve this. However, chunking can also be helpful for your Long Term Memory. If you break something into chunks that can be stored in your STM, and somehow make that information meaningful to you (e.g. drawing a picture of ‘The Quick Brown Fox’), you can then potentially also store those little nuggets of information in your LTM.

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Giphy

5. Funny stories

This is a memory technique close to my heart. This one makes study fun, and not just in the way those cheesy kids shows tell you. You can go nuts here. Think big.

For example, you could create your own characters to help you remember topics, like Gentleman Gene for Genetics and Cellular Celine for Cell Biology. While studying Japanese, I would come across unfamiliar sounding words like 医者(いしゃ), pronounced ‘i-shya’, meaning ‘doctor’. So instead of just memorising a bunch of sounds, you make it fun. Like “‘ishya’ foot sore? Better call the doctor!” Makes you look pretty weird, but it sure is efficient.

I hope these help you study for your exams or survive those nightmarish MSTs. Happy studying!

– Ruby

How to Get Involved at Uni

Alain Nguyen is a second year student who spends too much time at Uni and has called it home. When he’s not at Uni, he’s a wannabe photographer and is still trying to get his Ps.

So you’re sitting down having a coffee and you have a five hour gap until your next lecture. You wonder to yourself, ‘How do I kill time without studying?’ as is the life of a university student. There are many opportunities for you to get involved with Uni and boost that resume of yours for when you go out into the real world to look for a job.

Clubs and Societies

This one is probably no stranger to anyone. There are over 200 clubs at the University of Melbourne that run a variety of academic, cultural and social events to suit everyone’s needs. Many events will give you free food for your troubles and you’ll never go hungry! From clubs that appreciate dogs to volunteering groups, there is surely something for everyone.

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If you want to take a step further and be behind the scenes running operations, you can always run for a position at an annual general meeting (AGM) or special general meeting (SGM). Alternatively, just email the club and see if they have anything available.

The University of Melbourne Student Union

The Student Union (UMSU) not only offers cheap movie tickets and free BBQs, but also has many programs that you can get involved with: Host Program, VCE Summer School, Destination Melbourne and the Union House Theatre, to name just a few. Departments also host their own collectives, so it’s worth emailing the office bearers for more info. The student magazine, Farrago, also welcomes writers pitching their work or ideas to them. Finally, if it’s something you would consider, you can even run for student politics in September.

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The University

UniMelb is a large place and there are many paid and unpaid opportunities available to students. One of the most popular is Open Day, where current students inform prospective students and their parents about what life at the University is like. There are also faculty specific programs such as demonstrators in the Faculty of Science. Careers Online is a great resource. The UniMelb-only directory lists opportunities from internships to volunteering placements. It even has a calendar for events that can help you find a career, such as resume boosting and how to network. Also, a program called Students@Work provides on-campus opportunities. If you’re at the point where you’re doing a postgraduate degree, you can even apply to be a tutor!

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Beyond the University

Melbourne is a big city! There are many places to volunteer or work. You just have to look!

– Alain