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5 tips on how to land that internship!

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5 tips on how to land that internship!

From the very first Facebook post that led me to applying for an internship, to the very final interview that landed me the internship - I learned so many valuable lessons on how to get that coveted work experience that could catapult you into the “real world”. Since my internship finished in the summer of this year and people are applying for internships left, right and centre; I thought I'd give some tips on how I managed to get one.

My experience: I'm a computer science student who got an internship at a Big 4 company in Audit (aka Accounting). I worked as a pizza delivery driver when I applied, was a peer mentor and volunteered at my church. My average mark in uni was a high distinction.

1. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take

Just apply. Seriously. If you have a low WAM, no work experience, no extracurriculars, or think you wont land the internship, just apply. A 95% chance of rejection is better than a 100% chance because you didn't apply.

Similarly, it doesn't hurt to apply to many internships at once. Worst case scenario - you get rejected but still gain so much more knowledge of how the process works for next time. Best case scenario - you get multiple offers and have the luxury of choosing. After all, every application increases your chances overall.
 

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2. Work, volunteer, do anything that's not academic

Companies want people who are more than just booksmart. They want well rounded people, people who can manage time, communicate and balance multiple things at once. It can be anything:
• A part time job at Maccas (McDonalds for you non Aussies)
• Helping out at a non-profit, at a church, etc.
• Join a band
• Write in a newsletter, be part of a local radio, etc.
• Join a uni club (and take leadership roles!)

They prefer people with these experiences than people who have slaved away and achieved a 99 WAM for the expense of giving up everything. Plus, this gives you an excuse to do something fun or interesting rather than studying all day.
 

3. Know what you're applying for

This is a no brainer - knowing what you're going to be doing and who for is essential key info. Questions about the company or the role are definitely going to be asked in an interview - might as well prepare an answer now.

Think about it - if you had a business, would you hire someone who didn't even know what they applied for or what your company did?
 

4. People skills > Technical skills

If you have made it all the way to a phone/video/face-to-face interview and/or assessment centre then your resume stops talking and you start talking. Being friendly, and a likeable person will get you 80% off the way there.

The people hiring you want to know if you'd be a good person to work with. After all would you work with someone who was amazing at their job but was really aggressive or difficult to deal with?
 

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5. It's okay to be rejected

Seriously, it's not the end of the world if you get rejected. There are so many more places you can apply for, and so many more opportunities. Just take this as a lesson, and figure out what you can improve on. Here's a quick list:
• Behavioural questions (e.g. tell me of a time....)
• Online testing (verbal, logical, numerical reasoning)
• Video interviews (it's so much harder than face-to-face)
• Resume tweaking (spelling, grammar, ordering)
• Not being yourself (they can see a fake person a mile away)

Good luck!

By Mark Patricio (who is in no way an expert on this c:)

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How to: Prioritise

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Do you ever find yourself saying something along the lines of: "I don't have time for that"

Or have you ever been so overwhelmed by the number of things you have to do that you end up being unproductive and not doing anything at all?

Very often this will be the result of inefficient prioritising! So let's see how we can efficiently prioritise to make sure we have time for the things that are important for us and also reduce our stress levels.

But first, let me entice you with a few benefits of prioritising

Benefits

  1. You’ll be organised
  2. You'll Stress Less
  3. Overall productivity increase

If you find the above 3 points convincing, read further to find out how you can make this happen in your life.

Priority No. 1?

Right now you might be juggling a whole lot of things. A few of them might be listed below (not in any particular order)

  • Family
  • Work
  • Social Life
  • Sport
  • Music
  • Gym

It’s hard enough as it is to try and allocate time during the week to each of the things above but what about the other areas that you need to consider, like time for yourself? 

We spend hours and hours, acquiring money, getting grades and trying to become what we consider ’successful’ only to then later on spend money, effort and time on our health which has been sacrificed in this pursuit.

It’s essential to ensure that you take care of yourself first as priority no.1 so you can efficiently do all of your other activities.

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Personal Experience:

I used to spend hours and hours studying so I could make sure I get good marks. On top of that, trying to balance work, a decent social life and family time made everyday seem like I was going 100 miles an hour, not stopping to take look that I had left both my mental and physical health at home. Eventually it took me to a point where everything caught up to me and I would frequently get sick, I lost interest in things that I would usually find enjoyable and I’d feel almost purposeless. Everything only took a turn for the better once I started spending some time on myself and taking care of myself first and then focussing on everything else that I needed to do.

The rest of your list...

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...really depends on what activities you have throughout the day, month or even year. Before you go full steam ahead and jot down your list it is important to be honest with yourself.

If you are a student who is studying, clearly studying is high in your priorities (if you want to do well that is). If you’re an adult and you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder then work will be quite high in the priority list. 

Once you’ve done this, then you'll have a clearer idea of how you should be spending your time. 

 

Also, having clarity in this area can assist your decisions about what you should or should not do.

For example, in the case that you’re a student, consider this scenario; you have a party Saturday night but there’s a SAC/Test/Exam on Monday morning and you aren’t prepared. Going by your priorities, if Study/University is higher than your social life in your priority list then the decision is clear: Study and not Party. 

Overall, your stress levels reduce because you understand when and where it is necessary to spend your time and energy on a given task. 

Alright guys! That's it!

I hope you found this post useful! 

Written by Himal

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    Jack of All Trades, Master of None

    We are constantly encouraged to be good at everything. Be organized and analytical, yet highly creative and able to think out the box. Be an extrovert as well as being an introvert, be a great leader, but also a competent follower… sounds confusing, doesn’t it?

    Say you could be all of them; you have all these characteristics, but how would you describe yourself? What makes you stand out?

    The honest answer is, to be honest, nothing. Because you might be good at everything, but you won’t be great at any one thing. In other words, you’ll be a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

    Doubt Usain is lightning fast at math hey?

    Doubt Usain is lightning fast at math hey?

    Many want to be really good at everything. You want to be able to do math like her, you want to be able to have swift handles like him, you want to communicate effectively like her; you constantly compare yourself to other people and, as a result, end up feel inadequate. “I’m not good enough.”

    If you truly want to be great, then aim to be a master of your own personality traits and not so much what everyone else has. No one person is the same. If that were true then the world would be fairly boring.

    Through finding and working out your own traits, you’ll find you have a genuine interest and passion in your everyday life. For instance, if you realise you have a very theoretical and analytical mind, you might enjoy math. You’ll go beyond what is required for you to study because you simply are intrigued by its complexity. After this increased level of passion you’ll eventually attain some level of success in that area and your motivation and confidence will then rise. Once your self-esteem rises you’ll hone that skill of yours and make it your own. You may not be a jack of all trades in the end, but its better than being a master of none.

    This doesn’t go to say that even if you do something that isn’t aligned with your personality you won’t have success in that field; many people are successful but in the wrong field and continuously lead a life comparing themselves to others and having a low level of self-esteem.

    Finding your personality traits:

    Method 1: Trial and error

    Try picking up an activity or subject that you think you might enjoy.

    -       Pros

         o   Most intimate learning experience

    -       Cons

         o   Can risk embarrassment and continuously failing can shatter self-esteem

    Method 2: Introspection (reflecting)

    Spend 5min a day reflecting on your behaviour and write down your thoughts!

    Below are a few examples of questions you could ask yourself when trying to figure out your patterns of behaviour.

    • How do I respond when I am angry with someone?
    • Do I tend to take charge in a conversation?
    • Am I outspoken or quiet?
    • Am I an introvert or extrovert?

    Try reading Personality Plus by Florence Littauer to discover a bit more about yourself and your personality!

    Written by Himal

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    Doomsday

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    Doomsday

    No doubt every Year 12 student of this year is growing more and more nervous by the day as December 12th creeps closer. Exams have come and gone and holidays have begun, but the apprehension of results still loom.

    I remember the moment I received my results like it was yesterday:

    I had signed up for getting text results so that I would receive the all important four-digit-number on my phone at 7am. I woke up an hour or so before the scheduled release time, about forty-five minutes before the alarm I had set the night before. I wasn’t able to sleep till quite late due to the anxiety that plagued me on the eve of results day, so it was a wonder how I was able to naturally wake up so early with so little sleep. I guess the trepidation had managed to seep its way into my slumber, waking me up.

    And thus, I was subject to one hour of agony as I waited for the clock to hit 7 o’clock. Around 6:50 I heard the ‘ding’ of a text being received on my phone. I remember actually feeling my heart stop, my blood running cold. My phone was lying on the floor next to my bed where I had kept it charging overnight. As I peered over the edge of my mattress I saw only a blur of a newly received text lighted up on my phone. I was unable to make out any of the numbers or words due to my near-sightedness (I was not wearing my glasses), I wasn’t even able to make out who the text was from. But somehow I knew; I knew that text was from VCAA and VTAC, trying to kill me one more time by sending the text out ten minutes before the scheduled time. I was not ready.

    I rolled back onto the bed, gathering myself, trying to calm my breaths and my heart which had both tripled in speed (it did not work), and peered back over at the screen of my phone which was still displaying the text on the locked screen. I reached down, arm trembling, and bought the phone slowly up towards me. The closer it got, the clearer the characters in the text became. I wasn’t expecting the ATAR to be on the very first line of the text. I didn’t even need to open up the whole text to see it. There it was, those four digits, the culmination of all my hard work in the last 6 years….

    I had done better than I expected. I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders, realising then just how nervous and anxious I had really been. I ran to the rooms of each of my family members, crying as I told them. I rejoiced with my friends over messenger, not only about our results but also about our newfound freedom to enjoy our well-earned holidays blissfully without the stress or worry about looming ATARS.

    Every student who undertook VCE will have their own story, their own memories of that day. Some may have been more nervous than me, some may not have been nervous at all. Some may have not slept at all the night before, some may not have even checked their results until a week later. Like me, some students will have done better than they thought, some will have been bitterly disappointed and some will have done just as they thought they would. There will have been tears, celebration, indifference even.

    One thing that we all shared was that…life went on.

    It’s been said a million times but your ATAR is not the be all, end all of everything. And likewise, results day is not Doomsday, as much as it may seem like it.  That’s not to say that its not important; the result you receive may present some changes to your pathway plan or challenges you’ll have to face in the future. But that’s the key word: future. The receiving of your ATAR is not the end, it is only the beginning. Whether it be going off to university, taking a gap year or something else, you have a whole new chapter of your life to look forward to.

    Just remember, your ATAR is the key to only one of the doors leading to your ultimate goal. There are numerous pathways to where you want to go, and sure, the road you may now have to take may be a little bit longer, but as long as you persist and believe in yourself, as long as you want it and work hard for it, you can get there. And for those who don’t quite know what their ultimate goal is yet; that’s okay. You’re often under the impression that you must choose your life career during course selection in Year 12, but the truth is, you have a lot of time to experiment and find what you like during tertiary study, if you choose to undertake it.

    Whatever happens on December 12th (or whatever has happened if you're one of those who received your results early :P) , the TQ Team would like to congratulate all the VCE students of this year on completing their Year 12. Whatever the result you receive, be proud of your efforts and we wish you the best of luck for the future!

    - Written by Anna :>

     

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    Your ATAR doesn't matter

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    Your ATAR doesn't matter

    Yes, you read that right. You ATAR doesn't matter. Zilch, zero, nada. Well, maybe a little. But not as much as everyone says it does. Your ATAR is not the be all, end all of your entire education. Neither does this number define your life. So don't let the thought of your ATAR consume you; just try to achieve the best you can. Here are 4 reasons why it doesn't matter.

    Expectations

    This is the big pressure. Pressure from your family, pressure from your teachers, pressure from your friends and, especially, pressure from yourself. Some of you (like myself) may have Asian parents, who have these extremely high standards of you. Other times it's the expectations placed upon you by friends, teachers and yourself.

    So, why do you want your goal ATAR? Is it because everyone has put undue expectation on you, or do you really want to achieve the best that you can? If you don't want it for yourself, then why are you pursuing it?

    What do you really need?

    If the course you need does not require an amazing ATAR but instead has much more weighting on something extra, like a folio, then it's worth focusing on the folio rather than your ATAR. These extra items are probably worth more than the four-digits.

    For example, an amazing folio will often outweigh a great ATAR with a mediocre folio. You need to know, what do you really need? Because if there're other items you need to focus on, there's no point concentrating only on your ATAR.

    University is not for everyone

    Let's face it, we run this blog to help you achieve the best that you possibly can, to help you achieve that high ATAR if you want it. But for some people, if they truly know what they want, and it's not university or does not require an ATAR - then why undertake this task?

    Wouldn't it be better to instead to focus on your career path, to look for apprenticeships, or TAFEs or a lining up a job. If you truly, really know what you want to be, and if it does not need an ATAR, then your time is better spent achieving your goals to reach your desired path!

    No one cares after you graduate

    No really, this was one of the biggest things that stuck out to me.

    After you went through hell and back, and achieved this number. After this, no one cares.

    Not a single person has asked me ever since I went to university. This number is does not prove anything except for how well you did in your exams according to an examiner. So once you get one, look at it, celebrate/lament, move on.

    Even so...

    Now with all these reasons about why your ATAR doesn't matter, I would say to still try your best. After all, I'm betting many of you don't know what to do next with your life. An ATAR is one of those things in which the higher you get, the more doors you open. And for someone who may not know, more open doors= more pathways.

    One thing is for sure, do it for yourself, not for anyone else. You have to make the decision yourself whether it's worth it. Because after all, if you do it for the sake of others and not yourself, you will hate it.

    Do it for yourself and you will be able to achieve your very best.

    - Mark c:

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    5 reasons why you should go to University Open Days

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    5 reasons why you should go to University Open Days

    Now I know that some University Open Days have already come and gone, but there are plenty that are still to come. University Open Days are awesome, and if you want to go to university, you had better be prepared to know what you've got in store for the next 3-5 years. After all, you are paying for it.

    Testing your transit

    Travelling to a university is probably a different experience compared to travelling to your high school. For some people, travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal, and to some you might just need to walk across the road.

    However you get to university, this is good practice if you ever decide to go to that particular university. You don't want to end up on your first day, 3 hours late for your lecture because you ended up being in the middle of nowhere.

    Whether it takes you 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's good to know beforehand. So try to take the transit method you will actually use when commuting to university.

    Travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal...

    Travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal...

    Know your back ups

    Everyone seems to want to go to the open days for the 'top' universities, but many people seem to skip the lesser known ones. This is a bad move. Ideally you would want to go to all the universities that you have placed on your preference list in VTAC (or other state equivalent), so you know what you may be getting yourself into.

    Other universities might even have better facilities than the 'best' ones, so it's best to keep that in mind. Furthermore, if you don’t get into your top preference, then you will know that the next university on your list would be a university you don't mind going to.

    Know the facilities

    This is possibly the most obvious reason to go to Open Days. You need to know if the next three to five years will be spent at a university with facilities that meet your standards. For example, you don't want to go to university for an Information Technology degree if their computers are 10 years old.

    Apart from the equipment, there're factors such as how nice the buildings are, how fast the internet is, and if you have accessibility issues - to make sure they have the right facilities.

    Know the facilities.

    Know the facilities.

    Learn things you cannot find on the internet

    There are some things that you really must experience, things that cannot be found on the internet. The culture and feel of the place may be different to everyone so you should visit to understand how the campus is structured, both academically and socially.

    If you ever take a guided tour, you will probably have a university student guiding you who will give you firsthand experience of the university itself.

    Other things like knowing how far it takes to walk from one building to another (let me tell you, it takes a really long time just to walk from one place to another on some campuses), the foods available on campus, etc. may also be important to you.

    As a reason to socialise

    Having a group of friends to go to these open days is also an opportunity to have fun and relax, to get away from year 12 even if just for a day. There are many events that are available on Open Days, with interactive displays and what not.

    And really, who doesn't want a day off from year 12?

    Open Days can be a fun and relaxing place to socialise.

    Open Days can be a fun and relaxing place to socialise.

    You can find the dates for all the university Open Days for 2016 here.

    - Mark

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    6 Reasons to Start A Business

    Here are 6 reasons why you should start a business while you're in school:

     

    1. Nothing to lose

    You really have nothing to lose!  So why not start a business? If it works you will become a millionaire and if it doesn’t, at least it will be a fantastic learning experience. All you have to give up is watching Game of thrones. Most businesses these days can be started without money and even if it is a capital intensive business, the only thing you might lose is a little bit of money that you put in to start the business. The money you have right now will probably be sitting in the bank doing very little for you in the next few years as you don’t have a family to run,  need to buy a house or spend on a luxury car. So might as well risk it to doing something bigger.

    2. Time

    Yes, you have heaps of studying to do but, unlike a full-time job, at university you get days off and a lot of time between classes which you can use to run a business. At high school you’ve got a bit of time if you’re well organised. Especially with businesses being run on the internet these days, all you need is a good laptop/phone. So when you’re taking a break, you can sneak in to check on sales or reply to customers.

    3. Free resources

    Use or abuse your student card! Either to get resources from your high school/university or from other organisations which give student discounts. For example, using the university library as an office or meeting rooms and using the university’s free legal help to incorporate your company. You can even use your teachers at high school as sources for knowledge. If you start thinking creatively, there are a lot of things offered by university and high school which you can use to help kick start your business.

    4. Finding help

    People love helping! Especially when you are young and just a student. This can really help you get sales meetings or access to business mentors. Just email them saying, 'I am a student trying to start a business, I would love your advice'. More often than not, people would be inclined to help you over a grown up person in the real world.

    5. Network

    While running a business, you will meet A LOT of people on the way as customers, investors or competitors. This is a great way to build your network, especially helpful if in the future you want to get a job at a particular place, you will know the right people to connect with.

    6. Find your purpose

    This is my favourite! Hopefully, you are going to do your business around something you are passionate about in the first place, a hobby or something related to what you are studying currently. If you can make your business work and make a living out of it, then you have cracked 50% of the purpose of life - to make money and pay bills. 

    Find your Purpose.

    Find your Purpose.

    ~Written by Shahed

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    Shahed is passionate about healthcare, education & startups. Currently a medical student & an entrepreneur hustling on http://assignmenthero.com/ - a tool built for students.
    Say hi at shahed@inov.io for chatting about startups or to read more about his thoughts, check out http://skxstories.tumblr.com/

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    Having a Job During Year 12

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    Having a Job During Year 12

    At the end of Year 11, going into Year 12, I know many people who dropped everything in order to make studying their sole focus in the coming year. They decided to stop their music lessons, not audition for production, leave their sports teams and quit their jobs. I, on the other hand, decided that the summer holidays preceding Year 12 was the perfect time to seek out and get a job.

    The matter of whether or not you should undertake part time or casual work during Year 12 is one that has been heavily debated. Both sides of the argument present some very valid points, but I don’t believe there is a yes/no answer as to whether you should have a job during Year 12; it is the way you go about your job if you do decide to undertake one, and you as an individual that determines that.

    PRIORITISE

    Seeking out a job just before the commencement of what was probably the most important year of my schooling thus far did not mean that I was no longer going to prioritise school work. Doing well in school was still very important to me, I just wanted to get some work experience before going into university where I would have to be more independent and self supporting.

    If you decide to work during Year 12, you should make it clear to your employer that you are a year 12 student so that they can be understanding for when you want to take time off for exams or important assignments. Having a job should not be a problem if you still prioritise your study. If you find that undertaking Year 12 as well as your job is too stressful, don’t compromise on your performance in school in order to accommodate your work. Ultimately, if you are caught between finishing that English essay and taking that 5-11pm shift, choose your essay.

    TIME

    A common argument against having a job in Year 12 is that it detracts from time that could be spent studying. Now, contrary to common belief, you do not have to study 40 hours a day, every day (with no breaks in between) in order to be successful in VCE. Therefore, working once or twice a week really shouldn’t be that much of a hindrance as long as you are responsible and smart about which shifts you take.

    Here are some of my recommendations:

    -       Don’t work crazy shift times (eg. before school, overnight etc.)

    -       Try to limit the weekly amount time you work to 10 hrs; you can take on more shifts during holidays if you want to  

    -       Take some time off during exam time so that you can focus fully on revising

    I was lucky enough to be employed at a place that was able to accommodate my availabilities and were flexible and understanding when I asked for time off. However, if you work somewhere that is rather strict and unforgiving about taking days off, you should seriously assess whether the job is worth it and if it is being detrimental to your studies.

    BALANCE

    If you’re part of the local baseball and rugby team, play flute in the school’s jazz and concert bands, have Chinese school on Wednesday afternoons and take judo classes on the weekends, it’s probably best not to take on a job on top of all of those commitments (not to mention, the myriad of schoolwork that will be required of you in Year 12).

    Balance is very important during VCE. Too much study and you can burn out. Too many extra commitments, including a job, and you have no time to study. So when deciding whether or not to apply for that job at Macca’s, take into account all of the other things on your plate and assess whether it is in your capacity to manage them all without having to compromise on your study.

    As for me, I was still able achieve a good result and get into my first course preference despite working throughout the whole year. Would I have performed better if I hadn’t had a job? Perhaps. But do I regret it? Nope.

    In the end having a job in Year 12 doesn’t have to be a hindrance if you prioritise your study. So, be smart about when and how long you work and strike a healthy balance between all of your commitments!

    -       Written by Anna :>

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    Uni Lyf

    Himal’s Uni Experience:

     

    In our previous article, Anna mentioned how the university lecturers and tutors progressed through the content fairly easily during the first week. This was an unforgiving attack at our egos giving us a false expectation that we could easily ‘smash’ uni. The jump from the first week of uni to the second is like the jump from year 11 to year 12.

     

    I’m currently at the University of Melbourne studying commerce. I find the course particularly difficult as I haven’t done any subjects in relation to it in VCE. It’s a whole new type of thinking and took some time and still is taking some time to get used to the theories and ideas within commerce. The only subject I would say that has helped me with commerce is Methods probability. It provided me with a foundation for one of my subjects, Quantitative methods (business statistics) but regardless of this the subject is still fairly difficult. It sounds dry which it completely is, but the rest of commerce isn’t too heavy. My other subjects have their variations in content and so they provide my studying time with a bit of diversity so it isn’t the same stuff over and over again.

     

    It is very easy to fall behind in Uni and if you do, you’re most likely almost definitely not the only one. As far as I know, everyone I’ve spoken to are behind in all subjects or in just a few. However, if everyone is behind, no one is – you shouldn’t stress too much but you should make as much effort to catch up and ultimately, stay ahead.

     

    Having an extroverted, outgoing personality, I didn’t find it very difficult to make friends. I figured everyone was in the same boat anyway and thus, decided to invest time and energy in to making friends. Surprisingly, I didn’t walk around uni feeling like I don’t belong to some sort of community. Also, there is the party scene where you can also make 'friends' if you're into that kind of stuff, which I'm not (Cross my heart). Assuming you're 18, there's a party going on almost every night you can think of and it's a good atmosphere to let loose; take a break from studying or even just to have fun. 

    The first time I made friends was actually when I was lining up for commerce camp tickets. I stood in line for about 3 and a half hours to get tickets and in that time I was just talking to a few people behind me. We talked about our highschool, where we each one of us are from; very general sort of topics. It was a real shame I didn’t get any tickets to commerce camp after waiting in line for so long but at least I made about five friends. One of which I sometimes stay over with as he lives a 2min walk away from uni. Making friends in uni is not difficult in my perspective. You just have to put effort into meeting new people and continuously keep up conversation with them by talking about their interests and showing genuine care in what they have to say.

     

    Overall, Uni lyf is a good lyf. I’m a lot more independent not only because I want to be but also because the environment forces me to. No one is constantly giving me reminders telling me when things are due, whether or not I should go to consultations and so on a so fourth. Personally, I enjoy the freedom of uni and ability to actually study what I’m interested in. I find that in uni compared to year 12, I now study because I want to not because I have to. By the way, really cool thing about uni, you don’t have to wear uniform. You could potentially rock up in a suit or pyjamas and no one really cares. 

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    Himal

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    The Reality of Uni

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    The Reality of Uni

    Disclaimer: This is purely from my own experience. Other uni students may have had a different experience and, in turn, feel differently from what I have written.

    Next year all of you current Year 12s will probably walk into university having already built up an expectation of what it’s going to be like. You would have based it around all the stories you’ve heard from your siblings, what guest speakers told you at those ‘Get ready for uni’ Year 12 assemblies throughout the year and those typical teen college movies (and let me tell you now, the biggest misconceptions lie there). In those expectations you will find that some of what you expect are true, but a lot of it isn’t. Here’s the reality:

    IT’S A LOT OF WORK

    When my sister told me that the amount of content covered in several weeks of classes in high school equated to the amount covered in one 55-minute university lecture, I thought she was exaggerating. Unfortunately, this was one thing that turned out to be true.

    In the first week, the lecturers are quite understanding and move at an easy-to-follow pace, lulling you into a false sense of ‘hey, this isn’t too bad, I can totally smash uni!!’. These hopes will be duly crushed in the weeks following where the lecturer’s sympathy runs out and they begin doubling the amount of content covered in one lecture and tripling the pace in which they go through it.

    You will find yourself in a race against time to take down notes before the lecturer moves on to the next slide, and trying to learn ten new concepts that were introduced in the last five minutes while still struggling to grasp the topic that was covered last week. Quite frankly, each class is like an attack of knowledge that you are also expected to spend hours to prepare for and revise afterwards.

    (To put it in another perspective, it’s only six weeks into the university year and the students around me are on the same level of ‘done’ as they were in the last few months of Year 12 after 13 years of schooling.)

    THE DEADLINES ARE ABSOLUTE

    Unlike high school, university is unforgiving when it comes to deadlines; there is no negotiating around them unless you are in a predicament on the scale of being on your death bed.

    Whether they’re assignments to be submitted in person or online, any tardiness will be penalised. If your tutor wants a worksheet done by the end of the tutorial, you must hand it in at the end of the tutorial or else you will get a zero. There is no, ‘I didn’t quite get to finish everything today, is there any chance I can hand it in next time?’. The days of getting little extensions from understanding teachers are over. And if you submit your online assignment even as little as one second late, it will be detected by the system and you will lose marks because of it. Brutal, I know.

    Moral of the story; try to get your assignments and assessed material finished as soon as possible. Avoid the stress of doing it last minute and uploading it with 0.1 seconds until the due time to spare.

    IT’S NOT EASY TO MAKE FRIENDS

    This is not the reality...

    This is not the reality...

    Now I was lucky enough to go to a university with a rather small campus, meaning it was easier to get to know people and befriend them. However, this is not the case for many students who attend large campuses where it takes no less than 15 minutes to navigate from one class to another. With the course structure also a contributing factor, this makes it quite difficult to make and maintain friends. Some people you may only see for one hour every week, making it hard to establish close relationships with them or converse about topics outside the realm of uni and schoolwork. Sure, you may find yourself added to group chats on Facebook, but they’ll mainly be centred around helping each other with assignments rather than anything social.

    This is not to say that you won’t make friends at all, it is just a little harder because you no longer have that helping factor of seeing and being in the same classes with the same people every day, something that made it inevitable in high school that some close relationships would form.  

    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN LEARNING

    You’ve probably heard that in university you are no longer spoon fed anything, and this is very true. No lecturers will slow down for your sole benefit or go over another example for a concept that’s confusing you (you’ll have to organise a time to see them outside of class). There is also expected preparation to be completed before each class, however it is not checked by the lecturer/tutor, so it’s up to you to finish it yourself. It is also your responsibility to remember deadlines for assignments and quizzes, and to check your email regularly which usually fills up with important announcements in no time.

    The learning environment in university is definitely not as intimate as in high school; the lecturer doesn’t know your name and you probably don’t know the name of the person sitting on the other side of the room. You really are on your own, unless you actively seek out guidance. This can be as a simple as making a group chat with friends so you can remind each other of important deadlines or help each other with difficult coursework. You can also email lecturers directly or contact student services.

    EVERY DAY IS NOT A PARTY

    Okay, well this may just be me being my unsociable self. I was never really a party animal or anything along those lines, and I’m always too tired after both being at and commuting to and from university to do anything afterwards.

    However, there are plenty of university events going on both around campus and at night such as cruises and balls, movie and karaoke nights. There’s probably a university event every night so really, every day can be a party if you want it to be!  

     

    Now after reading all this I can feel your excitement for university dissipating (in which case, I am very sorry, that was not my intention). The reality is...I left out a whole lot of other terrible things I could comment on for the sake of the length of this article which turned out to be really long anyways. Jks! (not really)

    But in all honesty, university isn’t as bad as I probably made it out to be. There are some pretty great things about it, such as having more free time because you’re not required to be there for six hours every day. Sometimes, you can only have one lecture scheduled for the day (that you’ll end up skipping), leaving the rest of the day free for you to spend how you want it. The sense of independence you gain is also pretty great, as you begin to have more responsibilities to yourself. And I also can’t forget the random free sausage sizzles that pop up around campus every second day.

    All in all, university is definitely a new ball game; it’s riddled with challenges but, if you can overcome these, it can be pretty great.  

     

    Written by Anna :>

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    Do what you love & love what you do

    Do what you love and love what you do.

    Ask yourself this question,

     “If I could have any job in the world, what would it be?”

    To accompany this self-interrogation, I have a fact, only 22% of Australians are happy with their careers. That means that 78% of Australians are unhappy or dissatisfied with their jobs.

    I’m sure that most of you would love to be a part of that 22% of Australians that are in a job that they are happy with. However, it is easy enough to say in simple words, ‘Do what you love and love what you do.’ But honestly, what do you want to do? What career do you want to have? It’s really good to start thinking about this as soon as possible because the earlier the better. Why this is so important is because you’ve already lived a significant proportion of your life and not to be dark, but you only have so many years left to live. Your life is too precious and too short to be wasting it having a career that is dissatisfying. So you should figure out what it is that you want to do.

    I recently watched a TED talk delivered by this life coach and she mentioned an interesting scientific study. Scientists predicted the chances of you, right now you, of being born. They considered the dinosaurs, natural disasters, wars, your genetics, who you were born to and so on and so forth.

    "Did you know, that the odds of you existing as you with your unique genetic structure and all your qualities and talents and ideas, is 1:400,000,000,000?"

    If you can’t read that number like I couldn’t the first time, it is one in four hundred trillion.

    You have your interests and desires in things for a reason, so it is redundant having a job you are dissatisfied. Unless you are only doing it so you can end up in a job you are happy with then that’s justified.

    So now you have a why. Why you should end up doing what you love and loving what you do. Just in case you missed it, you are UNIQUE. The other 399 and odd trillion that could have been born weren’t.

    It is often difficult to end up finding out what you love and a lot of us do not know what it is yet. The best possible way to find out is to introspect. You have to essentially learn about yourself. You have to ask yourself all those questions about life you ask when you are DNMing with a BFFL. Yeah you are going to have to ask, what do I love? What am I good at? What am I interested in? It is cheesy but it’ll be of high benefit. You introspect by, taking a few minutes each day to reflect and mull over your thoughts. For some people, to figure out what career correlates with their interests; it may take days, weeks, months or even years so you shouldn’t be worried if you find it later than other people.

    You move at your own pace and there is nothing wrong with that.

    I know I am not entirely sure what I want to do, I’m about 80% there but I’m sure I will figure it out eventually. You also have to realise that a lot of people switch and change jobs so it’s natural if you find that your interests vary according to your experiences and current circumstances.

    I hope this article has helped you in one way or another. Perhaps it has given you a way to find out what you love and end up chasing a career that correlates or perhaps it has encouraged you to find out who you are as a person or maybe even both. Regardless, I sincerely hope, whoever you are, that you find your passion and head straight for it.

    Written by:

    Himal

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