Part II: The Final Weeks

Now that we’ve managed to get through last week, we’re one step closer to the holidays. I’m not going to lie, I may or may not have panicked a bit (a lot) when I realised that my exams are creeping closer and closer. It’s getting kind of hard to stay calm and enjoy the rest of semester with all of this stressing. Luckily, I’ve come up with a few tips on how to make the most out of the remainder of this semester before we can finally kick back, relax, and enjoy upcoming holidays. Read more

Part I: The Final Weeks

So, we’re nearly finished week twelve of the semester. Isn’t that awesome? We’ve all made it through the majority of uni for the year and now there’s only another week, plus exams, left to go. The holidays are literally just around the corner, and we’ll finally be getting the break that we deserve. The only problem is, we have to get through the final few weeks before we can catch up on the sleep we’ve missed throughout semester. And sometimes, the last few weeks really do feel like they’re going to last forever. How exactly does one make it through these weeks without exploding from exhaustion?

Trying to stay awake for the rest of semester

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The Importance of Mental Health

From the 5th – 11th of October it was national Mental Health Awareness week.

Every year an Australian has a 1 in 5 chance of experiencing from some kind of mental illness.

Nearly half of the population will experience a mental disorder at some stage of their life.

Mental Health issues are most pronounced among young people.

In this, mental illness will almost certainly have affected some aspect of your life, either directly or indirectly. Whether it be through battles you have fought yourself, or those of a  friend, co worker or family member.

Or maybe you aren’t aware that someone close to you is living with a mental illness.Too often people are silenced to speak out and seek help due to stigma and fears associated with mental illness. Stigma that it is ‘all in your head’, that it’s ‘ not real’, that you can just ‘snap out of it’. Fear of being called ‘crazy’, fear of being a burden on loved ones, or even just fear of being treated ‘differently’ - reduced only to the label of a diagnosis.

Mental health is an issue that has become almost ingrown in society, always itching under the skin but often not addressed and conditioned to be ignored. It is this stigma and fear that stops people from talking to someone or seeking help, that can cause those living with illness often feeling alone and hopeless.

I recently came across a source entitled ‘Depression in Australian Law Schools: a handbook for law students and law student societies’ (which can be found here – http://www.utslss.com/images/stories/pdfs/alsa20depression20handbook201.pdf).It reports that from a 2008 study conducted across 13 Australian Law Schools, 41% of student participants were found to suffer from a psychological stress enough to justify clinical assessment. From this, 38% of students stated that they would not seek any treatment.

Sitting in my Law Lecture this week, it is alarming to realise that many of my fellow students are probably in this terrifying position.

The purpose of Mental Health week is to raise awareness and encourage spaces for those living with a mental disorder to have their voices heard. To open up a process of enlightenment regarding the nature of mental illness, and promote the achievability of positive mental health.

Last week QUT ran a variety of events to promote social and emotional well being to students, and here are some of the highlights:

From Strengths to Strengths Workshop: By using our signature strengths, we can enhance our vitality and well being. You can use your signature strengths to enhance your personal and professional lives.

Stress-Less Competition: What is your healthy idea for stressing less and staying well during semester? Students were encouraged to fill out an entry form, or email their tip in 25 words or less to go into the draw to win one of ten $20 Coles Myer vouchers. The winners will be announced by Monday 20th of October, so it will be interesting to see what everyone came up with.

Help all year around: In addition, there are a variety of professional Mental Health services running year round that are available to the QUT community, such as the free and confidential counselling service for students and the Psychology and Counselling Clinic, which offers high quality services at a low cost.

Even though Mental Health Week has officially finished, you can still do your bit to help yourself or others, whether you chose to share your story or just offer to listen and help someone else. Even small gestures of support such as asking a friend how they are doing, can encourage the conversation of enlightenment regarding mental health awareness. mental health

How to live life (survive) on a student budget: Part 1

If you’re anything like me, you return to uni after the holidays with an exhausted body and an equally exhausted wallet. Yes, uni holidays may mean a break for our brains but they certainly don’t mean a break for our wallets. In fact they mean exactly the opposite.

To deal with a significantly dehydrated bank account, I implemented my own “age-of-entitlement-is-over”-style budget. And being the generous person that I am, I’ve decided to share my top budget tips/life hacks with you all.

So, without further ado, I present to you part ONE of how to live life (survive) on a student budget. 

1) Food: grocery shop strategically

You may think that simply hitting up the Fresh Food People when they are having their ‘down down’ sales (am I getting mixed up here?) is enough to lower the grocery bill. But when you’re on a student budget, relying on store-wide sales isn’t enough. You have to bid adieu to those $9-a-pop fancy yoghurts and that $11 bag of nuts. My grocery list for smart student staples is as follows:- 

1 x bulk bag of carrots: $1.99 at Coles, $1.88 at Woolworths (disclaimer: this post is not sponsored by one supermarket brand over another, you can make your own educated choice on the best option here) 

Mi Goreng: $3.17 for a packet of 5 sachets, 70c for a single serving. This student staple goes a long way. I have also heard from a reliable source that if you’re feeling a little fancy and want to jazz things up, garnish with parmesan for a 5 star meal… don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. 

1kg bag of home brand pasta + 700g spaghetti sauce: $3.14. A humble old favourite at a surprisingly low price. 

A dozen eggs: $2.29. Breakfast, lunch and dinner sorted with one ingredient- what more could you want? 

185g of homebrand tuna: 89c. Winner winner, tuna dinner.

900g homebrand muesli ($3.29) + 1L homebrand skim milk ($1.08): $4.37. Roughly one week’s breakfast sorted. Plus a few cheeky pre/post-gym feeds. 

South Cape “entertaining selections” cheese platter: $14.99. Because we’re not plebians, guys. 

QUT budget blog groceries

Stay tuned for the next edition of How to live life (survive) on a student budget… 

Coming soon to an Internet near you: how to furnish your space at a cost of $0 (literally), how to slice $5 of your coffee expense bill every 2 weeks, secret extra ways to collect cash, and why it’ll save you big $$ to put a salad on your face.

Editor’s note: during Anti-Poverty Week at QUT from 13 – 15 October, we’ll have plenty of info and stalls for students seeking some money-realted guidance!

Uni Footwear: A story of betrayal.

thong

I made a pact with myself; I would never wear thongs to Uni. Uni was about being hip, cool and trendy. Thongs didn’t fit into that brief. Thongs didn’t even fit into the brief of being an actual shoe. They’re more like partial shoes, or foot underwear. And I told myself “Sara, you will not be seen in public wearing thongs.” And I kept that promise, for almost an entire year.

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My Uni bag is trying to kill me !

Stress can bring out somewhat extreme tendencies in us. Or rather, it can make perfectly ordinarily pre-existing qualities somewhat… dramatic ? For instance, I am someone who gets so wrapped up attending to the pageantry and socio-political crisis occurring between waring fractions in ‘Laura Land’, that I can be truly oblivious to general everyday care and organisation. This can be quite endearing. For example, going through a whole day without realising that I had taken beauty pointers from ‘The Joker’ and spread dark red lipstick all across my cheek like war paint. (sidenote; why did nobody bother to tell me ? I ONLY NOTICED FROM THE GLARE OF MY COMPUTER SCREEN ! Do people just EXPECT these things of me now ?)

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Exhibit A.

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Student Public Transport Life – Part 2

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This is a follow up to my part 1 blog, which you can view here. Now that we are over 6 weeks into the semester it’s given us time to experience the joys of public transport with our fellow human’s so it only seems right to put those moments into another blog.

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Campus Culture Fix #2 – Music & Dance!

If you’ve not yet taken the chance to look ahead at QUT’s calendar, let me tell you: you’re in for some serious culture this semester!

We all have our own tastes and passions when it comes to music, dance and art. QUT’s undergradute arts programs are designed to allow students the ultimate freedom in style and creativity, so there’s something for everyone when QUT performers take the stage. Here are some opportunities for you to catch some local talent soon: Read more