Dear Grade 12 Me

Dear Grade 12 Me,

Hey girl, how’s it going? How’s that side pony tail? Still poppin’? Ah, who am I kidding? You still do your hair like that.

I’m writing to you from THE FUTURE. Specifically, 2016, as you’re just about to graduate from uni. That’s right! You did it! In a week’s time you’ll be all robed up and receiving two bachelor degrees!

I know you’re waiting for your OP right now, and stressing out about it every day. If I have one piece of advice for you, it’s to CHILL. Oh, and check that you know your login details to get your OP. You may or may not forget your password due to stress on the day and then freak out because you can’t get in for hours because the “I forgot my password” emails aren’t sending, but they are, they’re just in your junk mail box. So check your junk mail. Or just write your password down and put it somewhere safe now. Other than that little (completely avoidable) meltdown, you will be fine. You know how hard you worked, so just trust that it will pay off. Because it does.

But it won’t always work out. And you know what? That’s okay. You’re going to find yourself being faced with difficult decisions in uni, receiving some disappointing grades, receiving some awesome grades, sending out millions of applications, not hearing back from most of them, getting rejected by a bunch. And yeah, you’ll be sad about it. But you will also have some great successes. You will get internships, you will get uni jobs, you’ll gain mentorships, work experience, and you’ll find colleagues and teaching staff that whole heartedly believe in you and what you want to achieve. Oh yeah, and you’ll discover your passion blah blah blah (but seriously, you will finally figure out what it is you want to do, even if it is in the last semester of your degree. I won’t tell you what it is because I want you to experience the journey).

Finally, if you’ll allow me to quote Mufasa (and yes, you’re still into that Lion King Broadway soundtrack):

Never forget who you are.

Don’t neglect your culture, don’t try to be someone you’re not, and don’t listen to people who make you think that who you are is in any way wrong or less desirable. You, your culture, and your family will help you develop and discover the skills you need to achieve your dream, and will be the seed of your ambition.

Congratulations on graduating high school, me. You’re going to be just fine.

Love from,
You (me?)

 

P.s. Try to avoid parking at uni, it’s not fun.

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International Day of People with a Disability

Today is the 3rd of December, and it’s International Day of People with a Disability, so your friendly neighbourhood student blogger (with a disability) is here to share a few stories with you!

Getting around…

Navigating the Kelvin Grove campus with my physical impairment hasn’t always been easy. While a number of the newer buildings are accessible, the now-demolished L block and E block buildings were interesting to get around. To get to the Woodward theatre in room L207, I had to park in the carpark adjacent to E block and weave my way through the cinderblock-lined walls of the building, find the lift, come out on level 2, and weave my way out of the building to the concrete hallway joining E block and L block. Not an easy feat, by any means. It was time-consuming and if I wasn’t really focusing, it was confusing, too!

Planning for this required skill, reasoning, and the expert advice of my Disability Advisor at QUT. All students living with a disability can access this service and make a Support Plan for each semester. Knowing that getting into L block was a challenge meant that we added time consideration to my support plan, so every tutor and lecturer knew and understood that I may be late to classes if I have difficulty walking long distances and getting to the right room on time.

Assessment modification…

One of the compulsory subjects in my degree was a physical theatre unit called ‘Creating Body’. This subject’s requirements included lectures and weekly workshops. I did this subject a year later than most of my peers, and I remembered seeing their sweaty, red, fatigued (and possibly heartbroken) faces when running into them after their workshops.

This scared me.

Having received my Support Plan, the unit coordinator (the staff member in charge of the subject) got in touch to see how to best modify the subject for me and my needs. Participating fully in each workshop was a requirement of assessment, but we agreed that the physical demands of the unit were not ideal for me and my situation. Instead, I agreed to attend every workshop and take copious notes. I was still required to contribute to in-class discussion and to apply appropriate theory where possible. And of course, my assignments remained the same.

When the final performance assessment for this unit came around, I was pleased to be allocated to a group full of understanding and supportive fellow students. A couple of my group members remain great friends to this day. We created a performance that worked to each of our limits, and we received a good grade for our efforts. We then wrote our final assignment as a reflection on our performance, and I managed to receive a High Distinction.

A High Distinction in physical theatre? Me? The disabled one? I can’t stop laughing about it, even now.

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This is me, in a wheelchair, taking a sneaky selfie mid-performance… Okay, so my phone was a prop… 2014 was an interesting year…

Reality…

There are so many more stories I could share with you – including that time I fell and fractured my leg after a tute one day, went to hospital, and completed my performance assessments that semester in various stages of pain (see above photo) – but the main purpose of this post is to show all prospective QUT students that no matter the circumstance, tertiary study IS possible.

With the right support and accommodations in place, you can complete every subject. If you’re willing to work hard, QUT is willing to work with you.

Happy International Day of People with a Disability! Be kind to one another. 🙂

I’m Not Saying Give up Coffee…… But

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You know you spend a lot of money on coffee right? Because its the best thing in the world and there’s no way you could function without it right? I agree entirely! But there are some things you should think about that could save you A LOT of money over your degree.

I’m not saying give up coffee…..

But if you decide to buy a french press (or my favourite – the Aeropress), a bag of ground beans every month, and make a coffee a day for the entirety of your 3 year degree instead of spending $4 at a cafe , you will save

$3955!

If you decide to break the habit and just buy 2 coffees a week from a cafe, instead of every day, you will save

$2816!

The best option – because you have to give up ZERO coffee, is to make coffee at home every day, AND treat yourself to two coffees a week. Believe it or not, this method, which renders you equally as caffeinated and still a social butterfly will save you

$2391! 

You know that holiday you have been thinking about? that new macbook? that new couch? I’m not saying give up coffee…. but

The final countdown…

…you’ve got the song stuck in your head now, haven’t you? Oops. Sorry! It’s been stuck in my head all week, and for a good reason.

I’m about to submit my last assignment for my BFA.

Oh, what a glorious yet bittersweet feeling!

It’s been almost four years since my high school graduation and the more I think about it, the more I realise that what I’m feeling now is exactly what I was feeling back then. There’s a sense of joy mixed with a tingling of uncertainty. An air of trepidation with a dash of elated screaming thrown in. Read more

So Many Options!

As I come closer to finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I’m starting to think about my options post-graduation. Though catching up on missed sleep seems like a solid plan (to make up for all of those questionable all-nighters), I’ve come to realise that I need to think ahead. Read more

Education. It’s not just for schools… it’s for life!

I haven’t yet decided whether I enjoy the idea of working in a classroom with the same students every day, for four terms, or two semesters or an ENTIRE year for the rest of my life just yet.  It feels like such a controversial thing to say!!  Unless you’re at a family BBQ and your second cousin is telling you how much she hates her kids when they do certain things, there’s a general rule that everyone should like (or possibly even love) kids.  What if I absolute detest my year 3 class?  What if my primal instincts kick in and I want to scream, yell and jump up and down like a chimpanzee trying to scare away a leopard? Read more

The End is Nigh ! Let the End of Semester Countdown Begin.

October means a lot of important things to me. It means Brisbane will be covered in a regal purple carpet of jacaranda flowers, rolled out by nature to give a royal welcome to our warmer (deathly hot) months. It means walking through the botanic gardens will become a high stakes military operation of ducking, sprinting and crawling my way past attacking magpies and other swooping birds.It means Halloween plans, dusting off my flip flops and denim shorts, it means starting to think about Christmas and having an existential crisis over where the year has gone. But most importantly, it means the end of the academic year is upon us. The end of early morning classes, late night study sessions, assignment stress and lack of social life. For graduating high school students, the start of Term 4 means the end of something big, and the start of something even bigger. Read more

Petspiration (World Animal Day)

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I think we’re all inspired by our pets, and by animals in general. Their wisdom reaches far beyond their years. They are our knowledgeable, intelligent advisors. They are our mentors. That is why I have compiled a list of ways my pets have helped me through all the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. Read more