Wish upon a visual board

Does a visual board of wishes really work? Well, to answer this question I would like to share my board from last Christmas:

My partner and I created this board of wishes before the 2015 Christmas while we barely could even believe these dreams could come true in the nearest future

Now let me give you three reasons to make one of those boards yourself.

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A Letter to Year 12 Racquel

It has been approximately one month since I finished my third year as a QUT business school student, and during this month I’ve had so much time to reflect on these past three years. I feel like attending university has made me a stronger person mentally, because I’ve had so many big decisions to make regarding my study along the way. Looking back, I am a completely different person to the one I was when I graduated high-school, and QUT in particular has forced me into making life-altering decisions that has positively changed my future for the better.

I have so many things that I’d like to mention to a hypothetical younger Racquel to help her cope with the changes that will inevitably take place within the next three years of her life after high-school; so, here we go. Read more

Let’s reflect on OPs!

On Saturday the 17th of December 2016, my little sister who just graduated high school this year rushed into my room at 5:00am and excitedly showed me the OP she had received on her iPhone. Myself, in my sleep deprived and half-awake state, was vaguely aware of what was going on and congratulated her on getting the OP she was aiming for. Read more

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. 🙂