Orientation Week through the student/staff lens

A week ago I went to a KickSTART opening session and saw at least 200 new students in one lecture room. Some of them were more nervous than others, but all of them were proud to be starting their journey at university.

Monday was the first day of Orientation (O Week), and there were so many new students going around. I had the privilege of meeting many of them at the Welcome Tent at Gardens Point campus, and could not be more excited to share what happened!

I spent all day welcoming new students to QUT, thousands of them! And I LOVED IT!

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2 Things I found in QUT’s studywell this Summer

The holidays are almost over, but before the real world learning takes over my schedule, I decided to dedicate some of my holiday time to sharpening up my study skills to get ready for the new semester. I recently discovered QUT’s studywell portal and it proved to be a treasure trove of resources. Read more

5 things NOT to do before starting uni

Everyone knows the classic things you should do to get ready for a semester of university; buy your books, register for classes and pretend like everything is ok. I’m going to let you in on a few secrets I’ve picked up over the last few years at QUT about what not to do to prepare for uni. Read more

Reflecting on my journey at QUT so far

I want to take you through my journey from Year 12 to my second year at university. I hope by sharing my experience I will help others realise university isn’t as scary as it may seem.

In Year 12, I found it frustrating being constantly asked about my future and what I wanted to become. Unlike now, I didn’t even know which direction to take when choosing a degree (I knew I wanted to go to uni, though).

I did not know what I could possibly do with my life when finishing Year 12

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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

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.

performingbrokenleg

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. 🙂

Money isn’t funny in a Student’s World: Laura’s top 5 tips for a Affordable Uni Experience

I'm always keeping my eyes out for ways to save my dollar dollar bills (coins)

Just your regular uni student trying to keep my eyes out for ways to save my dollar dollar coins.

I never knew I was poor before going to Uni. Everything was so cheap, so easy in high school. $4 would get me a delicious, wholesome lunch from the tuck shop (ravioli/carbonara/spag bol all made by the vat, jack potatoes, fried rice, curries, homemade pies and sausage rolls, fresh sandwiches, pumpkin soup and crusty rolls). For $4, I was spoiled for choice. Though my school uniform was as daggy as crocs and socks, everyone had to wear it, makeup wasn’t allowed, and I got away with wearing the same pair of leather shoes for the entire 5 years. The amount of money I now spend on food and clothes/makeup is horrific and quite franky shameful. Do I blame my terrible self-discipline and need to fill the empty hole inside me with caffeine and things? Read more

First Time Nerves Again

When I returned to Uni for my second degree, I hadn’t counted on feeling like such a proverbial duck out of water. There is a particular kind of self-consciousness that accompanies entering a tutorial room full of fresh faced teens when you are almost a decade their senior.  On the feeling-like-an-off-trend-misfit scale, where (1) is giving a presentation to executive management dressed for casual Hawaiian Friday with your golden locks carefully calibrated into ‘beachy’ waves and (10) is tripping on stage at Mercedes Benz Fashion week and launching yourself onto the laps of unsuspecting first row VIPs, being a mature aged newbie in a room full of cool, hip young things is a solid 8.5. On a good day. Read more

Moving on up

It’s been a few months since I packed up my car and moved out of home to the city (sorry Mum). And I’m loving it! No more hour-and-a-half train rides means that I can finally sleep in without having to feel guilty. And then there is the freedom of going out more often without having to catch the 1am train back. But it is not all as glamorous as it seems.

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