We all have those moments of doubt. You sit there and wonder, “Did I overestimate myself?” or “Will I fall to pieces and crumble under pressure?” or “Will it all be worth it in the end”. If you haven’t already guessed, that’s the position I am in at this very point in time.
Over the course of last year, I got to experience a small little taste of what university was like, through the START Program, which had a bunch of pros and cons but was ultimately a really great time. Now that I’m just about to be at the half way point of my first full semester, I’d like to talk more about what it’s really like to be apart of university life and the first year experience (FYE).
Let’s start with O-week; something that came with promise of parties and celebrations, as well as important information on my degree. And it delivered! There was live entertainment, clubs to join and of course, the Toga Party!
There was also a few “compulsory” information sessions (personally I found these very general overviews of the faculty I’m part of) and chances to meet people involved in my degree. These information sessions were pretty uneventful, so I couldn’t wait to move on to the real deal!
The real deal did not disappoint. After my first week of lectures I was so happy that my course was actually exactly what I wanted to be doing, and I was stoked to be around people passionate about the same things I was. Although I did feel a bit out of my depth in one of my units…
… but I was excited about the challenge!
This week I had all my tutorials, workshops and studios on. The real game had begun. Even though this did include a lovely 8am tutorial (just… don’t do it) most of the content covered was really interesting and fresh for me. Of course some of the tutorials were a bit introductory and boring, but that would improve, right?
This week was a bit of a slump. My favourite lecturer quite suddenly left – half way through our lecture is when they broke the news to us. That lecture has never been quite the same. Other lectures’ content seemed straight forward, and one of which felt like it had no relevance at all to my degree, but it turns out that it has highly relevant to my 60% assessment. It’s important to pay attention!. The tutorials still managed to stay lively. There wasn’t any stress at this point, because I had ages do to stuff, and Easter break was in a week’s time!
Same thing different week, then BOOM holidays! Or… not? During that small holiday, it felt more like a “catch up on everything you’ve not done that’s due when you get back.” Suddenly things piled on top of each other.
Week 5 & 6
This is where it really hits folks. Mid-semester assessment. You don’t see it coming. It’s like a lion in the bush and you’re the prey. If you took it easy over the break, well done, you probably needed the break. Unfortunately, this does mean that you’re now behind the 8-ball with upcoming assessment, which can be a source of stress.
So that’s the run down of my first few weeks. It’s way more fun than high school; and the work is rewarding and the lifestyle is much more enjoyable, but there’s still a long way to go.
When you go into your first year, just keep enjoying the ride and the freedom that comes with it. Yes, you’ll stress. But yes, you’ll also reach the end of the semester and you’ll be able to travel or better yet, just relax! Until it all starts again next semester…
Click here, to open up QUT’s interactive maps page. You can also tick what you want to see on the map, such as food places (the most important places at uni).
This blog post is mostly aimed at year 12 students who are over half way through finishing school and are making the jump into the real world and are looking for advice on deciding where to go to from here.
As it’s my final year at university this year, I’m beginning to think about all the experiences I’ve had and things I regret not doing. One of my regrets is not getting more involved in a club or group. There are so many at QUT and it can be a bit overwhelming during Welcome Week with all the tents and groups vying for more members, offering pub crawls and shirts and other freebies.
To make things easier for you, I’ve made a small list outlining just some of the clubs at QUT. It will be easier to join a club during Welcome Week if you actually know a bit about them!
Initially, I started university with the sole intention to study. I planned to do my three years, get my degree, and head off to the real world. Throughout this though, I knew I would need a job to support myself. Thankfully, QUT came to the rescue.
On my first day of Uni, at the Caboolture campus, something caught my eye. It was a little pamphlet with a simple title; “do you want to earn some extra cash?”. I thought yes, yes I do – and picked it up. It said I should apply to become a Student Ambassador. My eyebrows raised. Then it told me the hourly rate of QUT’s casual workers (check out ‘HEW2’). My eyebrows raised higher. At that moment, a current ambassador caught me looking at the pamphlet. He said “dude, it’s the best job, and there’s heaps of work up for grabs”. I knew what I had to do.
So I applied, and in all honesty, the best thing about starting university, was getting the job. Becoming a Student Ambassador has opened up a ridiculous amount of doors throughout my degree, and has been perfect in complementing my studies. I could rant on and on about how good it is, but all you need to know is that any student can apply, at any campus, and it’s great fun.
But that’s not all. Through my position as an Ambassador, I managed to get a job filming around campus, which was perfect seeing as I study film! I then met the QUT ‘Explore Uni‘ team, and ended up working for them also. When I made the move to Brisbane the following year, I was able to continue working as an Ambassador, and picked up ANOTHER job at the QUT Library as a Peer Adviser. As if there wasn’t enough on my plate already, I then applied to become a Digital Marketing Ambassador, and so here I am writing this blog post!
This is just an example of the sort of work you can get at university whilst studying. There’s heaps on offer, and it’s hands down better than washing dishes (or any other job I’ve had for that matter). For me, QUT has become more than just my place of study, and frankly, with all that’s on offer, I’m in no rush to finish my degree.
QUT, I’m here to stay!
Editor’s note: If you’re interested in becoming a QUT Student Ambassador, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Easily my favorite thing about being a creative industries student at university is the massive amount of holidays I get to indulge in. I usually don’t have exams, so end up with about four months off at the end of each year. You jelly? 😉
I like to travel as much as I can, so I usually spend a part of this time overseas. Last year I embarked on a trip around South East Asia with two mates, which entailed some awesome experiences. We visited Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – a trip I’d highly recommend. There was definitely some unique and interesting adventures involved, and here’s one of them…
Think back to those sweet memories of your perfect summer holiday; those trips to the beach; your unforgettable overseas adventures; the impossible weekday benders; the four months of time to do whatever hell you wanted… And quietly come to the realisation that those days are now over. Ha ha hah.
So kids, if you are an International student like me you would probably have a tongue twister of a unique name and a fruit salad of a mixed accent. Also you would probably have a choreographed story about how you moved to Australia for further studies and managing the life away from your family. After a while, it becomes a repetitive routine that you are obliged to follow. But it is a story worth preserving as it becomes the cornerstone for the stories to come.