As the academic year kicks back off, students all over the country have re-emerged from their summer daze and descended on Australia’s Colleges and Unis. From keen freshers to apprehensive, soon-to-be graduates, the 2016 academic year will be another of experiences and possibilities, both new and familiar.
Regardless of your degree and how far you are through it, there are a few things worth bearing in mind for all students getting back to the grind.
Spend your time, not your money
Obviously your mileage may vary, but as a student you’ll likely find yourself with a wealth of time and very little else. Cherish these years when you don’t necessarily have to be anywhere for an entire Tuesday, and take advantage of all the price discrimination favouring uni students and our lowly incomes.
Museum Victoria offer free entry to uni students at any of their museums; you can experience the joys of education without the dread of assessment at the end, and learn a bit more about Australia’s history, culture, and environment, especially if you’re from out of town. Use and abuse that student card while you still can!
A free feed is also never too far away on campus – hit up your student unions for where and when they might be holding a free breakfast or BBQ. The lines can get pretty long, but what else are you going to do with that 2 hour break between your classes? Study? Good one.
Get out of town
Uni life can get hectic, and sometimes you don’t realise how much you need a break from the hustle and bustle until you’re out of it. Put the books down for a second and go for a day-trip to find yourself some open space, fresh air, and an ocean breeze.
If you’re in Melbourne, the seaside town of Torquay is one of our favourites and is just over an hour away. Hop on the train, or book yourself a GoGet car for a bit more freedom to explore! Relax on one of the many pristine beaches, have a dip in the ocean, or test your surfing mettle at the famous Bells Beach. Bottle of Milk is worth a visit if you’re keen for a burger lunch, as is the Sticks and Stones Cafe for a coffee and something sweet.
It’s nice to escape from everything, wherever you choose to go. We find that it definitely helps you to refocus and refresh your head-space when you do return to your regular day-to-day uni routine, even if you might not want to come back at all.
Don’t forget to study
Some of us may not need the reminder, and some of us certainly do, but don’t forget that the defining criteria of being a student is in fact studying! Make sure you are going to classes, or at least keeping up to date with the material to save yourself a whole world of hurt come assessment and exam time. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it can be overlooked in favour of all the other opportunities that university has to offer.
We know that it’s difficult to dedicate yourself to the same extent in every part of your studies, as well as maintaining your extra-curricular commitments. However, it’s worth picking a few subjects, either those for your major or an area that you’re particularly interested in, and really trying to ace those. A few good grades, particularly in the later years of your degree and in certain key subjects, can open up a number of options when it comes to further study or employment.
Trying to keep up with study, work, and life can often be more of a juggling act than a balancing one. Make the most of the unique position that being a student puts you in and enjoy it while you can (because getting to the end of your degree can honestly be quite terrifying), but don’t lose sight of why you’re there in the first place. Good luck and have fun!