Tag Archives: university

To Read or to Write?

Neglect. That’s what happened here.

A blog left outdated, stuck in a stand-still of time, like a CD player with the 2008 Greatest Hits of Summer jammed inside it.
Why did this happen? Life, that’s why.

Usually life is a source of inspiration, particularly for writers. However, it sometimes spills over into an onerous, exhausting and un-enthusing land of artistic tumbleweed. So, among a schedule of work, class, assessments, exercise, cats and other commitments, one must find a sober moment to write.

What moment did I choose? A three-hour law lecture on human protein attended without my spectacles; irrelevance and vision impairment won the right to write.

Now let’s bond over identification of idiosyncrasies in the life of a typical university student.

You’re well into your degree and growing stale from the same classroom walls that surround you. The enthusiasm of first year students irritates you and you pity their naïve dedication. You’ve mapped out the traits of your peers better than Google maps, and formulated mental instructions of who has the coolest style, best notes, healthiest diet, hottest figure, greatest reliability, easiest company, most cigarettes, best study habits, and all the opposites. You walk into a tutorial and know who the repeat offenders of unnecessary classroom comments are, who will distract you, and who will make you look intelligent. You know which bathrooms are cleanest and which are a violation of Human Rights. The café ladies and barristers address you by name and watched you grow up into a premature arthritic, scoliosis ridden, caffeine addicted, cynical law student. You know which café serves the best food, and schedule your day to beat peak hour lunch lines. You argue more with your constantly nagging subconscious, bordering on schizophrenia, than your own parents. You’ve mastered the art of skim reading in the attempt to spend less time with your head in an overpriced 10kg textbook and more time enjoying hobbies. You are faced with the difficult decision of letting grades suffer for the sake of personal interests, or entering hibernation to get a D on your transcript. You approach the campus parking lot like a predator, hunting down the prey of students innocently returning to their cars, only to snatch up the remnants of their existence. Each day you wake up one minute later, and by fourth year, won’t accept anything earlier than an afternoon class. You cannot wait to graduate.

Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Don’t let me deter you from tertiary studies. Truth is, you will enjoy making friends for life, discovering what you want and growing rich in knowledge.

But for now, let’s get each other over the line.
Does the struggle of a busy life-study-balance sound familiar? Of course it does – you’re only reading this to procrastinate. So to save you reading the YSS chronicles of Gen-Y observations you’re so tired of, I want to hear from you. Please comment, sharing those self-created Man Vs Wild tactics that help you cope with the final stages of university life.

Finally, characteristic of everything, your time at university must eventually come to an end, so appreciate every moment of it, and always be grateful for the opportunity our generation has to gain higher education.

Much love,

A Nerdy YSS in Hiding.

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The Night-Beforer

The special bond that forms among a collectively screwed student body.

It’s the day before an assessment is due.
You ask your peers, “have you done that thing yet?”
Some laugh and accept that it’ll get done that night. Others have no idea what you’re talking about. The remainder are pulling out their hair in a pathetic pursuit to achieve something.
It begins; the mindless chicken race that unifies a student body. The ‘night-beforer’.
It’s a special bond that forms when you’re screwed collectively. Something that re-enforces friendships and creates new ones. When hearts are stolen and love blossoms. A time talents are embraced and intelligence shared.
There is no room for pride; no place for arrogance. Accept it: if an assessment is due tomorrow, no benefit arises from attacking it alone.
Just as a good leader musters up his army before battle, a successful student claims his place in the noble student body.
The great Sun Tzu once said: “He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.”

The war has just begun. Whether the spirit is triumph or fear, optimism or angst. Round up that army! You’re bound to succeed.

What is it about the night before that attracts students? Is it the solace found in a shared stressor? Or the affordability of a free whinge to your mates?

Dana Khalil of the University of Western Sydney believes that it’s the tribal spirit that stops you feeling alone. “We have the same busy lifestyle… it’s great because it’s like, okay, i’m not screwed alone, everyone else is screwed too.”

Similarly, University of Sydney student, Ellena Daniele, rarely seeks out the support of her student body, however feels stronger when she does. “Whenever I have turned to a student body about an assessment, I tend to feel more confident with my final copy of the assessment than when I’ve completed assessments without student body discussion.”

Whilst Michael Elias from the University of New South Wales has formed such friendships, group work assessments have led to the formation of enemies. “We rely heavily on each other, which brings out a persons characteristics, such as trusting they get there part of the work done… then me or other members have had to pick up their slack [sic].”

It is common to find that the closest friends of most university students were the result of a night-beforer. Understandable. Emotions are peaking, hormones are raging, fingers are typing and time is ticking. In fact, Ellena, Dana and Michael have each made a best friend through such an experience. “Because we were in such high pressured situations, we found that we can relate to eachother so easily, and start a conversation so easily,” Dana said.

Still, the blazing fire of the ‘night-beforer’ lay a dark cloud of smoke over every student’s wish for advancement: the collusion policy. Be sure not to ignore your tutor’s lingering voice warning you of collaborative misconduct, despite urges to ask around for answers.
Tread lightly soldiers. Do not take advantage of these new found comrades, they are to be a source of strength, not your demise. Feel free to whinge all over the Twitter homepage. Hand out ‘likes’ to every Facebook status swearing at tomorrow’s essay. Cram for that exam, amongst fellow hopefuls, in the labs until 3am. Sit at the cafe complaining about how little time you have left to conduct those interviews.
The Tweets, the Facebook Status’, the photos of study papers surrounded in chocolate; it’s an innate sense of belonging to a majority fighting for the same feat.

Nonetheless, they say too much of one thing is never a good thing. They’re right (whoever they are) so be sure not to fall addict to the Night-Beforer support drug. With 3D movies and defying the 2012 end-of-the-world stigma, we’ve become a generation of adrenaline rush junkies.
Beginning at the moment you walk into the university library, nodding empathetically at other students, to the victory march following assessment submission; you are part of a student army on the fields of assessment war. Grades are held hostage, emotion missiles are launched and assurance bullets fired. How could you possibly resist this supportive adrenaline that is the Night-Beforer?

My university constituents, wean yourself off, while you still can. One day, when you’re pursuing your competitive dream career, the student body that once carried you won’t be of great assistance.
So, as you have several times, vow never to leave an assessment until the night before. Should the vow be broken, let the Night-Beforer be an uplifting, bonding experience that strengthens you and your student body simultaneously.

“They can’t fail everyone” laughs Lisa-Marie Mosca of the University of Western Sydney. That is the essence of the ‘Night-Beforer’, and the foundation of a friendship that may last forever.

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