Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Survive Sydney Uni Life

Hi, Friends, how have you been? I've been busy with picture book projects. What a surprise! An old uni friend visited me whilst her temporary staying in Sydney. We enjoyed a chat hours after hours. Today, the friend is a linguist working on research in a field work. Really nice to see her.

I feel like chatting over a "pragmatic" approach to survive Sydney uni student life. Once, I voluntarily assisted first year students at an "Easing The Transition" workshop (*Friends, uni gave certifications and we added it on CVs). Here's Sydney uni's important date in 2013.  1st semester will end on 29th June. Friends, you're in the middle of exam. Until 29th June, hang in there!!! 

A first year is the toughest time for new students. "Pass is pass!" is practical advice, actually, some professors gave me it and we told so to first year students in the workshop above. Many new students drop out from courses. Some students get shocked when poor marks come back to them. Don't worry! It's normal. Don't get panic. Just concentrate on "getting through" the first year. 
My most favorite graffito was, "Do you want to be silly for 5 minutes or forever? Raise a question!"

Choose a major well and wise. Find out what you want to do most at the present and in the future. Regarding social science, any subject overlaps in concepts at the depth. Double majors could be a demanding job (*I did linguistics and sociology at once), but in my experience, double majors are not hard, as long as you like subjects.
Use time wisely. Balance between study and play time. Uni's work load is very demanding. A huge amount of reading and a research essay is everyday task. Especially, self supporting students have difficulty in managing time (*I was one of them!). I always made breakfast and lunch (sometimes, even dinner!), had them and studied in train on the way to uni .... and often slept on a desk in Fisher library, zzzzz.... 

From a second year, students get used to a uni life and have a spare time. Make nice friends. Enjoy friendship, relationship and socialisation : parties, pub crawls, cruises, BBQ, clubs and join any fun events. Go freak! Be silly! You bump in "any species" on earth in a campus! *But mind you, please remember you have to finish up the course first! I knew a young psychology students couple who promised not see each other before each assignment due. They successfully got through the course! and got married!! 
Essay writing is a hard task. Lecturers suggested me to grab other students(=my friends) for proof reading. Good idea. Yes, my dear friend, who is, now, the linguist, helped me. I realised, particularly, law students were so smart kids and very good at essay. Some law students have become Australian top politicians! You can imagine how "clever" they are! 

A third year is as above and enjoy a graduation ceremony. You've survived and are a brave winner! Hero, hurrah!! Graduation ceremony is lovely. Friends, taste sweet fruits and celebrate your new starts! A new bright horizon awaits you. Don't forget to get professors' letters and organise a CV. Professors are happy to backup you. I've got a wonderful one from a linguist. 

Regarding mature-age students, I'd send special cheers! Yes, I was one of them. Not easy to challenge uni, but you're brave enough to take this challenge. Never give up and get through the course. As far as I know, mature-age students have clear goals and will not drop out. Yet, assignments are very demanding and hard to pass units. I know, a friend cried in joy, when she finished up the course. Professors and lecturers are very happy to help any hard workers to complete the course. So, if you feel it tough, consult staff at the course or the Department and Uni Learning Centre! 

In addition, today, I'm a picture book illustrator and a fine artist (specific interest in figures). In fact, some lecturers encouraged me to be an artist. Friends, the "graffiti" of lecturers' faces discovered my future direction. Also, uni's continuing education course opened me a door for a life long career (Professors and librarians are very happy to know it! Special thanks and cheers for them). "Finish up a course" is not easy, but I'd say, "Don't throw a towel!" to any student all over the world. Uni is a lovely community, full of dreams, friends and love, which gives students hope and future. Enjoy uni life! So, I still love sketching uni.
Friends, Happy Painting!!