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June 2012

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Freshly back from Nanjing, I've started Honours in physics and astronomy, and as part of this I'm over in Hawai'i working with my co-supervisor, Frantz Martinache, at Subaru Observatory on the Big Island. This is the third science-related trip for this degree, which is something I'm deeply thankful about. This blog began as a bit of an essay on some experiences I've had in the last week over here in Hawai'i, so it's quite long and I do go into the science a bit - but if you're interested, read on!

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I can’t believe it’s the first day of exams! I promised myself this semester I would balance my work and Uni commitments so that when it came to exams I'd be feeling on top of things! Instead I’m barely keeping my head above water with 4 subjects worth of notes and endless readings still not complete! I am in my 5th Year of a combined degree Bachelor Commerce/B. Arts. You would think I would have it all figured out by now!

I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone else is in the same boat, but in the 5 years of being at uni I seem to have mastered the art of procrastination. When it comes to studying, I like to drink endless cups of tea, bake to my hearts content and waste time meeting up with friends and surfing the Internet. So basically I will go out of my way to find any excuse not to open my books!

My first exam is tomorrow and panic mode is beginning to set in. Last week I worked 4 out of 5 days, which didn’t give me much room to study. However, I've come to the conclusion that I perform better under pressure. The adrenaline kicks in and I seem to get it done. (Well that’s what has happened every other semester so don’t quote me on that!)

Here’s hoping!

Wishing you all good luck for the upcoming exams!

Need some last minute info? Visit the exams page.

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Things have gone eerily quiet here in Psych Honours world. The Facebook group is no longer buzzing with activity, mandatory seminars are over, the statistics exam (the horror. The horror) is a distant repressed memory, and there is an overwhelming sense that any time we now spend at uni will be, for all intents and purposes, “voluntary”. Thesis work has officially taken front and centre.
Us rat runners are in the labs at all hours of the day, human researchers are cursing the first years who cancel participation in their experiments at the last minute – it’s all quite glamorous really.
So what advice would I give to those who are considering enlisting for the Honours Special Forces next year?

First of all, don’t ask a current Honours student for their advice. People who are effectively bundles of stress mixed with a delicate combination of sleep deprivation and junk food self-medication are not the most appealing advertisements for Honours enrolment. Rather, ask someone who’s already been through it and lived to tell the tale (hopefully).

Second of all, go into Honours with rational optimism and realistic expectations. Yes, it’s a ridiculous amount of work squashed into an equally ridiculous time frame. Yes, it will be stressful, unpredictable, and laborious at times. Yes, you will more than likely question, at least once every few weeks (if not more often), why on earth you signed up for this in the first place. But at the same time, you will learn a ton of new things as well. Not just academically, but about how to work more efficiently, about what drives you and where your interests truly lie.

Personally, I would thoroughly recommend it.
Now, time to get back to that stubborn rat of mine who’s taking a painfully long time with lever-press training.

To check out more information on post-graduate study, visit the link below:
http://sydney.edu.au/future_students/postgraduate/

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It’s exam time again! Time to lock ourselves to our desk chairs and jam our heads into textbooks. We won’t be coming out of our study shells for a few weeks; it’s amazing that we don’t run our brains into the ground.

We all have our ways of staying sane during this time – some study outside, some reincarnate their notes into art and some just don’t study at all. I, for one, have my music to fall back onto.

Whilst I don’t listen to music during my study (it’s far too immense a distraction), it does form a great part of my breaks, whether they come after ninety minutes or two-and-a-half. It is the best escape from the toil I’ve just put my mind through, and the dread of what it’s about to go through.

Regardless of my state of mind, there are some artists that always make my list. The crashing crescendo’s of Coldplay for when I need inspiration; the lyrical genius of Snow Patrol for when I can’t remember what to write next; or the high tempos of The Wombats or The Arctic Monkeys when I really need to just forget the attachment sites of Tibialis Anterior for a while.

These are the ten songs that will always make my playlist:

The Wombats – Our Perfect Disease
Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the Dance floor
Arctic Monkeys – Red Light Indicates Doors are Secure
Snow Patrol – Make This Go on Forever
Coldplay – Charlie Brown
Florence and the Machine – Howl
Joshua Radin – Don’t Look Away
Death Cab for Cutie – Marching Bands of Manhattan
Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Going Down
Paramore – Let The Flames Begin

Good luck with exams, dear students, and have very happy study breaks.

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