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November 2012

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Enrolment for me was a painful experience when it needn’t have been. At the end of 2010 I was offered a place to study Arts at the University of Sydney. It was so exciting to me. After 6 months working as a receptionist after school and saving all my money, and 6 months touring Europe alone spending all my money, I was ready to study and ready to learn.

I opened the Arts Handbook to choose my subjects and the sheer number available overwhelmed me. I was meant to choose eight junior subjects, four for each semester and these junior subjects needed to lead to the major I wanted to do. I felt like then and there, in the summer after a very long holiday and time off studying I had to plan the entire course of my next three years. I was sufficiently whelmed.
I asked my friends for help choosing and they offered the following pearls of wisdom “do one about aliens, or gender stuff,” “do what you want” and my favourite, “follow your dreams.”

In the end I decided to just wing it, to rock up at enrolment, burst through the doors of MacLaurin Hall, and just choose then and there.

However when I got there, I was nowhere near as bold and confident as I had hoped to be. I received my forms, attempted to fill out a few boxes and then when it came time to choose subjects I froze. I couldn’t decide. Should I do Music? French? Biology? English? The possibilities buzzed around in my brain and I suddenly burst into tears. I looked around through tear-filed eyes. Other people had brought their parents. I should have brought my parents. Or my mum at least. Mum would have known what to do. I franticly scribbled that I would do Music, Biblical Studies, Australian Politics and Sociology and shoved it at the enrolment officer before I could change my mind.

I’ve now just finished my second year and see that my enrolment experience could have been entirely different. You can change your subjects very easily until the HECS census date, which is usually a few weeks into semester. And I only needed to nominate some subjects for the second semester, but could change them very easily too! Uni is much more flexible that school, there is greater choice and thanks to the online admin systems you can do a lot of it yourself at home. If you have any questions about enrolling to study at Sydney in 2013, jump on here and have a read.

2 comments |

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I can distinctly remember the first 20 minutes or so of my very first official day of University. I can't remember the date, but the month was March, and the Year 2001. Phowa. Yep - absolutely ages ago. ipods didn't exist and Noika phones were still way cool.

As is the case now, back then I was quite partial to parental moral support (I was only 17. I'm 20 Holy-Cow 9 now, but feel nearly exactly as I did when I was 17, which may not be a good thing), so I organised for my mum (who is a legend) to walk up from Central Station with me and to drop me off outside the little Gate-House thing next to Parramatta Road. You know the one. We always try and cross the road there against the red-light and risk getting squashed by west-bound cars turning left off Broadway. It's currently the home of the Compass Outreach Programme. Anyway...

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The sweet smell of summer is in the air, Christmas decorations are already hung from every shopping mall ceiling, and you can practically taste those end of semester celebratory drinks.

The only thing is, you have the tiny matter of all your exams to get through before then. So, how do you do it? How do you keep up the motivation during the exam period when you’re in dire need of a tan and the beach is desperately calling your name? Here are a few tips.

1. For the next couple of weeks, do not associate with any of your uni friends who do not have exams, or are already finished their semester, or are just one of those annoying I-hardly-ever-study-and-yet-I-always-get-distinctions kind of people. It will only make you miserable. And resentful. And unbelievably jealous.

2. Avoid the temptation of YouTube, or binging on an entire season of (insert the name of any TV show you can think of here), or Googling that new product, or the name of that person in that movie that you’ve wanted to see for ages but can’t remember what it’s called, or – you get the point. Limit the internet.

3. If all else fails, rely on the fact that we humans are incredibly loss averse – we hate to lose stuff more than we love to gain. So if the motivation to get good grades is not enough to keep you studying, try giving your trusted mate (or Mum) about $100 of your hard-earned cash to hold onto for the entire exam period. If you don’t stick to your studying schedule, they keep the money. If you get through the exam period still pasty white, with withdrawal symptoms from lack of internet use, and can’t remember the last time you went out with other people, you get the money back.

However you make it work, remember that you’ve done this before and you’ll do it again, and it will be oh-so-sweet when it’s over.

And if you're really stressing, there are some great free resources here.

Good luck everybody!

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