“It’s None of my Business, But You Should Do Business”

My favourite part of telling people what I am studying is the remarkably similar responses. I always get an, “Oh… how interesting” or sometimes I’ll get “Isn’t it a dying industry?” or “It’s none of my business, but I think you should do (insert degree other than journalism here)”. 

Studying journalism has been what I have wanted to do almost all my life, (since I was little, writing storybooks to read to my family) and it is something that I have worked hard to make my dream a reality through work experience, being the editor of my school magazine for two years and trying (and mostly failing) to keep this blog updated.

This year has been different though. The transition from the high school workload to academic expectations of universities was insane. The lack of support, in terms of emotional connections with my tutors and lecturers was hard to get used to. I come from a small town, where you know everyone and there is more of a safety net in terms of the support you will get. I went from having teachers who cared about me and my wellbeing to being just another face amongst 500 others in my lecture theatres. That was particularly daunting for me as I graduated with only 100 other students. I couldn’t comprehend having so many other people to compete with, in terms of getting the better marks, being able to get spots in my preferred times for tutorials and being selected for internships. I made friends within my course and developed a support network, that included my wonderful roommate (who put up with my multiple breakdowns in the kitchen) and other core people in my life. These people were integral to me staying positive when things got tough and motivating me when all I wanted to do was eat nutella and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

I did however become disillusioned with my dream even with all of those wonderful people supporting me. This year was tough, really tough in terms of adjusting, of becoming an adult and learning how to study, and other various other factors. I got it into my head that I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t do journalism because I thought I wasn’t motivated enough, that I wasn’t as switched on as my peers, that I wasn’t as proficient at writing as I thought I was. I wanted to switch out of my degree, into teaching maybe, into a general arts degree or something, anything that wasn’t journalism.

One of the other responses I have received when I tell people what I am studying is “you should do a dual with Business, you know, just in case.” For those who haven’t had the privilege of meeting my amazing mum, she is the Business Coordinator at my old high school and as much as I love her, I have made a point in not par-taking in anything that is even vaguely related to business.  I even went so far to fail my grade 8 Business class, just to make this point. So when, it was suggested to me that I should do Business and major in Public Relations, my first response was no way am I doing a business degree.

After a lot of stressing out in kitchens, venting and writing many pros and cons lists I came to the realisation that maybe doing a Business degree would not be the worst thing to ever happen to me and would actually provide me with more employment opportunities. For me, majoring in Public Relations wouldn’t mean giving up on my dream of working within the media, it would just mean that instead of interpreting the releases, I could be potentially writing them. This decision however, means that I need to work harder. I do not have a head for numbers and the only thing I know about Accounting is something about debits and credits. So whilst I am home, I will be thrust into a crash course of various Business subjects, so yay holidays.

Next year will mean working harder, it will mean that I have to actually put my back into things now. I am nervous about this because I have been cruising through this year, especially in terms of studying and leaving assignments to the last minute. But, I think I will rise to the challenge and hopefully continue to attain good marks.

At the end of the day, I will always be caffeinated and I guess I have to say, I’m pretty motivated for whatever 2017 is going to throw my way.

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Dear Bee,

A letter to myself that I wish I had read before I moved out and went to off to university. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t have listened anyway because I’m stubborn but it’s the thought that counts. 

Right now you are probably putting off packing because you don’t want to have to argument with your mum again about how many books you can take down to your new apartment, (I’m going to go ahead and spoil the ending of said fight, it’s 3 books but you won’t make time to read them anyway). Right now you are probably scared, but instead of admitting your fear you are masking it behind confidence that is mostly bluff from all the coffee you have been drinking that day (you need to cut back on that addiction now or else it’s going to mess with your sleeping patterns).

Nobody is going to tell you how scary it is to move out. They will talk about the freedom, the midnight snacking because you are an adult and can eat whatever you want damnit. They will talk about the goon sacks and the parties and the hot exchange students. They will talk about the great times and the fantastic times, because no one wants to talk about the hard times. Nobody is going to tell you about the nights where you are crying because need your mum to make you lentil soup because your sick. Nobody is going to tell you about the isolation that comes with moving to a new place where you don’t really know anyone. Nobody is going to tell you that you can’t eat pasta and cheese every night either so learn to cook something new. Nobody is going to tell you that adjusting to life without your parents to help and guide you, (no matter how much you insist you don’t need them) is harder than you think.

Moving out is hard. Harder than deciding what clothes to bring down for you to wear to university. Harder than listening to your mum try to teach you the basics of cooking in a 24 hour crash course because you are 17 and still don’t know how to cook sausages. Harder than saving up for the move because all you want to do is buy books and caramel lattes. Harder than trying to figure out how to catch a bus for the first time. Harder than trying to explain to your dog that you are not going to be home for a while.

Adjusting to life without your family and friends is terrifying. You have to make new connections, decide on the person who you want to be. University is the do-over you don’t get in a small town. You can be the cool kid who gets to go to parties, you can be studious and buckle down and study harder than ever or you can do your own thing, be your own person. You can experience new things and make new relationships and then stuff them up. But just know, that it’s okay to fail and that you will have people around you who care about you and will take care of you.

Making new friends is actually not that hard, so stop worrying about it Bee. The best advice that anyone ever gave me was this, “Ask a stranger for something. Whether it be for directions, a pencil or the time, ask them a question. By choosing to answer they are choosing to invest in you, and then you have already done half the work.” Don’t be choosy in o-week. Make as many new friends as you can and then nurture them. You can never have too many friends. And if they don’t work out, that’s okay.

Lean on people. Ask for help when you need help. Call your Aunty when you need to be fed. Ask your mum for some finical aid. Call your Nonna when you feel homesick. Ask your friends to buy you milk when you are sick and hangover and can’t get out of bed to go to Woollies. There is no need to suffer or to live on $1.85 for three weeks. Don’t do that. I mean it. It’s awful and no matter what anyone says do not mix rice and cheese for a poor man’s meal. It does not taste good. At all.

Budgeting is essential and I know that you are going to skip this paragraph but before you do, just know this, you can’t eat clothes or books. You need to have a plan. Sit down and work out how much money you need for food, entertainment and transport. And get a job. Don’t turn your nose up at Maccas for the dodgy place down the road that won’t pay you properly. Also don’t blow all your money on coffee. Seriously, don’t do that. It’s a bad idea Bee.

Pretending to be an adult when you are still 17 and about three months ago you still had to ask permission to go to the toilet is a crazy transition. You get to make your own decisions, which can be as liberating as it is terrifying. You get to choose what you are having for dinner. You get to decide whether or not to study. You get to decide how long you can possibly go without washing up. You get to decide whether you are going to pay your phone bill this month or if you are going to ask mum to spot you. You will take time to adjust into this new position. You will make mistakes, be immature, say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing because you are still learning. You are still a kid at the end of the day, but now you just got to pay your rent.

But it’s not all bad, you are going to do so well! You are going to learn so many new things, you are going to blossom into the person you are and you are going to achieve so much at University. You are going to make awesome friends who will let you into their apartment at 3 am because you are stressing. You are going to go to concerts. You are going to drink copious amounts of lattes. You are going to fall in love with Brisbane and the people in it. You are going to have hard times and you are going to have great times, but just know Bee, that it’s okay to be homesick. It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes when TopShop has a sale. It’s okay to get your fruit content only through mango sorbet, (well, according to you it is). It’s okay to be scared about catching public transport in the dark. It’s okay to pat random people’s dogs but just ask permission first. It’s kind of okay to drink your morning coffee out of a measuring jug because you didn’t wash up. It’s okay to be who you are. But don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Don’t listen to the people who want to watch you fall. Don’t be afraid of trying new things of meeting new people. Don’t try to impress anyone but yourself. Learn to trust people and have faith. Learn to cook things other than pasta. Learn how to catch public transport and learn how to manage your time. Just know that at the end of the day, at the end of the year, at the end of your course, your happiness comes first.

Love who you are Bee and don’t afraid to be the crazy, loud, dog-loving person you are.

Regards,

Bee.

p.s There will be a guy who knocks on your door at 2am in April, let him in and make him a cup of tea- he will make you the happiest woman on the planet, trust me on that one.

 

 

 

Stressed, Struggling and Super Tired: 4 Signs You Aren’t Doing That Great

It is week 11. By some miracle I have managed to make it this far. Coffee consumption is through the roof, (average of 5 per day. No, I am not joking). I have 6 assessment items due in 3 weeks.  I recently found 4 more grey hairs on my scalp. This is not okay, I am barely 18 and I am beginning to look like a Nonna, (I have already started wearing all black). So here is a list of signs of stress/you’re on struggle street/super flipping tired. 

1. Bags Under Your Eyes: They really aren’t that designer anymore.

You wake up after a not very restful 5 hours sleep, and look in the mirror: bags under your eyes so bad that you don’t even bother with concealer. You are officially an extra from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video now. You stayed up all night trying to smash out that assignment that you told yourself you were going to start last week but didn’t, (good planning ahead, you procrastinating idiot). The other nights began with researching the effects digitisation has had upon music journalism and ended in watching adorable puppy videos on Youtube, (God, I miss my dog).

2.Caffeine: A love/hate/ I’m-actually-addicted-help relationship. 

You have moved on from those sugary sachets that really, really weren’t economical and are now drinking this horrible cheap instant coffee that tastes like dirt and sadness and caffeine dependency. Coffee consumption is at an all time high. As in an actual high. Because apparently caffeine has a drug-like addictiveness to it. As exam week approaches closer and closer, you find you are putting less and less milk in your cup, (my warm milk and sugar with coffee flavour has now become as black as my winter wardrobe) and more and more tablespoons of the coffee granules.

3.The Budget: Wellll. 

Honestly you haven’t left the house except to go to uni and even then you aren’t really making it to your lectures. Being housebound makes it hard to go to Woollies and blow your budget on cheese and avocados. But, winter is coming and along with it online shopping. So it turns out you don’t have to leave your room to blow your budget… And don’t even think about going out, (you shouldn’t be anyway because you have neither the time or money for that). $8.50 for a Vodka and lemonade??? Are there unicorn tears in there also??? Because that’s the only logical reason for a basic to cost that much…. But hey, $6 wine exists and it tastes mostly better than goon, (fruity flavours with an undertone of poor uni student in denial about her drinking habits).

4.Assessment: “Look, if I even hand it in I’ll be proud of myself”. 

Let’s be real. It’s week 11. The only inspiration/motivation you have now is the due date. Time management is becoming crucial but is still not being implemented. All-nighters are becoming a regular occurrence. You can’t even remember the last time you went to a Uni lecture, (all those public holidays have thrown you off). You hand in an assignment and the same day receive a new one and you haven’t even finished the one that was due three days ago.   Even though motivation is at critical low you still expect to get high marks which is a confusing paradox for anyone. The struggle is real kids.

At the end of the day, university is hard but I am getting my assignments done mostly on time and still managing to maintain a social life. Balance is important and doing what makes you happy is essential for making to end of semester (happiness for me is patting every dog that I lay eyes upon).    Currently extremely caffeinated and somewhat motivated, I’m bracing for a hectic week. 

 

Things that I have learnt…

I have been living away from home for 83 days, (damn is that all???) and I have learnt some pretty important life lessons, basic skills and generally easy things that I should have known how to do but didn’t until it came down to it. This post is a shout out to the naive 17 year old I used to be and you should maybe take notes if you are in grade 12 and are about to move out…

Okay, so let’s start with the essentials. Budgeting. The b-word. The hardest part of moving out is now you are in charge of your finances and therefore have to learn self-control if it wasn’t  a trait you didn’t already possess. Grocery shopping is a nightmare because there are so many foods that you are itching to place into your basket, like Connoisseur ice cream or those caramel latte sachets that aren’t actually that economical now that you really think about it. After spending my first weekend out on the town – trust me you are going to want to save your money now, (going out is so expensive wtf). Write a grocery list and stick to it!  And don’t go shopping when you are hungry because you will get home and realise all you have bought are chips, dips and nothing that you can actually cook a meal with.

Another thing: you are going to try so damn hard to fit in. Whether it is at your uni accommodation or your course, you are going to try to blend in in a desperate attempt to not be the ‘unique’ weirdo.  I tried to become the person I wanted to be in high school and it backfired. Not that dramatically, but it still backfired. I think I have finally found the balance now. People are going to tell you when you leave high school that now you can start fresh and ‘be yourself’. You will roll your eyes and ignore it. But the reality is, now is your chance to branch out and be yourself. Stop trying to place yourself in a triangle shaped box if you are a square. Uni is the place to be strange – because there are often people who are just as strange and want to be strange with you.

Top tip number 3, learn to cook more than five meals. Because it will be week 10 of living away from home and trust me, you will be sick of pasta and cheese by then. Take-out is too expensive and therefore not an option. You think you can cook because it looks easy when your parents do it? You are so wrong. Coming up with an idea of something healthy-ish to cook is so much harder than you anticipated. You will gain a new respect for whoever’s turn it was to cook back home. Taste.com (and calling your dad at 7am to figure out how the heck you can tell if bacon is cooked) will become your go-to. Also, don’t knock those Woollies recipe books, they are so good for meal ideas. Buy one of those ready-made jars of curry/frozen vegetable packets. They are idiot-proof (kind of) and are handy to keep in your cupboard/freezer.

Another thing you need to be able to do is take care of yourself. Eat vegetables. Buy sorbet that contains 42% fruit instead of 15%. Listen to your mum when she says “pack vapour rub and strepsils because you will get sick” and that kind of stuff is So. Very. Expensive. Exercise to combat all those terrible eating habits you have adopted now. Be able to look after yourself mentally as well. University is so damn stressful. You need to be able to have a day where you sleep and regenerate, (just don’t do it when you have assessment due the next day). Splurge and buy a book/coffee/that cute top from Topshop. Plan a day of study but then plan a day of fun as well. Go and lie down and stare at the stars, (admittedly you may need a car for this if you live in the city). Call your family and tell them you miss them (and your pet).

Ultimately you have to take care of you. And that’s essentially what being an adult is. Looking after yourself physically, spiritually and mentally, (that was so ‘Eat, Pray, Love’). Laughing at your mistakes, (i.e no, you can’t microwave melamine). Being responsible. Buying your own coffee and making your own doctor’s appointments. Learning that being drunk is not an excuse. Resisting the urge to buy olives because they are too expensive. But you got this. And I believe in you. You just gotta get motivated (and maybe even caffeinated).

5 Things You Didn’t Realise You Took for Granted Until You Moved Out

After coming home for mid-semester break, (which definitely wasn’t long enough) I had the opportunity to not only remember what it is like to not have to watch how much internet data you are going through, but to be able to appreciate the finer things in life. Almost immediately after coming back to my stale smelling apartment however, I contracted an awful flu which I am still suffering from, (excuse me body, but I fed you a piece of fruit last week – how DARE you). But this has given me the opportunity to reflect upon what I took for granted when I was still at home…

1. Home cooking 

You honestly had forgotten what it was like to be able to eat a meal with more than one item accompanying it, (GOD, are you sick of pasta and cheese/2 minute noodles). Home cooked meals are not coveted enough if you ask me. The main ingredient: nagging about your poor eating habits with a side dish of “If you applied yourself and weren’t so lazy you could make this.” And the best part: not having to wash up.

2. Your Pet 

Do you remember all of those times when your pup was whining outside your door at 3 am, (because they want you to rub their belly just the right way) and you grumbled? Well now you long for the sloppy, wet kisses and that tail that always seems to be wagging. You didn’t realise how much you missed finding pet hair everywhere either. Your parents can call you anytime but unfortunately your pet hasn’t yet mastered the telephone…

3. Favourite Coffee Place

No matter where you are, you always have a favourite coffee place. That place that does your caramel latte just right. Where they know your name and life story because you went there everyday for nearly two months. That place where you can just walk in and they know your order. For me, this place is Frankie in Innisfail’s main street (the featured image for this post). Best. Damn. Coffee.  I am still trying to find a caramel latte that is up to the same calibre here in the big city.

4. Your Parents Doing Things for You

Okay so now that you are an ‘adult’ you have to do things like wash up, (without being told), do your laundry, book your own appointments, cook your own meals, set your alarms, make your own tea, buy your own food and proof-read your own damn assignments. But if we are being serious here, the hardest part about moving out of home is being able to balance all of this and be able to stay on top of your uni work. Sometimes at the end of the day you just want your mum to give you one of those amazing hugs and offer to pay for your food.

5. Full Pantries/ Not Having to Buy Groceries 

Speaking of food, the NUMBER ONE thing you take for granted when you live at home is food. You go home and there will always be something edible in the fridge or pantry, (even if it is just baked beans, slimy lettuce or last night’s Shepherd’s pie). Honestly the highlight of being back at home was not having to buy any food. Going grocery shopping with your parents is almost equivalent to going to a theme park – its exhilarating.  You want ice cream? Sure thing, chuck it in with the haloumi, olives and fresh vegetables, (Not those awful frozen homebrand mix bags). Oh man, budget, what budget?

So here I am, struck down with the flu once again, kind of on top of my assessment (not really) and with a sink full of dishes – haven’t been able to have any caffeine because of my flu but incredibly motivated to get better and survive the rest of semester one!

6 signs that you’re struggling with uni/life out of home

It’s week two and I am so far from motivated its unbelievable. Coffee consumption is at an all time high. I have found grey hairs. The budget is irreversibly broken. So here is a list of some signs that you have given up on everything, uni in particular. Some of these are applicable to me others not so much, (I swear I don’t have a beard). 

1. You have stopped putting an effort into your appearance. 

You wake up. Take a look at your disheveled reflection. Decide that there is not enough concealer in the whole world to cover those bags (it’s okay girl, work them, they’re designer) or enough time to shave off that shadow of a beard (you get kinda attached to it). Don’t even think about actual clothes, sweatpants are the new business causal right? God knows you are making the effort just to make it to your 9am lecture and that’s all that matters.

2. “What do you mean there were readings?!” 

It’s week two. Honestly. You think that the determination to do well would have gotten you at least to week five. Nope. Your study buddy/ that cool dude from the elevator who gave you tomato sauce that one time because you couldn’t find any and were about to have a breakdown, informs you that there were 3 chapters added to the mandatory readings at some point the night before your lecture. Cue 9 new grey hairs…

3. Your eating habits are disgusting. 

Rice bubbles. Mie Goreng instant noodles. Those $0.57 wafers from Woolworths. Pasta and cheese. Enough alcohol to make Gatsby wince. You have had more juice in the past week than your primary school heart could ever dream of. The meal plans you and your mum so tediously planned have been abandoned. There’s no room in the budget for healthy eating, please send money if you want me to eat a vegetable. So much sodium, sugar and carbs. The freshman 5 is coming for us all. Embrace it. Winter is also coming (and so are the baggy jumpers to hide all of this).

4. “Hey, do you think 4 minutes is enough time to get ready for uni? I am trying to figure out when to set my alarm.”

Your alarm changes from being set 2 hours before your lecture to being 2 minutes before you’re about to become 10 minutes late. I mean, you gotta get your 7-9 hours sleep. So if you go to bed late it’s totally okay because you just get to set your alarm later. Campus living am I right?

5. Someone asks you if you are an extra from the new season of the Walking Dead

Shuffling to your tutorial. Clothes that are so last apocalypse. Moaning (you just got your third assessment piece). A craving for meat, (steak is so, so expensive). Greyish looking skin (You have got some kind of flu). You have no heartbeat, (the high amount of V you are consuming has almost stopped your heart…). It’s offical, you are a first year zombie now.

6. Coffee, Tea and other caffeinated beverage consumption has gone through the roof.

It’s safe to say that the reason why your carefully constructed budget is in shambles is due to all the barista made coffees you have consumed. Caramel lattes are not a cheap drink to begin with and then you go to a hipster place and BOOM,  you have spent $16.75 this week just on coffee. But with all the not sleeping (due to study, GOSH) caffeine is your only salvation. Shout out to British exchange students and their superiority complex with tea, because now you are drinking even more of that divine stuff than your grandmother. Caffeine is caffeine am I right?

So here I am. An assessment piece due tonight (3 hours from when I post this), a new box of caramel latte sachets in front of me and the temptation of a newly purchased second-hand book beside me. About to become extremely caffeinated, and somewhat motivated.

 

 

 

 

Thriving and Surviving??

After barely making it through O-Week, (’cause I had a mad flu mum, calm down) and somehow managing to get to all of my classes on time this week, I would like to thank you all for your patience with this post. It has been delayed because I ran out of internet due to my streaming the entirety of season 6 of Downton Abbey. And also because I was hungover a lot, (sorry mum, I lied about that flu). 

If I was to sum up O-week it would be this, imagine being back in grade 8 on the first day of high school, nervous, afraid and sweaty. O-week is also like this except now you are an adult and hungover and you don’t have anything other than juice and cheese in your fridge because you are over budget. Again.  You have your bulky backpack with you and it has your laptop, textbooks (which weigh a ton), pencil case, wallet, phone, first aid kit and a ham sandwich because you weren’t sure whether or not lunch was provided (it wasn’t). Despite it being one of the most daunting and terrifying aspects of uni, I would recommend going to all of your sessions simply because it is an excellent opportunity to make friends because literally everyone is in the same (somewhat sinking) boat.

So after the trials and tribulations that O-week set for me I must try to face the reality of university. Of studying. Without someone to motivate me (I am starting to worry about how much I mention mum on this, I must be missing her or something…) or to force me to do this. I have so many chapters and pages to read it is ridiculous. I never actually realised how babied or well looked after (it depends on how you view it) I was in high school. I have already drunk a ridiculous amount of coffee this week and it’s only week 1. At least I have the transportation system here figured out?

I would like to think however after all of my thoughts (just complaining really) about O-week and having to do real work for the first time in months I am thriving here. I have decided that I am indeed a city gal and I throughly love it here. Things such as the Suitcase Rummage, people watching in King George Square and watching the myriad of (kinda?) good buskers are some of my personal favourite (free) things to do here. When I am feeling  homesick I only have to sit in my favourite cafe in Kelvin Grove Village, The Menagerie with a delicious caramel latte to feel better. I am actually the worst at budgeting…

And if you are curious to know where that divine beverage (the featured image for this post) came from, it is Chester Street Bakery. Yes, I had a gluten attack afterwards but damn it was worth it. So so soo good. Mini doughnut, caramel, banana and so much cream. Need I say more? Found in Southbank and Fortitude Valley it is most definitely worth the trek to find. Holy heck that was the highlight of my week, if not the month.

So here I am extremely caffeinated, (because I have assessment due Monday) and somewhat motivated, thriving and surviving in Brisvegas.