5 Pieces of Advice

A new semester has begun at Murdoch University. For some it is now time to reenroll, dig out that book list and start crawling out of bed for those blasted 10:30 a.m. classes. But for others, it is their first time experiencing some of what Murdoch has to offer.

For those lucky newbies I offer the following 5 pieces of advice. These are not pearls of wisdom that will ensure your success, the only person that can guarantee that is yourself, but rather some helpful information that I certainly wish I had possessed in my first few months. To all of you, old and new, good luck. Murdoch is a wonderful place and you are bound to have a good time.

1. Participate

Clubs, societies and guilds can all be found on campus. You don't have to join one but it is a great opportunity to meet like minded people that share your interests. The best part is, if you can't find a club you like you can always create one! It is a great chance to make new friendships and meet lots of different people. That's not to say that every club will be perfect, but if you join one you hate you can always quietly ignore their emails and never see those people again. Not that I speak from experience…

2. Look beyond the glass

Drinking heavily happens in those first few weeks. It's easy, in fact, to let most of freshers pass you by while you recover from hangover after hangover. There's no long term harm in doing that, unless you're drinking by yourself, but consider this. Alcohol is available 24/7, you'll only really get that freshers experience once. Or twice, depending on how badly you do in this next year. If you're an international student, put the glass down long enough to go on some of the tours and meet some of the people. It'll be worth your while in the long run.

3. Look beyond your books

It's terrifying how inadequate I felt when I was given my first assignment for class. I resolved to spend every evening in the library until I had finished. Hitting all your problems head on is the only way to solve them right? After my third consecutive late night I was prepared to admit defeat. I obviously wasn't smart enough to be here. I got back to my flat and lay on the couch in misery. That's when a new friend I had met through other people, Cameron, came in. He could see how miserable I was and it didn't take much prodding to tell him the full story. Within half an hour he had not only shown me how to succeed, he had taught me how to study smart rather than just by investing a lot of time in it. Burying yourself in work won't make you a better student. Taking the time to break a task down into manageable pieces really is one of the most important lessons I learnt.

4. Everyone has a story

One of the competition's for the Murdoch blog was to design a poster. With the help of my very awesome friends I was able to pull off something a little exciting and, as a result, I got to meet a lot of fellow students that I might never have run into otherwise. As they would write their belief on my poster it was amazing to see how their different experiences shaped their perspectives. Every single person you see on campus will have a burning desire to do something, a special talent and the potential to change how you see the world. But you will never know it unless you take the time to talk to people. It can be hard, believe me as an introvert I know, but persevere and you will meet some pretty cool people.

5. Explore

Murdoch is one of the largest campuses in Australia and that means there will be one or five secrets. If you're between classes, killing time, go for a walk down one of the many winding paths that exist. You'll find cool little studying spots, hidden cafes and even back routes to your classes. It is like being at Hogwarts with the cool, ever changing castle without the constant threat of dying horribly. I can't believe I just used a Harry Potter reference.

In summation this is advice you can live without but, hopefully, taking some of it onboard will enrich your experience. On the surface we all go to University to get a degree but just below that we have our own motivations for being there. I don't think it particularly matters what you study at Murdoch, you're likely to get a good education whatever the choice, but whether you enjoy yourself is solely your own responsibility. I hope you do!


Anonymous said...

This was a very enjoyable post, thank you for that! I'd also add that people shouldn't worry if they don't immediately take to their course. Not only is it quite possible to pick up general electives that can get you out of an academic rut but it's also worth bearing in mind that some people can just take a little time to warm to a course. If you can, it can be worth speaking to students who have been there longer than you so that you can get an idea of the shape of your course.

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Perth, WA, Australia
I live in Perth and this blog is about navigating that life in my own way.


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