Assignment Season

The dreaded assignment season is upon us. The first six weeks have felt like a breeze. You’ve gone to class, you’re feeling full of knowledge and you’re asking yourself “who even said university was hard?”

You get given your first assignment, but it doesn’t worry you. You’ve got plenty of time! All your other classes are seemingly just as easy. You’re having the time of your life.

Your second class has its first assignment, more than likely a 1000+ word essay. You take a few deep breathes but you’re still okay. You’ve still got plenty of time, but a couple weeks later, you’re starting to feel the beginnings of panic reach your core.

Third assignment comes in plus you’ve got a speech you have to research and revise before your next class. Without you even realising your workload has multiplied sevenfold. You’ve got major assessments for each class and minor homework tasks you must accomplish before class.

At this point, horror is all you know.

The main problem of assignment season isn’t just the assignments themselves, it’s the fact that you’ve reached a midway in the semester and your motivation levels are low and your procrastination levels high. Even B grade movies are a better idea than actually looking at your assignment but you can’t afford the luxuries you’ve so come to love and appreciate in life. All you can do is stare at your blank computer screen and hope, nay; pray that you can get each assignment done.

Goodbye social life, TV addictions and movie appreciation nights. Hello word counts and endless nights of typing.

I wish I could say there’s a silver lining to assignment season, but unfortunately there is not. So this is where my advice lies, don’t procrastinate and tell yourself “you’ll start tomorrow” because it’s a lie. There’s a reason lecturers give us assignments months before they’re due. Use that time to at least make a start to avoid, in my opinion, the most stressful time of the year. And hey, before you know it, it’ll be the yearly break! So start typing my fellow students and the misery will be over soon.



How to conquer group assignments

In high school when a teacher announces group work is to be done, it is almost a guarantee that half of the students in the class will turn to their best friends and give them “the look”. The look that says without words “you’re my partner”or “you’re in my group.”

During one of my first tutorials at university, the class was faced with the prospect of a group assignment. I looked around – I knew NO ONE! In the end, I got into a group of three and the rest is history. I think the three of us did a pretty good job of working together BUT it is always difficult to find balance among different personalities and different work ethics. In my opinion, each person usually fits the mould of a certain type of team member.

The control-freak: This is the person who instantly takes control of the work. They know what they want to do and how they want to do it, and will do everything in their power to make it happen.

It is important to remind this person that it is a group assignment and everyone needs/wants to have an equal say in how it is done. They may have great ideas but a bad, controlling attitude – you must encourage the good side to make it shine!

The whatever-er: Whatever.” “I don’t mind.” “It’s up to you.” These three statements are likely to come out of the mouth of the whatever-er (yes, I made that label up). This person does some work but they aren’t willing to share their own opinions or ideas. This places more responsibility on other team members and makes it difficult for decisions to be made.

Give them RESPONSIBILITY. If they feel like everyone values their ideas and decision-making, they will give more to the group. By handing over responsibility to this person, they are forced into a situation where they must think for themselves. 

The lazy one: The person who does nothing, or appears to be doing something but in reality is not. It can be very frustrating to have a person like this in your group!

If it gets to the point where their laziness is affecting the group work and potentially your grades, you need to say something. Sternly tell them that if they do not get their act together, everyone is going to get a lower mark. If you also show or try to subtly remind this person how much work everyone else is putting in, they should feel pressured to also participate.

The overall good team member: If you’re lucky, everyone in your group will be a great team member. The work is shared out evenly; everyone puts in equal effort, listens to one another’s ideas and gets the assignment done!

You don’t need to do anything but be grateful you have a fantastic team!

A big part of university is learning how to work in a group. Do your best to be a team player, whatever the situation or whoever you are working with, and hopefully you will bring out the best attributes of your group members. It’s also a skill that will get you far in the workplace too!


Back to Reality

I spent the whole of Year 12 studying for a number.

A number that woke me up at 6:59am on the day it was released because I wanted to know whether or not everything I did throughout the year had paid off. It did pay off, and knowing that it did made me incredibly happy and satisfied.

Last week, as I sat down and read the first two questions on a mid-semester test; I thought to myself for the first time in more than a year “I am not prepared for this”.

Let me tell you, it felt horrible.

Whereas last year I consistently made notes and compiled them in preparation for SACS and exams – this year I have admittedly done the bare minimum (until now). The moment I felt that sensation of utter unpreparedness, I vowed to myself it was time for a change. 

I was never under the illusion that university would be a walk in the park, however some part of me felt I deserved a longer break after 13 years of primary and secondary schooling.

Now it’s time to get back to reality, and this is my reminder to all of you (whether you are working hard or hardly working) to stay motivated. Remember how you feel when you get back an amazing test result or assignment score, and channel those feelings into everything you do. 

Everyone goes through phases of being either super motivated or ultra lazy (well, at least I do). There’s nothing wrong with spending time curled up in bed or missing the occasional lecture to go out and have lunch with your mum. Just remember, if you’re a first year like me – you only have three years to go and a little sacrifice won’t hurt.

You don’t want to be that person who finishes university, goes out into the adult world and thinks “I am not prepared for this.”

We live in a privileged society where we are able to get an education, so make the most of it. Soak it up, stay inspired and show everyone what you’re made of.

By Jemma

Say No to Stress

Nothing says welcome back to university more than assignments. My chest grows tighter and tighter as the tasks I will undertake are handed to me.

I’m just not sure how I am going to manage.

That lovely week off for Easter break just wasn’t long enough. Now, I find myself back to finish off this semester and already I’m counting down the days until the next set of holidays. (And my much needed trip to Hawaii.)

I always seem to focus on the overall set of tasks ahead of me, instead of just focusing on one at a time and let me tell you; it’s not healthy. Stress only leads to lack of sleep and appetite. For someone who loves their sleep, and is always hungry – this isn’t good.

So I’ve decided I need chill out.

University is supposed to be a fun and an enriching experience so I’ve decided I need to stop letting my stress get the best of me and just try and take this new stage in my life, one step at a time.

So I’ve decided to create a checklist:

  1. Create a table outlining the weeks my assignments are due for each of each of my classes so it is laid out in front of me. ✓
  2. Create cue cards as I progress in my marketing subject each week because this subject has an exam and that’s how I learn best for exams. ✓
  3. Possibly take up yoga or some form of meditation eg. get a stress ball (I’m still working on that).

By Adriana

S-T-U-D-Y-I-N-G, what does that spell? Procrastination.

Week six is here along with the glorious deadlines for assignments, if you haven’t freaked out yet I salute you.

To quote a very insightful wizard Albus Dumbledore

“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”.

So start making good choices right now and put down that phone and get writing.

If you’ve come straight from high school like myself – you’re most likely looking at these assignments and thinking how do I write this? The thing is its okay if you don’t know how to write it; all you have to do is ask for help.

Ask your tutors or your lectures and don’t forget about the first year advisers. These people are here to help you and make this transition as smooth as possible so ask their advice and clarify any queries you have.

So after opening your word document to begin writing you won’t feel confused. You wont feel the need to begin skimming through Facebook. Instead, you will be able to look at that empty word document and have the words flow through your fingertips.

So make good choices and don’t put that studying off.

Start writing your assignments because at the end of the day it’s your future which will benefit from it.

By Adriana


Believing the Possible

It’s been 6 weeks since I walked into my first ever class of University at 23 years of age.

Exciting? To an extent.

Daunting? Unimaginably.

From working full time and wandering around directionless, I finally decided to do something I knew I was capable of, but I lacked the confidence and self-belief.

So I did it.

I applied to study full time at university after 5 years out of school earning a full time wage. I went through all the necessary procedures a mature age student applying is required to, and waited 6 long months since my decision to hear of my fate.

I wasn’t accepted in first and second round, but I finally made it in by negotiated offer. After missing out initially; I wondered if I was meant to be here – when my brother, Corey (also mature age) was accepted.

I think I cried periodically for a day and a half; annoying everyone who heard about it. Although I was well aware it wasn’t the end of the world.

I wanted to make this change for myself. I did everything I could within reason and made many calls, sent countless emails to La Trobe to understand my future steps for becoming a student – and I was finally accepted. (#nomoretears)

So far, in just 6 weeks at university I have submitted 5 assignments I’m proud of. I’ve befriended a whole bunch of kind and intelligent souls of all ages, and most importantly – given myself a huge sense of pride knowing I can do anything when focused.

And what a cliché term that one is, but it’s true. I am living proof, no matter how unsure you may be about your journey or yourself, that anything sitting deep inside your heart that can’t be ignored any longer – is achievable.

I can’t wait to see what my future will finally bring, now that I’m in charge of it.

By Jessica

Assignment madness and daunting deadlines

Feeling overwhelmed with class assignments? Not sure how to get started or don’t understand what to do? Everyone has there own way of approaching assignments but here are some general tips on how to deal with those tough assignments.

Try not to leave your assignments till the last minute, this will most probably cause you unnecessary stress and anxiety, and will leave you feeling like you didn’t do your best. It’s a good idea to break down the assignment into key sections and write a couple of hundred words each day so that you can develop and expand on your ideas over a period of time, and reflect on what ideas work or don’t work. Remember it is okay if what your writing doesn’t make sense at first or seems NQR because you’re just getting started. Start off with a draft, and keep working on it till you’re 100% happy.

Completing assignments can be difficult especially when you have a few due around the same time, that’s why it’s vital to manage your time and spread out the work load. Learn how to develop time management skills at our Time Management section. If you still feel stuck, why not check out The Academic Language & Learning website, here you can find loads of helpful resources to assist you in your studies, and best of all they’re just a click away! Also check out the Library site for advice on referencing and planning your assignments. This is a great resource especially if you’re struggling with getting started on an assignment.

IMPORTANT REMINDER 1: The census date for semester one is 31st MARCH 2014. This date is important because this is when you’re financially liable for all the subjects you’re enrolled in. It is your responsibility to make sure your enrolment is correct. You can view your current enrolment at StudentOnLine. If your enrolment doesn’t reflect what you think it should then contact your Faculty or Student Administration Office ASAP, otherwise this will cause you grief in the future. For more information about census dates head to

IMPORTANT REMINDER 2: We are still recruiting first years to join our exciting First Year @ La Trobe blogger team! Don’t miss out on getting involved in this year’s blogging fun! We are on the prowl for diverse, passionate and enthusiastic students who enjoy writing or even videoing. It doesn’t matter what faculty you’re from or which campus you attend, we want to hear your thoughts, but more accurately, your words! In 300 words or less let us know what excites you about your first year at La Trobe. Alternatively, send us a video of yourself, no longer than 2 minutes, explaining what you find exciting about first year university life at La Trobe. Email your entry along with your name and course to by Tuesday 1 April (that’s this Tuesday people!) We look forward to hearing from you soon! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch at

Happy writing/videoing 🙂

Gluten Free & …

I made the BEST gluten free brownies the other day.
This will tell you how to do the same.
Except I put them in a cupcake tray. Hence, reduced the cooking time.
And I used Gluten Free Flour instead of that random Sorghum Flour, which I could not find anywhere…

This is how I usually am in the kitchen:
So I’m quite pleased with my successful brownies. Yeeey!

I also completed a 2000 word essay,
and chopped a decent amount of my hair off.
I feel so invigorated ._.

124719  <- If you recognise this, you’re one of the following: Continue reading