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.



Websites You Need To Know When You’re At University

As University students, there is never a time that we don’t want some form of help or guidance, but we can’t always get face-to-face time with someone. That’s why I have looked around and found my top 4 websites that every University student needs to have saved in their favourites.

  • 1- This one probably comes as no surprise to you. However, many students don’t utilize this website to their full potential. EVERYTHING you need to know how studying at La Trobe is on this website. From correct referencing guides, to important dates and social events, this website literally has it all. If you are not familiar with this site, go check it out now
  • 2- This website can also become a virtual lifesaver. This is a social media website, which allows students and teachers to communicate. You can create study groups, join pages to do with your subjects and also join other groups and meet other students based on your interests. It’s a perfect way to meet people from other universities who are studying the same courses as you, and you can post anything you want, whether it be asking for help, giving information to other students or random pictures you thought were funny. I use this site and I definitely recommend it.
  • 3- This next one is definitely a good one to have saved in your favourites tab. A lot of us are familiar with Online Shopping, and this website allows us to organize our textbooks from the comfort of our own lounge rooms. Not only does it have every single textbook we could ever need available at the click of a button, it also has a gifts tab that have some great items to help take away the stress of University.
  • 4- I chose to include this website because all of us, no matter what we are studying to be, will need to create some sort of assessment that requires photos. This website is full of photos that we are allowed to use. This means that their owners have given us the rights to use them, which makes the entire referencing process oh so much easier.

So there we go, my top 4 websites that I think every university students should have saved in their favourites.

Stay Cool,

Hello there fellow bloggers!

My name is Bianca Anderson and I am delighted to join the team here at First Year Blog. I am starting my first year here at Bendigo La Trobe doing my Bachelor of Education.
During O-Week, I asked some fellow first years how they found their experiences. Lucy Gemmill and Emma McGregor share their stories below.

Lucy Gemmill:

What course are you studying and why did you choose it?
I am studying a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), and I chose to do it because in the future I want to work in finance or as an accountant.

How did you feel on your first day of O-Week?
I was quite nervous, just because I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone says that university is a lot different to high school and I didn’t know what they really meant.

Did the fact that Bendigo La Trobe is a regional campus help you decide that it was the campus for you? If so why?
Yes, mainly because it would allow me to still live at home, and travel to school everyday. I am a small-town country girl and the Bendigo campus allowed me to stay in the lifestyle I like, whilst also giving me a taste of the city.

What is your favourite thing about the Bendigo Campus?
I really love that I has a really huge library and that there are different areas depending on how you want to work – quiet areas for quiet study and areas specifically for group work.

How do you deal with stress?
During year 12, I had a really hard time dealing with stress, but I have learned that if I am really stressed out, I need to back away from what I am doing and read a book or listen to some music.

Do you have any advice for students looking to start at Bendigo Latrobe?
Definitely come to campus tours and the Experience La Trobe day, so that you get to have a look around the university before you come to study.

Emma McGregor:

What course are you studying and why?
I’m studying a Bachelor of Education (P-12), and I chose this course because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and because becoming a teacher will enable me to help shape the future generations into a better society.

What do you think of the Bendigo campus?
I really love this campus! The campus has the right amount of city life and country life mixed together. Also, the general inclusive quality of the students and staff make it feel like home.

Is there anything you are nervous about going into your first year of University life?
The most nerve wracking thing about starting my first year was moving out of home and being away from my family for the first time.

What is your favourite thing about the Bendigo Campus?
My favourite thing about the campus is how everyone is always making sure that everyone is getting involved and having a good time, especially during O-Week.

Any advice for students looking to start at Bendigo La Trobe next year?
Just make sure, especially over O-Week, that you join in and make the most of it.

So much like the lovely girls above, I had a blast at O-Week. I will admit, it was daunting walking around trying not to get lost, and the stairs killed me at first; but I am so excited now that I can’t wait to start studying!
Stay Cool =D

Welcome to La Trobe!

La Trobe Agora

La Trobe Bundoora – Agora. Photo credit: Olivia Larobina

Congratulations on becoming a student at one of La Trobe’s beautiful campuses! Whether you’re straight out of high school, returning to studies later in life, or just making a change, we hope you love La Trobe as much as we do.

Our aim is to develop the blog into one hat all La Trobe students, -past, future and present- with experiences and stories can relate to. We hope everyone enjoys reading our First Year Blog, and look forward to some of you potentially joining as bloggers for 2015.

There will be some changes to the blog this year, namely in the style of content. We want to allow bloggers to have much more creative freedom, giving them the power to write about topics that they are interested in. We want to shift the blog’s focus from being purely about advice and uni updates, to including personal anecdotes about positive experiences at La Trobe.

Share what you love!

Whether you’re interested in sports or fashion, entertainment or social justice, events or interviews, we want you to blog about it’s a part of your first year experience.

So if you study at Bendigo look out for Tom, and if you study at Bundoora look out for Olivia. We’ll be around recruiting new bloggers to join us this year.

We’ll keep you updated once recruitment officially begins. For now, enjoy O-Week 🙂

Our Blog – what we’re all about

The first year at La Trobe University – any university, for that matter – can be a daunting time. Students, whether they be young or old, can be apprehensive about the shift to uni, maybe moving away from home or taking that next big step in your career. And then there’s the campus – a vast, open area with so many lecture rooms you wonder whether the university even utilises them. And that’s before you consider the workload of your classes. Or your rent. Or if you can make the bus which leaves five minutes after your lecture finishes.

Of course, many of these fears that “first years” hold are unfounded. Once at university, you’ll find that the seemingly enormous ground is a warm, welcoming environment. All the facilities you need are on-campus or nearby; there are so many recreational activities to take part in; and there is a strong support network to assist you if you are struggling. You could make lifelong friends with your classmates, or you could love studying so much that you spend the rest of your life at university – we call these people “lecturers”.

Even so, not everybody is keen on life in the Big Smoke, which is why La Trobe also has campuses in regional Victoria. The courses on offer often mirror those found at La Trobe’s Melbourne campuses, only they are taught in towns such as Bendigo, Mildura, Shepparton and Wodonga. Some students will spend a year or two at a regional campus before moving onto Bundoora, while some students from Melbourne move into regional Victoria to escape their city lifestyles. And yes, they all offer the same welcoming atmosphere found in Melbourne.

What our First Year Blog aims to do is provide a snapshot of the many ways to be a La Trobe student – no matter your age, background, course or campus. We’ll show you the many opportunities of life and study in Melbourne and the subdued, but no less enjoyable, lifestyle of the country.

Our first-year bloggers have the opportunity to further enhance their writing talents, whilst also sharing their experiences with you and helping you make the most of your first year. We’ll keep you posted about the development of our star team!

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Mental Health Day

University is busy with assignments, deadlines and trying to fit in socialising. That’s why looking after yourself and your mental health is not always a priority.

Today is World Mental Health Day aka WMHD, a day for global health education, awareness and advocacy. This year in Australia, WMHD has three objectives:

  1. Encourage help seeking behaviour
  2. Reduce the stigma associated with mental illness
  3. Foster connectivity throughout communities



Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 2.31.13 PM

You can be a part of WMHD by encouraging people to take personal ownership of their mental health and wellbeing, this could mean exercising, going out for a coffee and having a conversation about mental health.

Remember, mental health and illnesses can be talked about, and equally should be talked about. So, if you know someone who needs help or wants to talk about it there is help out there, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

For more information about Mental Health Day and how to get help or get involved visit the mental health web site (it’s not all so serious, I promise).

Happy Mental Health Day from the FY Blog team 🙂

Photo: Mental Health Aust Twitter page

How 30 days inspired me

If you’re struggling to find motivation to study, want to try something new for a while or just want to take a break from your exam study or essay writing, read on!

I’ve recently fallen in love with TED talks. For those of you who don’t know, they are short,  powerful and informative video talks which generally inspire individuals. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend you check them out.

I usually love every single video but Matt Cutts’ talk Try something new for 30 days really speaks to me.

Matt talks about living life to the fullest and trying new things. This is something I have always wanted to try. I want to be a go-getter. I want to live life to its fullest and love every second of it. I want to grow in confidence. I want to tackle the world and win.

The message is important and I would encourage everyone to try something new for 30 days. You never know, it might just change your life.

Watch Matt’s simple yet moving talk:



If you were to go on my Tumblr blog at the moment you’d notice I’ve been blogging a lot! This only means one thing. I have assignments I should be doing. I actually like to think my time management skills have gotten a lot better since I left high school, mainly due to the fact I have great friends who look at me disapprovingly whenever they see me procrastinating.

However, when it comes to study tips and advice on what you should be doing in relation to assessments, I’m honestly the worst person you could listen too. I’ve taken this negative and turned it in to a positive though. Instead of telling you what you should do, I’m going to tell you what you shouldn’t do. Below is a list of what not to do when you know those assignment dates are getting closer!

  • Do NOT write the title of your assessment then reward yourself with ‘five minutes’ free time. Before you know it, its 9pm, your study break has been going since 11am yesterday morning and your word count is still 5.
  • Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and funny cat videos on YouTube are not your friends. They are evil. You’ll realise this the night before your assignment is due and you’re curled up in a little ball crying of stress. The cat videos aren’t so cute at this point in time.
  • The sudden urge to clean also becomes strong around assessment time. STOP! Put down the duster! If your room has been filthy for the past month a few extra days won’t hurt. In fact it might be good for that mould in the corner to keep thriving!*
  • Boredom eating is a big one! Don’t do it, you’ll regret it! Unless the food is Tim Tams, in this case 5 packets in two hours are acceptable.
  • Oliver Queen or any extremely good looking TV show character will not help you pass your assessments. This is possibly the saddest and most disappointing thing I will ever write.

I really hope these tips help to cure your procrastination and will help you all get A’s!


*Note: I do not have mould growing and my room is actually very clean! This was a made up example used for the purpose of this blog post!

Change is inevitable

Walking into the Latrobe Bendigo for the first time has got to be the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve experienced to date and that’s saying something about me. After recently moving from Cairns to Bendigo, you must understand my overwhelming sense of anxiety. Having moved so far away from my friends, my immediate family and my hometown, I was absolutely crapping myself! Suddenly I have all this responsibility and independence and at times I really don’t know what to do with it all. I just keep telling myself that this is what I wanted. I wanted to move out, I wanted to have my own place and car, and I wanted to study something I’m passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, this is still all true, it’s just the change in the every day that I’m still getting used to.

I read somewhere once that the only real constant thing in our lives is change, continuing change and inevitable change. This is true but is only recognisable to someone who has, or is experiencing, this sense of change. I am going through this on a daily basis, even more so now that I have recently started uni at Latrobe.

I’ve learned that change is something that everyone experiences. It’s all normal change, expected even, but nonetheless still important. There are both positives and negatives to this, but in the end, as Asimov says, ‘change is inevitable’. There is no use denying it, you just need to jump right into it, and swim through the ocean’s depth and find your anchor.

So far I’m still swimming but I think I’m getting closer to finding it. Every day I feel more and more passionate and excited about what’s next to come. As long as I stay focused, enjoy myself and make the most of this experience, I think I’ll be okay.

By Findingkira

How to adjust to university

I’ll be honest, I haven’t found the transition from high school to university all that hard. However, I know that there are thousands of others out there who have. Here’s my advice to anyone curious about starting university or anyone who is currently struggling with the transition.

University is all about independence. Throughout VCE teachers will incessantly remind you that there will be “no one there to tell you what to do at uni”, and it’s true. Every day you will have to find your way, try your hardest not to get lost, to feed yourself and to do the work required of you ALL ON YOUR OWN. Becoming independent is the scariest aspect of starting university, and ironically, for many first years it’s the very thing they have been wanting for years!

“A dying friend once told me, “I wish I hadn’t spent so many Mondays wishing it were Friday. I also wish I had made better use of those Fridays, for better stories on Monday.” (Author unknown)

I have seen this quote quite a few times on the Internet and each time its meaning has stood out to me. It says that wishing for something that you can’t have is a waste of precious time when instead you could be making every day count. The key is taking ACTION. Don’t wait for university to be great, make it great. So, to all those worried about starting university this is what worked for me and what I recommend:

Take time to explore on your own. 
Find a favourite spot to eat or get your morning coffee. Find toilets. Find a nice place to study. Find the best way to get to and from uni. Learn to be independent, especially if you usually rely heavily on your parents or teachers. Once you are comfortable in your surroundings, you will be a lot happier!

Be open. 
In all honesty, I’ve never been the most confident person in the room but I made a vow to go into my first day of classes and just be open. When you go to uni with a smile, positive attitude and willingness to try new things (it sounds corny but it’s true) you will instantly attract good experiences and new friends. You don’t have to be confident or super talkative to be open – it’s a mindset.

Appreciate the past, enjoy the present and get excited for the future.
 For many, high school is one of the best experiences of their life. However, I think it is important not to be excessively nostalgic about it when starting university. If you spend your first week of uni constantly comparing it to high school, where you were surrounded by your closest friends and in a comfortable environment, you are only going to be disappointed. Not only that, you are wasting time that could be spent turning your tertiary education into yet another amazing life experience. Appreciate high school for what it was, an incredible learning and growing period of your life and get ready to enjoy the next one.

Good luck!