Hey guys!

I’d love to introduce myself; my name is Harriet Girle, I’m currently a first year student at La Trobe’s Bundoora campus studying a double degree of Bachelor of Law/Media and Communication.

This year I’m super excited to kick-start my involvement with the La Trobe First Year blog, working alongside a team of creative individuals who all have their own perspective on being a first year at La Trobe. Together we aim to give you, fellow first-years, some advice through our experiences and hope explore our university together!

‘COFFEE ON CAMPUS’  This concept, born out my own genuine frustration and inability to find a good cup of coffee on campus, for what I would like to say was far too long. Basically, I aim to review and collate across the next semester a guide (survival guide, if you will) providing you guys the down low on some of the cups of coffee you can get across campus.

Writer’s Block Café

Borchardt Library, Lv. 1, Bundoora Campus. This little gem is tucked away on the lower level of the university library, situated across from the ‘La Trobe Help Desk’ and to the right of the main entrance to the library. The location is very convenient, especially if you’ve been studying in the library or even just passing through campus.

With snacks such as sandwiches, cakes, slices, and even stocked with a variety of macaroons; there is no excuse for a first-year to go hungry with this selection on offer.

I don’t branch far from a ‘strong soy latte with one’ (not a pretentious coffee selection – just lactose intolerant) and these guys satisfied with flying colours. Firstly the coffee was smooth, deep in flavour and whilst providing a strong caffeinated hit. I arrived in a peak period, just after 10am on a Monday morning. Completely mindful of the ‘coffee rush hour’ I’d entered into, my expectations of a timely service were reasonable. But I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t an issue at all for any of the friendly staff, (receiving my order within 3 minutes) a true testament to ‘Writer’s Block Café’ considering their popularity.

Not only was the coffee exceptional, the venue itself I would recommend it as a quiet place to enjoy a coffee, study, or just catch up with a friend – suiting any students needs. Aesthetically it’s well fitted out, and the artwork across the walls is a lovely touch.

‘Writer’s Block Café’ satisfied my caffeinated hunger whilst curing that lousy morning brain haze, providing me with a great coffee with a quick service – which honestly, fits the bill perfectly on a Monday morning.

Coffee rating: very good.

Setting: study or catch-up.

Vibe: chilled, yet humble.

Welcome Latrobians !

A warm welcome back to those students who are entering their second semester, and a big welcome to new La Trobe students!

If you’ve just joined us and you’re not sure how things work, don’t freak out! Settling into uni life is easy, there are loads of handy resources and information on the New Students section of the La Trobe site, so make sure you check it out!


Here’s a quick breakdown of a few essential tips which you’ll need to know to survive second semester:

  • If you’re new to uni it’s a good idea to get Ready4Uni at La Trobe’s online orientation. It basically helps you make that transition from ordinary boring life to exciting uni life!
  • It’s no secret that life as a student isn’t easy. It involves managing your time, generally living on a budget and making new friends (if you don’t want to be a loner, which, let’s be honest that’s pretty much everybody). Check out how to be not only an exemplary student but also maintain a decent social life at our Life as a student page.
  • Some top tips from experienced students – Don’t be afraid to ask for help, get involved with student clubs (after all isn’t that what uni’s all about?!), go to classes and manage your workload. Get inspired by reading more smart and practical tips from La Trobe’s experienced students here.  We promise you’ll be thanking us later.
  • Finally, the new student checklist is a must for confused or curious students, check it out and get excited!

We hope you have an enjoyable second semester and we look forward to hearing what you get up to! Feel free to share your La Trobe first year experiences with us by emailing

Have a happy and safe second semester (:

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

Fit but lazy!

My week 9 focus: fitness.

My twelve-year-old sister has advised me quite wisely that I’d be a lot fitter if I did “50 situps and pushups every night”.
I snorted. “Psssh, is that what you do, sister?”
I was a little shocked.
Here I am, investigating gym memberships as adults do, trying to get paying money to an institution to motivate me to exercise regularly,
while my own sister does it so easily in her own bedroom.
She’s fitter than I am. o.O

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 ._.

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Getting there

I know when and where all my lectures and tutorials are off by heart.
Yes, I’m that cool.

Recently, the weather has this annoying tendency to get really hot on a Wednesday. The only day where I happen to be in the hottest lecture theatre in the universe. Not exaggerating. Undercroft Lecture Theatre, anyone?

To be honest with you, I thought uni would be a breeze. Especially first year. But it’s really not that breezy. I already have 4 assignments all going on at once and all due around the same time. And I’m meant to be reading 7 books for English at some point. And learn how to reference properly. And I’m slowly falling behind.

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Hectic much?

To be honest, I hadn’t even realised how much time has passed since coming to University. At first I was thinking “Oh yeah, Orientation was last week!” when suddenly a voice in my brain pipes up; “Uhhh no. It wasn’t. That was weeks ago.” And then I stand utterly still, a look of pure confusion etched on my face most, probably freaking out the people passing me. Like so:

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Heatwave – Sashay away.

Latrice Royale

Shout out to the people keeping the air-con running in all the buildings on campus lately! Did you ever know that you’re my hero?

Not sure what it’s been like up in Bendigo, Shep, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga, but Melbourne = hot as Hades. Blessed be the cool change.

O-week is now but a memory, I’ve broken in my showbag pens and weaned myself (mostly) off a diet of fanfiction, DVD marathons and sleep-ins. Speaking of showbags, for next year I really think the following essentials ought to be included:
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