You have to do assignments, journals, essays, projects, thesis’, diary entries, pretty much every thing you are assigned to by tutors, professors, lecturers, admin, or anyone else in a position of authority. When you do, and if you do it well, they will like you, give you better results and feedback and everything else will be better. Don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security though, you need to keep it up throughout your entire degree.

Beer, Babes and Blogs
In times of dire stress, such as 2AM the night before an essay is due when you havn’t even started (because you ignored A), the above three procrastinatory measures will seem like viable alternatives. Forgetting to attend lectures because of a ‘busy schedule’ is another good time to get into said alternatives. Try to remember you only have around seven months of university in the year and the rest is holidays. You can do all of the good stuff when you’re not drowning in a sea of assignments.

Colleges, Centrelink, Coffee and Coke
These will help you throughout your student life. If you don’t already live somewhere, take a look at the colleges at index.html?id=61318. Although outside the ordinary young adult’s budget, you’ll be living with other students gaining experience in and getting a feel for the real world. You will also save on transport and best of all you’ll be buying time as you’re on campus. The Centrelink website can be found at internet/internet.nsf/home/ index.htm. They are generous with both their time and allocated expenditure. If you want to concentrate on university wholeheartedly, youth allowance is a good option. It’s not much, but you will have a lot more time for other pursuits. PS. And don’t forget the caffeine. It does help when you’ve exhausted all other options. I’d say try the gym and healthy eating first though.

Prepare for this if you leave all of your assignments to the last minute. And avoid it by being as proactive as you can. That is, give them a go as soon as you can.

University is not ‘easy’. If you think it is, you’re not attending lectures, tutes, reading your prescribed readings, finishing assignments on time and all the other things that will ensure when you’re done, you get the job you want. If ‘hard’ proves to be too much, try and stay somewhere above ‘intermediate’. However tertiary education can also be great fun at times. You have more freedom than at high school, can wear whatever you want, and in all honesty if you truly feel the need to lie down in grass and sleep off the night before, you can.

Final Exams/Essays
Even if you’ve done everything else and are on par with the class, a bout of flu, a big night out, a poor choice for lunch or many other things can make the difference between handing in a seven-worthy piece-de-resistance or a good-old-four. Prepare and do. That is all.

Exercise is great for lots of reasons. Too many to list here. If you’re all at university i’m sure you know what most of them are. Get into it.

Maintain your health. Good food, good body, good mind and all that. But it’s true. If you eat chips all day, every day, you will become a soggy oil coated potato. Nothing wrong with that every now and then, but I prefer fruit and water at uni (diet coke sometimes for a quick-pep up), and yes, the Gym. It’s good for you and for everyone else.

I-phone, I-pad, I-tunes, IPrimus, IKEA. I’m sure there are lots more I’s that I could fit in there but I don’t want to take up all your time. Point is, they know it’s all about you. And it is. So go it like it’s a post apocalyptic 3011 and you’re the only one left.

Humour is great. Take a look at your friendly neighbor. You may be sitting at a lunch table in the food hall on a bench outside the library or at a computer. They are here to learn just like you. Tension will never arise but if it does just laugh it off.

Tutors will not spoon feed you. They just won’t. They may give you a little to go off but you have to do the bulk of the work. If you have failed to do something and sit around waiting for it to come, you will be waiting for a very long time.

If at times you don’t know what to do, and i’m sure that during your uni life this will not be very frequently, just remember to follow the law. If you were told to do something, do it. And if you were told not to, then go and do something else. Preferably something ethical.


The metaphysical is interesting. Pick up an apple. Look at it. And realise that it may or may not be an apple. Someone a long time ago called it .apple’ and that’s why you call it that today. But someone in Africa may call it something different. And a bird will see it and think it is something else. And if you were just a molecule in that apple, it would mean and be something completely different to you. Don’t worry life isn’t like that.

Is good. Aim for normal.


Like normal, is much better than chaos. Aim for order.

You’ve chosen to delay working to further your education. This means that for a few years you will be rather close to the poverty line (unless your parents are loaded). People who work will have more money than you. But, remember that graduates do earn more over a lifetime. Much more.

You will have lots of these and you will be asked even more. It’s ok. If you don’t know something just ask.

Anything that sounds like or appears like the above word is best left for texting or nights out and trying to be funny but failing spectacularly scenarios such as entries in a student guide. Tutors will prefer something that shows laborious hard work, diligence, wide reading and attentive selection of information to match what they themselves think.

Find security’s number. Security are paid to sit around, keep the peace, lock the doors and lots more, so don’t be afraid to contact campus security. Call them and they will come and help you.

Watch the time. Keep your time. Get to class on time. Don’t forget to time your essays and journal entries: the night before will produce night before work and preparation will make the equivalent of a Rolex timepiece. T is also for tutors, they want you to do things on time. Employers want the same. It’s not just about what you produce. It’s the fact that you did it and it wasn’t handed in late.

It exists. Australian sun is great, but harsh. The ozone hole doesn’t help. The cancer council says half us will have cancer at some point in our lives. Grim reality check, but true. Get some sunscreen. Oh and put it on if you can be bothered.

You want this. Not at the expense of your fellow students of course. But think of all the students at other universitys who want to work in the same field as you do. Would they give right of way if you crossed their path?

Water is life. The more you drink the more you live. As fun as sluggish, dehydrated zombies can be, pack a bottle or buy one or make nice with the many on campus bubblers so you remain alive.

Sex and booze. You’re all adults now. Enjoy in moderation or excess. Or not at all. You’re all adults now

Japanese mafia. I don’t know of any around campus but if you see poisoned sashimi or shurikins I suggest you learn hiragani, kanji and Nihongo asap, throw some green tea to the left and a deferential bow to the right.

Zee. or Zed. The end. The final. Culmination. If you’re reading this at the beginning of your degree it seems like it’s so far away. But it’s not. A month becomes a semester, and then a year, and then a degree. Hopefully you start preparing right before the last batch of final essays. Follow this guide and what the professors say and you should be ok. All good.

About the Author:

My name is Andre and I’m a Master of Journalism student at UQ.
I like journalism as it balances what I learnt in my Bachelor of Arts Communication. I can safely say that I have come from the “dark side” of spin, promotion and commercial pursuits to the light of objectivity, fairness and balance. Public Relations and journalism can co-exist in media and society, and I know both can contribute positively to society if carried out ethically. I have experience in public relations and media, was a reporter for the Indigenous Voice Project in 2010 and am currently the postgraduate liaison for UQ JACS:
The University of Queensland’s Journalism and Communication Students.

Please see:
Indigenous Voice Project