Video: CLASSES | SURVIVING UNI #3

Hey guys! Today’s video is finally continuing my Surviving Uni series and in this one, I talk about surviving classes! Whether it be lectures, practicals or tutorials, I’ve hopefully got you covered. Plus, I finally hit ultimate laziness and filmed in my pyjamas!

Thank you for watching! Please like, comment and subscribe ❤

Sarah May xxx
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College Room Homewares 2015

My College Room Homewares post of 2014 was my most viewed post of the entire year – so, now that I have moved into a new room for the new year in a new college, I’ve redecorated! Since last time I showed you around my room, I’ve acquired some beautiful new gifts, in addition to bringing back old decorations that I featured last year. Without further ado, here is how I decorated my new, larger college room:

DeskBooksRose Photo FrameMetal RosePink CactusLink CommissionWillow TreeBall CactusPaper BonsaiGoldmark TeddySucculentPaper RosesDesk PlantFinnBedPillowsBalcony View

  1. Full desk view
  2. John Green books – Will Grayson, Will Grayson & An Abundance of Katherines; Leather Sketchbook (gift)
  3. Dusty Pink Rose Frame (Big W)
  4. Metal Laser Cut Rose (gift, from Expert Laser Solutions Mackay)
  5. Pink-Top Cactus in Ceramic Pot (Masters)
  6. Link Watercolour Painting (Commission from Katie Cook [gift]) in White Frame (Bargain Point)
  7. Willow Tree Figurine (gift)
  8. Ball Cactus (Bunnings) in Ceramic Pot (Masters)
  9. Hand Crafted Bonsai Tree in Ceramic Pot (gift)
  10. Teddy Bear (Goldmark Jewellers)
  11. Succulent (Bunnings) in Ceramic Pot (Masters)
  12. GVA Television (Harvey Norman); Origami Roses (gift) in Vase (Bargain Point)
  13. Stationary Holder (Typo); Succulent (Bunnings) in Ceramic Pot (Masters)
  14. Fish Bowl (Kmart), Pebbles, Plastic Plants (all good pet stores), Wooden Log Ornament (gift)***
  15. Bedspread (gift)
  16. Paris Pillow (gift); Inspirational Pillow (gift); Teddy Bear (gift); Alpacasso Alpaca (gift from Supanova Brisbane, 2014)
  17. Balcony View

***DISCLAIMER: Fish are pets, not just for decoration. I also highly recommend against keeping fish in bowls – I only do so because it is my only option when living on college. Bowls are very difficult to keep fish in properly and to do so I clean my tank frequently, maintain a healthy bowl temperature for Bettas and make sure my bowl pH is right. Proper tanks are better for your Betta.


Sarah May xxx
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We Shouldn’t Be Ashamed of Failure

…so long as you’ve given it 100%.

2015/02/img_1749.jpg

I was a high achieving student in high school – I graduated as the top girl in my grade with the highest possible exit ranking. I used this to land a position in the Bachelor of Veterinary Science program at a good university – a very difficult and challenging course.

All seemed smooth enough while I was beginning – I wasn’t expecting high distinctions all round, but I was happy with distinctions or credits. My marks didn’t begin the best, no matter how hard I tried, but things really hit home in the first exam period, where one exam was much more difficult than expected. I passed with a credit overall, but it scared me to think that failing a subject was a real possibility despite my results in high school.

Second semester rolled around, and it was much tougher with higher expectations and a higher fail rate. In week 5, I failed my first test – worth only 7% of my final grade – despite studying for days beforehand. I was disappointed in myself and insanely upset. In week 10, I failed my first assignment due to my own mistake of answering the wrong questions. In week 12, I forgot to put my name on a lab report and markers couldn’t locate it, resulting in 0%. Despite all of this, though, I was still sitting on a 75% average leading into the final exams.

The first exam was a practical anatomy test, which I felt okay about. It was challenging and nerve racking, but I passed overall. The final exam was my only opportunity to pass the second component of the subject, physiology – which I needed to pass to pass overall.

The exam was certainly tough, and a lot of people struggled. I came out of it passing anatomy, but failing physiology by a small amount, earning me a second chance in the form of a second exam a few months later.

In the gap between the first and second exam, I realized that even though the first exam had all us vet students asking for help in our Facebook group, I heard absolutely nothing regarding a second chance exam. No one posted anything, possibly out of feeling ashamed of the mark they had received. Admittedly, I was afraid to reach out too – afraid that my classmates would judge me for not passing the first exam, and afraid that I would be close to the only one who had failed. So I didn’t post anything.

I didn’t post anything despite having given my all to the first exam. I gave it everything I had, I studied every moment I could, yet I didn’t get the result I wanted. Why should I be ashamed of that? It’s not like I slacked off. It’s not like I didn’t focus during the exam. I gave it 100%.

I shouldn’t be ashamed of trying my best. I shouldn’t be afraid to let other people know that I failed a test. I should be proud of the effort I gave, and be prepared to figure out where I went wrong. I should get over it and move on. After all, I gave up sleep, fun and relaxation for that test. I sacrificed, yet fate wasn’t on my side when it came to the types of questions asked on the exam.

It happened. I failed. I learned from it.

I’m not going to be ashamed and I can’t blame anyone but myself.

I completed the second exam yesterday and am awaiting the result. If I pass, I continue to second year. If I don’t, I have to repeat first year or reconsider my options.

But you know what? I tried my best the entire time. And that’s what really matters.

Sarah May xxx
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Living at College

Living at College

Living at college can come with many stereotypes – I’ve lost count of how many times I or my family have been met with the remark: “Sarah’s living at college, wow… She mustn’t be getting much work done there!”

I’m sorry, but no. Not everyone living on campus at a university sets out to drink every two nights and waste away their degree.

I mean, yes, about 80% of college students are your typical college students – especially the boys (sorry boys, this is just what I’m seeing with my own eyes): obnoxiously loud, complete disregard for everyone else’s study time and a constant need to drink, party and go out clubbing at every opportunity. That includes Cheap Tuesday, Tavern Thursday, Bludgers Friday, Party Saturday and even Sunday! I know heaps of people that go out every single night they can during the week. College can be a very social time, you can make lots of friends and, since you live so close, hang out with them all the time.

College life for me, a studious, shy student, involves a lot of sitting in my room, studying, watching TV or playing computer games (mostly studying though). My social interaction is at meal times, when my friends and I make our way to the college dining hall to eat. On weekends, I skype my long-distance boyfriend to take my mind off things, and sometimes go shopping. I only go out clubbing for special occasions, such as a Toga Night or a Pub Crawl. And, every single night without fail, I silently curse my neighbour for loudly skyping his friends at ungodly hours of the night while I am trying to sleep.

My college is a bit of a wreck – we live in “temporary” demountable buildings while the “real” college is closed due to asbestos and insufficient fire escapes (promising, isn’t it?). These demountables have been here for seven years now, so not so temporary. The rooms are a bit small for my liking, but they include a little personal ensuite with a toilet, basin and shower – something no other colleges at my university offer. It’s great for shy people like me who don’t want the rest of the college to watch me walk from the showers back to my room in just a towel! We also have our own air conditioner – a godsend in the hot Australian summer. Here’s a very old photo of my room – fun fact, I didn’t actually take a single photo of my fully finished room before I left it. 😦

College Dorm Room

I don’t have a large amount of friends at my college – quality over quantity right? It’s just the four of us at my college, plus a few more at other colleges. It makes it tough, especially since if they’re out shopping for a night I have no one else to sit with for meals. But I don’t mind – more friends means more commitments and less study time!

So yes, college does live up to its reputation for frequent, wild parties and sometimes vulgar residents (personally, I don’t understand how they study enough to pass their course). However, it is important to know that not all college residents are like that. Yes, social hierarchies still exist, and those who don’t party with the “cool kids” aren’t particularly high up on that list, but for the most part college is a perfect place to live when moving to a new city for university, especially if you don’t have a car to drive to Uni in (which I didn’t for my first 4 months). Not everyone loves it, but I do, and I’m proud to be a part of my college even if we suck at everything we participate in.

As my first year of university comes to a close, and all my friends at my current college are moving off-campus into a sharehouse, I am saying goodbye to my little grey box of a room to say hello to a much bigger and better room next year – on the third floor of the college all of my vet friends, yay!

Sarah May xxx
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Is The Stress Really Worth It?

Is The Stress Really Worth It?

My final exam for the year is in two days, and I have found myself in a very low place over the last few weeks. I’ve found myself thinking about the possibility of failing and how disappointed in myself I will be, and then what I will do if I have to come back to Uni for supplementary exams in January… and even if I would come back to uni and try the subject again should I fail.

This mental state is an issue, right? Of course it is. This course has been my dream since I was five years old – now I am eighteen and I made it in. Of course uni was not what I was expecting – I was expecting fun, the best years of my life and making so many new friends. Little did I know that I would be locking myself in my room every night, never going out on weekends just to get assignments done. I’m constantly stressed and sleep-deprived, and I haven’t made friends apart from the ones I met in orientation week because I just haven’t gone out anywhere. I feel terrible, all the time, and I could escape it so easily by just… stopping. I could stop studying. I could stop living away from all my family and friends, I could be with my pets, I could be with my boyfriend. I could be stress-free, I could be working full time and actually earning money instead of living off Centrelink youth allowance payments because the extreme study demands of my course don’t allow me any time to work during the semester. Or maybe I could take up another course, something with less work so I could actually have a good time at university.

So why am I here? Why am I studying this course? Why am I enduring all this stress and anxiety and homesickness? 

Frankly, one reason is due to the expectations placed on me. I graduated my high school as the highest achieving girl in my class, and it seems everyone else who graduated at that high level and even below are actually enjoying their university experience and aren’t getting sucked under with the massive workload. A thought that constantly runs through my mind is, “I have to make my family proud. I got an OP1, I need to do something with that. Everyone would be so disappointed if I dropped out and took a TAFE course in Vet Nursing, because I can do better than that”. I know that I shouldn’t be caring too much about this, but if anyone else has been in a similar situation you will understand completely what I mean.

A second, and probably more important reason is that this is the career that I want. I want to work with animals, I want to help people. Being a veterinarian is a logical career progression for me. Yes, vet nursing could give me the same results with a hell of a lot less stress, but I’ll always live with the regret of not achieving the highest that I could.

I’m also stuck in a spiral of comparing myself to other people. “If the other 100 people in my course can pass, then why can’t I? What makes me so unable to do this?”. I must prove to myself that I can be up there with the best – I don’t have to be the best, but if I keep up, I’m happy with that. (I’m gonna be honest, just passing vet science is probably equivalent to a distinction/high distinction in other courses based on what I know)

So, the bottom line, the reason why I wrote this post – yes, the stress is worth it. Why? Because in 4 years I will be a veterinarian, which is what I want to do. My family will be proud and I will be happy with myself as an accomplished, intelligent, strong woman who overcame every obstacle thrown at her. It will be tough, and this year will be the hardest it gets. If I can get through first year, I can get through the other four years.

Sorry for the rambling today, but I really needed to put this into words. Does anyone reading this relate to how I feel, even a little bit? Help me out and comment with how you overcame/are overcoming this horrible thought process.

Don’t give up on your dream, Sarah. The hard work will pay off one day. 
Sarah May xxx
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