The Dreadful 24 Hour Deadline

This post is what it feels like to leave an assignment to the last minute. If you currently have 24 hours until the assignment, don’t read any further and get to work. Trust me, get it over and done with. DO NOT repeat this 24 hour timeline below.

If you are planning on leaving an assignment until the last minute, read below. This is a timeline of what happens when you leave your assignment until the last minute.

24 hours until submission

Realise that you have an assignment due in exactly 24 hours.

This is when you will say to yourself the famous old saying “due tomorrow, do tomorrow.” You will slip off to bed to watch six hours on Netflix. Even though you won’t really enjoy Netflix, as you will feel guilty the entire time.

18 hours until submission

You decide that you will give your assignment a good crack. You think to yourself “if I write my introduction, and first two paragraphs, I can watch episode 12 of Gossip Girl season 4”.

So you give it a crack, and you make solid progress. You get to the stage where you have decided on the heading, format and have done three lines of an introduction.

17 hours 48 minutes until submission

You decide to reward yourself, as you should. You did some great ground-breaking work. You assure yourself that, next study session, you will easily smash out paragraph one, two and three. You run off to bed to watch more Gossip Girl.

13 hours until submission

You just finished the season of Gossip Girl, and decide to give your assignment another crack. You sit down at your computer, look at the time and think “its dinner time, I’ll start after dinner”.

12 hours until submission

You sit down at your desk, feeling full of energy after your solid two packets of Mi Goreng, and feel pumped to destroy your assignment.

You spend the next 30 days of your life working on this masterpiece of an assignment, and get to the conclusion.

10 hours until submission

You look at the time and realise that that what felt like 30 days was less than two hours, but you don’t mind as you have almost finished your assignment. You decide to take a break and see what your housemates/family are doing.

8 hours until submission

You realise that you just wasted two hours of your life fighting with your housemates about whether the tomato sauce belongs in the fridge or in the pantry. (The correct answer is the pantry. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT COLD TOMATO SAUCE ON HOT ITEMS OF FOOD!?)

You sit down, look at the time, and realise that tonight is going to be a late one.

4 hours until submission

You are now a walking zombie. You have stayed up until 5am to finish off this assignment. You can’t even think straight but you are happy that you have completed the assignment. You go to bed feeling like you have just conquered Mount Everest.

1 hour until submission

Your alarm goes off. You hate that you’ve done this to yourself yet again. You promise yourself that you will never ever ever ever EVER do this again, as it is too draining on yourself. You get up and drag yourself into the shower.

30 minutes until submission

You wake freezing cold. You realise that you have been in the shower so long that the water has turned to ice. You get out and get ready. You run out the door without grabbing any food as you’re running late.

5 minutes until submission

You arrive at uni and start heading to the submission office. You see your lecturer walking towards the box to collect your assignment. You start sprinting, run into 4 chairs and fall over twice. But you manage to overtake your lecturer. You’re in the clear!

2 minutes until submission

You hand in your assignment! WOOO! You can now go home and sleep. You’re really excited as you plan on sleeping for 20 hours straight.

Then you realise that you can’t do that. You have classes from 9:30 until 5:30. And then another assignment due tomorrow afternoon.

You then cry.

*Writers note

This experience may differ from person to person; however, I guarantee you will say to yourself once you have finished that you will never do this again. If you need any help with time management, the Learning Skills Advisors (LSAs) that the uni provides free of charge are an awesome asset and will do wonders for you. They can also help you with your assignment if you are organised so it’s a win/win! If you’re about to face that dreadful 24 hours, best of luck! And remember, you can do it.

– Aaron

SWOTVAC and Exams

SWOTVAC and exams

Hello FedUni Friends, are you feeling it in the air?

Yep…I feel it too, SWOTVAC and exams are upon us!

You can almost smell the anticipation and stress as you walk around campus. Well, at any rate, you can smell it at my house.

Like most students, my housemates and I are gearing up for the exam period. After three years of uni you would think we’d have mastered this time of semester, but hey, we are only human.

So in light of the looming SWOTVAC week and exams, we have put together some tips that have helped us survive the past three years.

Continue reading SWOTVAC and Exams

Hang In There

As the end of semester draws near and the stress levels rise, if you’re anything like me you’ll be holding on by the tips of your fingernails. Complacency and exhaustion set in. You may have missed lectures in order to work frantically on that essay that is due tomorrow or just catch up on some much needed zzz’s and suddenly you’re well behind and feeling very overwhelmed…


Continue reading Hang In There

Week One Nerves


So it is week one. First week of classes for Semester One 2015. For some of you, this may be your first week of uni classes ever. For others, you may have been to uni a while back and are just restarting after a time away from study. And for all continuing students, you will be starting again after a break over Christmas and summer (unless you did summer subjects).

I started my first lecture this week at 9am on Monday morning. I have been studying at FedUni for five years now, and am just starting my sixth year here. Yep, I’ve been here a while. Even with all that time I have spent here, I still found myself terrified and anxious over the weekend thinking about classes starting on Monday. Will I make friends? Will I be able to keep up with the content? Am I going to be able to finally master time management skills and not leave my assignments to the last minute this year? All these questions were spinning around my head, making it impossible for me to fall asleep easily on Sunday night.

I woke up exhausted on Monday morning. Minimal sleep from stress mixed with anxiety over starting classes again meant that I could barely get myself out of bed for that first-thing-Monday-morning-lecture. But I dragged myself out of my warm, comfy doona castle, got ready and headed to uni, and eventually found the lecture theatre my class was in (because I still get lost sometimes even after five years).

And you know what? I loved it. My lecture was really interesting and full of information I hadn’t known before. I found myself back in the learning state of mind and was ready to do whatever I had to in order to do the best I could in my study. My anxiety was gone and now I am all ready and raring to continue with all that I can cram into my mind.

Basically, the moral of this story (because what’s a story without a moral) is this: everyone is terrified. Most people feel like they don’t belong at some point or another, and that there has been a mistake and they shouldn’t be here. Even those of us who have been here for a while still experience that dread and uncertainty about themselves and their ability to be a university student. That doesn’t mean that your horrible feeling of dread is never going away and you will be stuck with it forever. Hopefully that will not happen. But if it doesn’t, be aware that you are not the only one, and there are people who can help.


The counselors here can help with just about anything, and they’re pretty awesome people to boot. Appointments are free for any FedUni student, and they’re available at Mt Helen, Gippsland, SMB and Horsham. You can find more information at


The ASK service runs from 10 to 2, Monday to Thursday, and is there for any question you might have. It’s staffed by experienced students, and if they can’t answer your question, they can point you where you need to go. They specialise in answering questions around academic skills like essay writing, referencing and time management. You can also get in touch with the ASK service in a massive range of ways:

  • In the Library at Mt Helen or Gippsland
  • By phone on 5327 6422
  • By email at
  • By Facebook message at
  • By filling out an online form here

You can find out more at

More Resources

Academic support:

Other support services:

So just remember that there are services there for you, and we all get stressed and confused! All the best and welcome back.


Leaving it to the last minute

BecUniversity sometimes can seem like everything is going so smoothly. You’re organised, you have done most of your assignments and you are feeling oh so, great! You’re thinking ‘why not treat myself to a well-deserved study break?’ So you decide to sit back, relax and zone out from university’s study stressors. That one-day break quickly turns into two, then three, and before you know it, it has been a week and you have started to panic. That annoying, loud sarcastic voice in your head rings like an alarm telling you, ‘you’re doomed!’ Your cortisol levels rise and you are now in full stress mode! You begin to panic and those exams that have seemed so far away are right around the corner. What are you going to do?

I, Bec, am writing this blog so all of you who thought that exams were ages away and are suddenly remembering about that assignment that is due tomorrow, can get back on track to passing. I have come up with a set of rules that will reassure you that it is not too late to start getting your study back on track and making sure that the nerve-racking click to view your grades at the end of semester isn’t so daunting.

Here’s how!

Rule one. Stop stressing! A little bit of stress is ok, but overdo it and you will just get sick. So take breaks from study (not week-long ones!). Study for an hour, or what works for you, then go for a jog, paint a picture, watch a T.V. show or do whatever you want, as long as it is not study. If you overdo it and make no time for breaks it is just not going to work. Unless that does work for you. Then keep on keeping on.

Rule two. Make a timetable. I know you probably hear this all the time from all your lecturer’s and people who just want to lecture you, but seriously it works! All you have to do is get a piece of paper or whiteboard (my weapon of choice) rule out some lines and make an individual box for your days. You can choose to study an hour for one subject, have a break then study for something else. Having a timetable is great because you can follow things that have been set and it can help with making designated times for breaks so you don’t get bored.

Rule three. Change how you study. Repeating the ways you study can get boring, tiring and even make you stop studying altogether because you’ve simply lost interest. Be sure that one study session is different to the other. For example, you might use cue cards and test yourself with friends for one, and for the next one you can teach someone about what you need to know. By teaching someone else in your own words it helps reinforce the information in your head, so when it comes to that exam question, you’ll ace it!

Rule four. Drink plenty of water, get you’re your recommend 6 – 8 hours of sleep, and exercise. By combing these things with your study you’ll create a great balance that will ensure you will be on the path to success! Oh, but you can’t find any time for exercise? Or you neeeed to stay up till 2am to study? Ummm… no you don’t! Remember rule two! Make a timetable. You can incorporate these things into your timetable! Make exercise one of your study breaks and if you forget to drink water make some sticky notes or put hourly reminders in your phone. Drinking water not only hydrates you but helps with concentrating. Getting enough hours sleep also helps with concentration levels. So I know you’re not seven years old anymore, but make a bedtime. This way you have a set time, where all books shut and pens drop, for you need to get your beauty sleep so you can get the most of your timetable tomorrow!

Rule five. Because five rules makes it feel complete. If you’re really stuck and you feel like you have tried everything else, ask for help. Although this sounds very simple, it can be very effective. There are a ton of great resources out there.

So start your study timetables, drink your water and stress less. Hey, if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!

– Bec

Stress Management

UntitledUni is stressful — assignments to juggle, classes to get to, campuses to get lost in (hopefully this one only applies to the first few weeks), lecturers that talk too fast… the list goes on. Which is why it’s so important to learn to manage your stress (yes, another thing to add to your to-do list).

Stress1Take breaks while studying! Even though sometimes it seems like a good idea to just hammer away at a problem until it gives in, taking a break means you return to your work with more focus, and you’re more likely to remember the information as well (that’s always useful!). Worrying at a problem for too long can just make it more frustrating, and seem impossible.

Break a task down into smaller, easier to manage pieces. It can be scary to consider writing a massive essay or revising a whole semester for an exam, but revising two lectures or writing a general outline isn’t so daunting.

Exercise. It’s always a good idea; get fit, release endorphins (meaning happier, meaning less stressed!), and increase the blood flow to your brain (meaning it works better! Who doesn’t love a working brain!?). If you feel like you don’t have time to exercise then incorporate it with study breaks. Take a few minutes to do some push-ups and then get back to your study!

Meditate (or nap in the sun, whichever takes your fancy). Also, remember to sleep! Sleep deprivation is not good for you!

Plan ahead. The importance of planning cannot be stressed enough! If you know what’s coming then all those assignments can’t sneak up on you (trust me, they do – it’s like playing ‘what’s the time, Mr Wolf’; turn your back for a minute and they run amok).

If it all gets too much, talk to someone. Talk to a friend, talk to a cat, talk with one of the awesome counselors on campus.

Just remember that it is important to take time to relax. Or your head will explode. I’ve totally seen it happen.

Stress2– Rainbow

Time Management: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

DSC_0142Hello there! So week four has now arrived, and it finally hits you, that oh-my-god-everything-is-due-next-week-why-didn’t-I-start-preparing-earlier realisation. Week five seems to be a pretty popular time for deadlines; at least for the business school  all four of my assessments are due next week *gulp*! So what better time than now for me to share some of my, ahem, wisdom, about time management?

I claim to be totally pro at this topic because for one of my subjects last semester I did an assignment where I tried different time management techniques over the course of five weeks. The sad thing is, I still ended up writing the report at 2am (oh, the irony). But along the way I still learned a few different techniques and found what works and what doesn’t work for me. So, here I am today to share some of my tips and experiences with you. Remember, everyone works differently, so what works for me may not work for you, but hopefully, some of these time management techniques I share with you might provide you with some inspiration or help you come up with some of your own ideas for managing your time!

1.       Create to-do lists

This would have to be my number one tip for managing your time. Without to-do lists, I feel like I would go crazy because I can’t quantify the tasks I need to do. With all the tasks running around in my head it feels like an endless avalanche. This overwhelms me, and I end up eating a dozen MaltEaster bunnies and napping for three hours instead of doing something productive.

But here’s the important thing, don’t just create one to-do list  create a couple. I like to create one massive list that has every single thing I can think of that I need to do, whether it’s assignments, dropping an application form for something in, or even taking my clothes to the drycleaners.  This to-do list isn’t time bound either. And when I say I put everything on there, I mean everything, not just study-related things. I find this really handy because it means that the smaller tasks I might need to do don’t get completely forgotten. Then, I also like to create a daily to-do list. This allows me to select a couple of things at a time from the bigger list, and balance everything with my studies. I often like to create my daily to-do list the night before, particularly when I have uni. It makes me feel a lot more prepared and in control for the day ahead.

2.       “I’ll just do…”

Having to write a 2000 word report or study for a test that covers a whole month’s worth of topics is no mean feat. Leaving it until the last minute is often a very stressful and draining experience. You end up having to pull a late night to get you through the deadline, which throws you out for a good few days afterwards.

One good way to tackle this is to break down the task into small, manageable chunks, and set yourself deadlines for these tasks. For example, if you have a 2000 word report due, maybe aim to do 250 words a day over the course of a week, or do the introduction one day, then one body paragraph the next, etc. You can adjust this to go at your own pace. What I find good with this technique is that one day I may not be that productive and perhaps only manage to do 150 words instead of 250, but at least I’m 150 words up from where I might otherwise be. Plus, the following day I might find I can sit down and smash out 450 words quite easily. I call this the “I’ll just do…” approach, for example “I’ll just revise this part of the topic for the test tonight…” etc.

3.       Time management matrix

The time management matrix is a table involving four quadrants:

Urgent Not Urgent
Important e.g. meeting immediate deadlines e.g. exercising
Not important e.g. checking your emails e.g. Surfing the internet for no reason

According to Susanne de Janasz, the time management matrix involves differentiating between what’s important and what’s urgent. It’s based on the notion that we never seem to have the time to be able to invest in those activities that are important to us, because we’re always too busy rushing around trying to get through all of the urgent activities. De Janasz says that ‘the more time spent on important but not urgent activities, the better you will be able to manage your time’.

This is why the matrix is a good way for you to keep track of everything and find more balance. If you keep at it long enough, you may find that you can keep on top of your assignments so that they don’t become too ‘urgent’, so that you still have time to watch an episode of your favourite tv show or catch up with friends.

4.       Find your optimal study environment

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s an important one. Try and find the environment that you work best in. Do you work better in the library at uni because home is too distracting? Or maybe you have another little nook at uni that you like to study in. Or do you have a good study space set up at home that works well for you? This can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your study time.

Studying at home might mean you are constantly going away from your studies for a break and watching TV, grabbing something to eat, or playing with your pets (story of my life), so maybe it would be better to stay a couple of extra hours at uni to do some reading or smash out some of that assignment. Those couple of extra hours at uni may be more productive than at home, which means you can then go home and have a break and watch some TV without feeling guilty.

Other things to consider in your environment might be: do you study better in complete silence or with some background noise? Do you like to listen to music when you study? Do you need a clutter free environment? Thinking about these factors as well will lead you on the path to finding the best study environment for you.

5.       Find your optimal study time

Now this one is a bit trickier, but if you can figure out your optimal study time, you will make life so much easier for yourself. Do a bit of trial and error by breaking your day into different sections and try studying during those different times, e.g. early morning, late morning, afternoon, evening, etc. If you can find the time that your energy levels are at their peak, study then, because otherwise you’ll be trying to study when you’re feeling sluggish, and you’ll end up wasting your peak energy. If you’re trying to write that introduction for your report at four in the afternoon when you’re actually a morning person, it could take you two hours instead of half an hour.


Being able to manage your time effectively is also a very important skill in the workplace, so if you can gain some good skills now, they will really benefit you in the future. Remember, no one is perfect, so don’t suddenly expect yourself to become totally perfect at managing your time. Like I said earlier, I’m certainly far from perfect at managing my time, but my view is, if some of these techniques help me get through one, just one assignment (or test) that little bit easier, then it’s worth it.

Hopefully you find some of these tips helpful. What about you? Do you have any other good tips about time management? Let me know in the comments!


Keeping Fit at Uni



Uni life equals lectures, tutes, assignments, tests, exams, partying (generally with copious amounts of alcohol), sleeping and eating. This is all great! It really is! However, the large levels of inactivity with the junk we students eat because it’s cheap and easy, mixed with the high calorie alcohol that slows fat burning, is a recipe for disaster.

We always say I’ll go to the gym or I’ll go for a run and we never do because there is so much more to do in our days (generally sleeping or eating). However, exercise has been linked to increased brain activity (ie. you will be smarter), better health (you won’t really get hangovers) and better mood (you won’t be half as crabby due to endorphins).

I personally prefer to engage in crossfit sessions where there is some cardio and some resistance training so it’s not as daunting. Just remember, when you feel like you can’t do anymore and you want to give up, do one extra. It all helps! You will never regret doing a workout, but you will regret not doing a workout or not doing your best. It’s only like 20 or 30 minutes out of your life, which you would probably have spent procrastinating anyway.

I have put up four 30 day challenges for you to attempt. You don’t even need a gym or really any equipment for this. You could do it in your house, driveway or maybe the uni oval or a park. So get your gear on and get moving!

KeepFitChal4 KeepFitChal3 KeepFitChal2 KeepFitChal1

Deferring Exams

AngeIt’s that time of year again folks, the time where the world seems to be in two minds about everything. Its sunny out and 16 degrees, but by 3pm it’s poured with rain three times and you’re freezing in your short shorts. The birds are out and singing, but so are the mosquitos and the dreaded moths. Consumerism is complained about on television for the holiday season, and yet every store is decked out with silver bells and holly berries.

Students though, I feel like we get the really short end of the stick. We’re excited because its almost summer, and soon we’ll have the three-month freedom of the lecture break! But that means that it’s also end of semester exams and assessments, so who are we kidding, the end is in sight but we just can’t reach it yet… HELP!

It’s a stressful time of year, whether you’re studying for an exam or a test, or shopping for your families Christmas and holiday wish lists on a student wage. Sometimes (and inevitably this will happen occasionally), the stress gets too much, or something goes wrong and for whatever reason (illness, loss of a family member, significant personal issues, etc.) we just can’t do the things we set out to do.

From personal experience, I myself have had to learn the ins and outs of the exam deferral process. It sounds scary, and difficult, but it is almost always easier than we think it is. Here is my rough guide in three steps:

Step One: Talk to your lecturer/tutor.

This should always be your number one step. Your lecturer and tutors have all the information you need to complete an exam deferral, and it’s always best to have them on side. If you suffer any of the above listed issues, you shouldn’t be afraid to request a deferral or some special consideration, or discuss which option is better for you with your tutor. It’s best if this is your chosen path to talk to them as early as possible. Whilst this is the case, it is understandable that some events or situations you can’t plan for, and special consideration and exam deferral can be lodged for consideration in these circumstances within three days of the missed exam.

Step Two: Fill out your forms.

Whilst some of the questions can throw you for a loop, the form for special consideration (which covers exam deferral) is fairly straightforward. You are offered a number of choices for why you are applying, and given sections to fill out personal statements, and those of a medical or health professional if the reason you are deferring requires their expert opinion and signature. If you struggle with the form, there are always people around to assist you. Ask your tutor or lecturer about which options they recommend for you. These forms can be found on the library website (we’ll link you below), or you can get them from your schools office (SEA, Health Sciences, etc.).

Step Three: Lodge your form and wait.

Handing in that form is like taking in a breath of fresh air once your sister has “accidentally” almost drowned you in the family pool. It’s a relief, and though not all applications are accepted a majority are, especially if you have applied for the right reasons. Acceptance is usually delivered within a week, and then its up to you and your lecturer or tutor to discuss alternative exam times or assessments. If you’re deferring your exam, chances are you’ve had one of the unpleasant and unthinkable happen, so once you’ve put in your form sit back, try to relax, and forget about it until you hear back. We can’t always control what happens around us, and it is perfectly okay to know your limitations and when you need to sit down and take a breather, so do it.

Remember, if you’re applying for a deferral you are probably doing so for a very good reason, and your lecturers and tutors are only around to assist and aid you in your journey through university. Don’t stress too much about asking for assistance, its something we all have to do at one point or another, and once you’ve asked you’ll feel much better.

Whilst I can’t offer any advice on your holiday shopping (as mine has never been quickly or easily accomplished either), as a student, and one who has had to defer before, it is a relatively simple process that really does help take the pressure off during difficult circumstances.


NB: Information of the University policy on exam consideration and deferment, including the forms to apply for consideration or exam deferment can be found at this link here.


Steph_2Ahhhh Relaxation… something we all desire especially when we are swamped under a suffocating workload. Relaxation however, can be as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow being defined as “the state of being free from tension and anxiety” (Go Wikipedia!). Seems impossible huh? Yep, pretty much!

Ever had trouble sleeping or thinking straight because your mind is in a billion other places worrying about a billion other things? Ever had your muscles in your shoulders or your neck get really sore and tight? Ever felt exhausted and drained and desperately in need of a holiday? Well, well, well I would suggest this is the blog post for you.

So my lovely unrelaxed reader, I decided to take this quite seriously and went all detective ‘n’ stuff and made my way to the counselling centre at Uni opposite Admin. I booked in to see Brock Dawson who is a counsellor and he gave me some great tips to share with you all!

Brock suggested that the first place to start would be where you can do some evaluations of your personal stress levels and also find basic relaxation audio breathing exercises or Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises. As well as these Brock said PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! He could not stress it enough to me that especially when you have to balance assignments, work, relationships finding time for yourself and many other elements of your life you need to plan ahead and allocate sections for each.

Relaxation is hard, and finding a balance in life is also hard. If you can’t relax or find yourself feeling tense most of the time pop into the Medical Centre and book yourself a session with one of the friendly counsellors.