I tried to think of a fun way to start this little blog post off, but I think my current uni experience is encapsulated by the total inability to pick one memory to kick this off.
My name is Jess Lyon, I am 20 years old and grew up in Orange, NSW, before making the move the Canberra earlier this year. I am studying a double degree of Commerce and International Relations at the ANU, and despite consistently remarking “I am still trying to decide if I hate it or not”, I could not think of a degree more suited to me.
That being said, the past six months have taken me through so many ups and downs, with general poor health (not diet related, as I am still yet to try two-minute noodles), adjusting to a new city and – most notably, trying to balance work and life/social/sleep/exercise. It is easy to see why people say they choose two options between sleep, study and a social life! My first semester of uni was a bit of mess, and my sleep schedule was about as random as they come – working at a bakery, which required a 4.30am wakeup on weekends, and nights out having a boogie with friends finishing up around the same time.
If it weren’t for the incredible friends I have made so far at uni, it would have been a much more tumultuous trek to get the (slightly) more balanced point I am at today. They encouraged and supported me through the long weeks, providing enough caffeine and giggles to make it all seem a little less scary. In the few months I have known these guys, we have become a tight-knit unit.
My biggest advice for anyone starting uni, or struggling, is to get involved in as much as you can – because uni is what you make it, and the friends you make are from so many different backgrounds with their own wonderful and unique stories. I threw myself into sports and joined the mountaineering club – rock climbing three times a week. I have made some beautiful friends through the club, and I think a lot has to be said for quite literally placing your life in someone’s hands!
CEF has helped me immensely over the past few months, covering costs like textbooks – the price tags of which can be well into the hundreds. This has been such a saving grace for me at uni, as Centrelink took nearly six months to approve my application (I only received word today!).
Those first few weeks settling into uni were hard, but I am so thankful to have the extra help from CEF to take some of the pressure off settling in.
Jess Lyon is 20 years old and grew up in Orange, NSW. She is now living in Canberra studying a double degree of Commerce and International Relations at the Australian National University.