The last taste of holidays.. and an exciting new year ahead.

“I need you to do something for me.  Can you grab a pen and a piece of paper?” he asked.

“Is a coaster okay?”  I responded.

I’ve returned to my old job working in a popular pub in my hometown of Maryborough, pulling beers for the entire population of middle to late aged men in town.   It’s been great to get back into work and save up some money for 2013.  Plus, working in a bar guarantees air conditioning as well as the opportunity to chat to many people I wouldn’t usually get a chance to.  That’s one thing that I really enjoy; meeting and talking to people and hearing what they have to say.  Even if it’s just about how bloody hot it is outside, people from all walks of life can sit down and congregate on an equal playing field with a beer in hand.  However, as you can expect, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

“Yeah, a coaster is fine.  Now can you write your phone number on it please?” 

At this point, I realised that I really should have seen that coming.  Don’t worry Steph, I tell myself, the creepy tattoo beard man who doesn’t own a toothbrush and won’t follow you back to college.

Other than the good, the bad and the ugly of my job at the pub, my holidays have been great.  Especially with the news that I’ve been chosen to join the esteemed ranks of the Collegiate Team as a Residential Advisor (RA)!  For the non-college readers, this means I organise nightly study hall, living-learning community (basically activities and events) and have rostered duty shifts after business hours to be the point of contact for McGregor College residents who may require after hours assistance (study hall, lock outs, College rounds and respond to emergencies.. well at least fire alarms!).  This is done in exchange for free board and a room twice as big as everyone else’s.

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Me, Jan (the VC) and Lachlan (Concannon RA)

Begin my jedi training soon, I will.

“But wait Steph!” I hear you say.  “How did you apply for such a position and what would you recommend for others applying to be an RA?” 

If you are thinking about applying in the future, the applications open at the end (September) of each year.  I was required to submit an application online and then participate in an interview.  I won’t tell you how to sit an interview or put in an application, it’s pretty obvious and you’ve probably over dosed on ‘how to’ instructions at school/university.  My main advice to you is to get involved within the College community.  Become an active member that people can rely on, and have fun while you’re at it.  Make an effort to get to know as many people as possible, and experience everything College has to offer (go to everything!).  Also, especially if you will be a fresher in 2013, make an effort to come along to the O-Week festivities.

Furthermore, there are lots of great clubs and groups you can get involved in too.  For example, I was the Secretary of the Charity Committee in 2012.  We ran many great activities such as the shave for a cure, raffles and trivia nights.  Our flagship event for 2012 was the Charity Royale, a James bond themed casino night.  You may have seen those aesthetically pleasing, well designed posters around USQ.

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A great way to show off your leadership development and community involvement is to sign up for the USQ Phoenix Award.  You can achieve this award by accruing 1000 points by taking part in non-compulsory extra-curricular activities.  Each activity has designated points and points build up gradually over a number of years, which perfectly balances the time taken to finish your degree.  There is a great list of formal activities and volunteer jobs to get involved in, and they will also assign points to approved activities that may not be on the formal list.  It’s very easy to do, and it only took me a year and a half to complete.  I strongly recommend getting involved because it looks great on your university academic transcript (as well as your resume!) and is easy to attain through some activities you are probably already doing.

Lachlan (another charity committee member) and I at the Charity Casino Night

Lachlan (RA & charity committee member) and I at the Charity Casino Night

I’ll conclude with a quote, this time from the Dalai Lama.  Do not read this in the voice of a llama.

“Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions.”

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