How USQ is like a kaleidoscope

“I love The Quad; the buzz of fellow students from every corner of our planet, adding a kaleidoscope, eclectic energy to daily student life. I savour breezy, kicked back picnic lunches on the shimmering ‘faux turf’, beneath the shady, ever-changing trees. I love the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of special events. And the free food. Those cheery goldfish and the funky, innovative walls of living, growing foliage watching over the much-frequented coffee shop. I install myself in the library, breathing in the shared endeavour, the multilingual conversations, the dynamic atmosphere of life and learning and growth.


I love USQ. Catching up with my Chinese and Indonesian friends, and trying out my Mandarin and bahasa Indonesia studies – sometimes to enthusiastic applause, sometimes to hilarious, shared laughter – as the time I advised I was consuming bees, to assist my sore throat (in my defence, the word for honey is simply the other way around!) I love the individual personalities of College residents, our dining hall staff, approachable and personable lecturers; people from everywhere, drawn to this nexus of academic fervour, nestled in Aussie rural surrounds.

I love the richness and variety, hilarity and wisdom-inducing scenarios of community living. My youthful-esque penchant for Hello Kitty merch’ and a steady stream of uplifting cutesie cat videos is nicely juxtaposed with my almost 40 years of life experience, and view through such sobering windows as a previous incarnation as an Immigration Officer.

If the reassuring signs on the library’s toilet doors are anything to go by (I do try to use the Indonesian word for library – perpustakaan – at every opportunity, it has such a lovely ring to it) I am in good company, with 1 in 6 Aussies experiencing Depression and Anxiety during their lifetime. Whilst it pains me somewhat to quote an American actress, I feel Jen Aniston was wise with her comment ‘Life is tough – Get a helmet!’

Fortunately, USQ life is well-stocked with metaphorical helmets. Recently our College Community Advisor (a lovely, welcoming blend of professional Provisional Psychologist, and normal and approachable human being) has been leading us, free of charge, through the fascinating practice of ‘Mindfulness’.

image 2image 1   The flowers in the brown barren soil represent life without mindfulness. The flowers situated amongst the pink carpet of blossoms represents spreading peace and tranquillity into the environment through mindfulness.

I have been taking myself on daily ‘field trips’ to hone these skills, in our truly awe-inspiring Japanese Gardens. Some, beautiful Spring days, you could be forgiven for thinking of descriptions of Heaven you’ve heard over the years – a sacred space where every colour gleams near-incandescent in the warming, strident sun; and the rich, light greens of weeping willow trees and unapologetically bright pink azalea bushes smothered in flowers, compete with the trickling waterfalls and family of ducks, for your attention.


See those small, impossibly fuzzy ducklings, all enthusiastically paddling with zest. High-pitched quack-peeps caught on the breezes, as they make surprising bow waves, paddling with gusto to catch up with Mother Duck.

I hope Heaven will be something similar to USQ. A library full of learning, the camaraderie of Community Living, and a stunning garden where living beings gather and feed and relax.

In the meantime, I hope to continue learning. Including how to master those word limit requirements…”

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About Meg

大家好!G’day! My name is Meg McKie. I am in my second year at USQ. After growing up in Dalby…and living in Melbourne, Armidale, China, Canberra and Brisbane…I have found my way back to life on the sunny Darling Downs. Last year I studied Mandarin Chinese and Indonesian, while living at Steele Rudd College. I recently spent an amazing, and sub-zero, 6 weeks learning Chinese at the prestigious Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). This year I am living and working as a Resident Advisor (RA) at McGregor College, and studying History and Foundations of Language and Literacies. I hope to one day be a teacher. I love the social hub of College life; the shared student experience, and learning from so many friends about other degrees, backgrounds, places and countries. Of course, if I were running the world…there would be compulsory Hello Kitty merch’ at every turn, Bollywood and Belly-dancing would be daily exercise, the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice could screen nightly and – most importantly - coriander would be banned, as a serious blight on the culinary landscape. I look forward to writing for you this year…and sharing some of my less controversial views!

4 thoughts on “How USQ is like a kaleidoscope

  1. A great read Megs 🙂 thank you for reminding me of all the reasons I loved university. Almost makes me want to go back… almost.

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