Holiday Management

The year’s over, the res colleges contract has ended, and aside from a Christmas and New Year’s Eve party your calendar begins to look upsettingly empty. Three and a half months of holiday, and nary an idea to fill the time. The early days are spent playing Skyrim and marathoning Scrubs, but after the novelties of shouting at dragons and the shenanigans of ‘The Janitor’ dwindle, you are left with days that seem to be getting exponentially longer as the holidays go by.

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Thus begin the dark times, you realize it’s been weeks since you last ventured beyond the safety of your front yard, your parents have become frustrated with your apparent inability to accomplish anything with your holiday time. Perhaps you tried to get a job, join the gym, do prepatory study for next year, perhaps it worked, or perhaps it was such a dark, distant and unsuccessful process that you’ve blocked it from your mind forever. Regardless of the intricacies of your holiday so far, you’ve begun to experience a yearning, an overwhelming desire to return to the warmth and comparative comfort of college life, where doing things isn’t so hard, and you can feel a sense of accomplishment just by making it to breakfast on a weekday, but I digress.
My experiences of the holidays have gone a little something like the above, and I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the ways that I choose to deal with the separation anxiety and notable lack of structure that holidays bring.
First of all, I think that the holidays are an amazing time to reconnect with family, and your friends from home. It may sound obvious, but when everyone from college is now hours away, spending time with the people who are right there is the clear better idea. For me this involves family Christmas parties, finally being able to attend small family gatherings, watching movies with friends, and things tend to settle back into their old routine. Regardless, at times, an overwhelming sadness comes over my very being, as I remember that, while I am spending time with my friends from home, my friends from college are not being graced with my company. The highlights of my holidays have been the times that I get to reconnect with my college life, through the people and places. There’s something about meeting up with a couple of college mates in a college room and just having a chat that is an extraordinary experience.

As far as maintaining my sanity, time spent with college friends was highly valued, and often the most looked forward to times of my holidays. Road trips, parties and hangouts were some of the highlights of my social calendars.

Between Skyrim, Scrubs, Christmas and College Friends, it’s pretty easy to fill the weeks with completely non-useful activities. Good Luck!

Christmas Day as a student

The morning starts like every other. One wakes, yawns, and a quick thought flashes across the frontal lobe;

“Gosh, I want to go back to sleep.”

Then the rest of the brain kicks in with an uncustomary speed, usually only attainable with at least one of cup coffee.

It’s Christmas.

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Depending on your age, this may mean different things. For example between 2-16 years of age it means Presents. For 17-27 year olds it’s a cross between Presents and Party Time! 28 and above its one of several things

“Oh bugger its my turn to cook,”

“Do I really have to spend all day with them?”

or

“Gosh I want to see what they think of their presents,”

There are variations of course. Not everyone adheres to those guidelines. Take myself for example, my thoughts upon waking in the early hours of Christmas day bounce around incoherently until they hit a wall, fall on their arse, sit up and look around feeling rather bemused until they finally stumble upon,

“Oh Damn, there goes the diet,”

As a student however, Christmas comes with an additional sense of foreboding. Any money one may have had left after their bank account was sucked for cash, until they were as dry as a Twilight novel, immediately has the last drops drained to buy Xmas presents for family and friends.

However, despite the lack of funds, the age differences between members, and the new addition to the iPhone as an integral part of the family from which each member must not be parted, Christmas celebrations in the Mills household are jovial affairs. The aunts and uncles arrive, each party bringing at least a kilogram of prawns so that by the end we easily have 5 kilos of the nasty little bugs (My sister and I don’t like them, we stick to chicken shiskebabs). The cousins arrive, bringing bottles of wine, beer, and iceblocks. Someone in the mix has brought a tray of mangos, which will be lucky if it sees the sunset. I don’t know much of how other families do it, but for us, it’s a seething mass of talking, eating, drinking, swimming and general frivolity that even the Romans would be proud of.

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And luckily for me, someone else is paying.

the perfect college room-mate

To anyone who is reading this,  ALOHA!

However your eyes may have got to be feasting upon this blog is irrelevant, lets all just be happy that they have!

My favourite time of the whole year has already passed again..when the shops reach full capacity, houses light up, carols play wherever you go, and people are more generous then they have been all year.

Christmas has come and gone, with it, another College year has come to a close, and whilst I do miss the socialism, meals being cooked for me, and seeing my friends everyday, I am enjoying some peace and quiet during this holiday period. College is very much a come and go sort of place. Some people stay for 6 months, some even 6 years. Residents graduate, or move off for any other reason, and its always sad to see someone go.  My roommate for 2012 graduated and has now moved off to live in Perth for her employment. Her name was Courtney, and I already miss her.

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Me & Courtney @ Concannon Formal

Living next to someone, and seeing them everyday, you start to know them inside out. We have shared many memories in B11/B12, and I wouldn’t give any of them up for the world. Where it be late night trips to McDonalds, or watching Disney movies together, we always managed to entertain ourselves. Whilst I resent her slightly for leaving me without a room-mate for next year, I am very proud, and excited for what lays ahead of her.

Keeping with this thought, what should be considered the Perfect’ college roommate?

Firstly, lets define perfect as an adjective:

“Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be”

For myself personally, this is what I look for in an excellent roommate

 Cheerful

 Friendly

Friendly

 Fun

 Not too noisy

 Considerate

 Hygienic

 Interesting

 Talkative (because I like chatting)

 Good listener (for when I am rambling)

For someone to be classified as the ideal roommate, they would most definitely need to fulfil the above criteria.  With a balance between socialism and study sometimes being a challenge to find at college, with the help of a good room-mate, it can be easily attainable.

As a first year in 2011, I had a returnee room-mate, and it really helped me adapt to Concannon College life.  So I sort of hope I have a fresher (first year) this year, so that I can teach them everything I know to make the best of the College experience.  As 2013 is my final year, I also need someone to carry on my legacy. Concannon College is very tradition based, and previous residents who had a big influence on College are never forgotten.  Its all about acquired knowledge,

‘The freshers bring it, the returnees leave it here’.

Who knows, maybe one day years from now people will talk about me at College over dinner, just like I talk with my friends about past residents who’ve left a legacy. I wonder what they would say…..

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Until next time,

 Nicky

Checking out for Christmas

“If there were a prize for the most depressing day of the college year, I would award it to check out day in November.”

Check in day, on the other hand, is the opposite; exciting day full of promise!

You see all the friends you left behind four months ago, hear the holiday stories, and scrutinise the years ‘freshers’ (first year students) with a fine tooth-comb, to determine who might be living with you for the year. The best part is the ‘Little Head Voice’ (or LHV) is saying “Oh Goodie, this year is going to be great!” The LHV doesn’t even consider going home.

Then, as life inevitably does, it gets busy. Thus leaving the LHV to scream at you in moments of respite “Why on earth didn’t you start that assignment earlier! Its due in two hours; get cracking!”

Before you know what hit you, its time for mid-semester break. When the LHV calms down and starts nattering on about all the fun things to do. Then, the process is rinsed and repeated and with hardly more than a shocked look, the year is over. Bringing us once again, with dragging feet, to the Christmas holidays, and check out day.

Check Out Day 

Ah..that day, when many people who you’ve come to love and admire insist on graduating, and leave your life to enjoy and fulfill their own.

With them, they take the wonderful memories of years happily spent in the presence of like-minded people, leaving you to stare at the photos and reminisce while watching old block videos. At this point, the LHV quietly reminds you that one day, it will be your turn and you will then have to leave the safety of College to enter the big wide world and make it a better place for having been in it.

But as all mourning periods eventually do, it ends… allowing you to enjoy the four long (maybe too long) months of holiday between semesters, and look forward to seeing some of your friends again soon.

Many people work over the break, I certainly do.

The aforementioned sinking feeling of the approaching holidays. is matched almost perfectly by the sinking levels of my bank account.

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Whilst the country burns in this super heat wave, I while away my time in the cool hideaway of a travel health clinic – playing vampire in a way that even Bram Stoker would be proud of, and giving advice to people spending their Christmas visiting remote and far more exciting places than Brisbane.  Just today, my customers (girls my own age) were finalising their travel to Egypt, South Africa, England, Scotland and the Greek Isles for three months with friends…jobs can be depressing!

Choose what you will for the remainder of the summer break..

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..hoping it will end soon..

and bring the exciting promise of another exciting year on College!