2015: A College Odyssey

This past year has certainly been an adventure, full of changes, exciting moments and late nights of study. I would like to dedicate this blog to this past year and all the amazing people who I have shared it with.

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This year at Concannon we used O-Week to conquer (pun intended) all the parties, all the activities, and most importantly meet everyone. My personal highlights of 2015 O-Week include; Steele Rudd’s Rodeo, Concannon’s Beach party and the Concannon Wedding, always a highlight. Special mention to all the incredible Concannon freshers who spent O-Week looking fly in their sun safe hats.

 

Semi-Formal:

Concannon’s 30th Birthday party, was an amazing time, costumes that all started with ‘C’, and birthday cake, what more could I have asked for? Also the amazing semi-formals that Steele Rudd (Famous People) and McGregor (Superheroes and Villains) hosted, I was lucky enough to be able to wear the same costume to all the semi-formals, the best way to justify the purchase of an expensive costume.

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Concannon Parties:

Who doesn’t love a themed party? Life is too short to spend your time with people who don’t like dressing up for a themed party. Some of Concannon’s themed parties from this year included; St. Patricks Day party, Hero Day (to celebrate our graduates) and Golf Day (since we are such incredible athletes).

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Formal, what would a year on college be without formal? Concannon’s Casino night
involved a little panic (setting up) and a lot of fun. And in classic Concannon fashion we made sure there was lots of laughing, lots of dancing and excellent food. Thank you to the RSC for organising the formal and getting everything done, to the Block representatives for all their support and to all the residents who attended and made sure it was an incredible night.

 

To all the college residents of 2015, thank you for making 2015 an amazing year, and of course, make 2016 an amazing year as well.  Have an incredible rest of the year and best of luck to everyone during these final weeks of university and during exam block!

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The formalities of McGregor College

It’s the day! You have the perfect dress. You know exactly how you are going to have your hair. You know exactly when you are doing everything. You are ready for one of the best nights of your life! Being a college resident gives you the best opportunities to spend time with your friends, especially at the semi-formal and formal. But, it’s not what you think.

During the first semester we enjoy the semi-formal. This year the theme for our semi-formal was Superheros and Villains. The costumes ranged from witches to avengers and from ninja turtles to Steve Irwin – it was quite the sight to see. Throughout the night, a number of proceedings took place ranging from residents getting silly awards to the photo booth being used. Not only do you have photographic evidence of what exactly happened that night but you get the best three-course meal you will ever have in your time at college. Not only do you create some of the best memories, you get to do it with all your friends.

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I bet you are thinking that formal is exactly like your school formal; that you have to be dolled up to the nines and have to wear your ball gowns. It is nothing like your school formal – it is much more relaxed. Yes, you have to wear a formal dress but it can be any type of formal dress. Men, however, you will be required to have your yearly shower around this date because you have to at least smell nice. Both last year, the year before and again this year, I have worn the same formal dress – started at Year 12 and now we are here. Moral of the story – wear what you have. Again, you get one of the best meals of your college experience – chicken or steak, anyone? Not only do you get to dress up and sit at a table with all your friends, it is the chance to honour those who are graduating, welcome the new RSC and congratulate outstanding residents. It is honestly one of the most fun nights, I have experienced and was better than my school formal.

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So, you are thinking about coming to college? DO IT! You get to experience so many events throughout the year, semi-formal and formal included, that allow you to enjoy time with friends and enjoy a great night organised by fantastic people. Hopefully, I will see you at the next ones.

Formally a good time

Once a year a magical time rolls around at college, a time when the boys are all pressured into getting haircuts and showering to a higher quality, and the ladies all have a valid reason to buy a new pair of shoes, its formal season. Now when I first came to college I was unsure what to expect, high school formal all over again (not even close), a who wore it best situation, or something else.

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Step One: The Outfit

Lads, this means making sure your suit actually still fits. I have known many guys to just trust that it will fit, and they were WRONG. Additionally when you are trying on your suit, make sure it is clean and iron it if you need to.

Now ladies, this again means checking your dress fits, is clean, and although we are all on a budget, buying a new dress if you absolutely need to. You could also change up a dress with new shoes or accessories, and speaking from personal experience you always needs more shoes and accessories.

Step Two: Picking Your Table

My recommendation would be sit with the people you are going to have the best time with, people that you can be certain will switch a meal with you of needed, giggle with you at one of those classic college jokes, and people that will be ready to take a million and one selfies with you. Additionally get in early for saving a table, otherwise you and your friends may not get to sit together.

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Step Three: Ensure everything is ready EARLY

Formal comes in two parts; the formal and the after party. Most people require an outfit change between the two, so it is important to have everything planned out ahead of time. For the ladies this might include doing makeup that is suitable for both outfits, and picking shoes that will be comfortable. For the boys it might including having a clean outfit to change into and having your ID and cash ready. No matter who you are, it might also be a good idea to remember to reapply deodorant as often after parties are quite hot and you could get sweaty.11802178_10205150296657751_559615435_n

Ladies and Gentlemen, remember, formal isn’t just an opportunity to dress fancy and have a special meal, it is a chance to celebrate your college graduates, to welcome the incoming RSC executive and to enjoy one last night of simple celebration before the struggle of exam block.

The Social Coordinator from your college has the massive challenge of organising your formal, and would love help. So, be sure to sign up for your college formal committee!

 

 

 

New kid on the block

Hi there!  My name is Alice Galea, originating from Bundaberg with a passion for crafts and baking and am currently studying my second year of my Bachelor of Education, Secondary.  Since completing high school in 2012, I have undertaken a Gap Year, during which I changed my mind from going to the big smoke of Brisbane to the smaller, much more personable environment offered by the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.  Since then, many good times were had throughout my first year.

After moving from my home of 18 years in Bundaberg and knowing absolutely no one other than my sister on college, let alone in Toowoomba, I was required to overcome my shy nature, epic homesickness and remain true to myself as a person, in order to make new friends and survive my first year of uni.  I also withstood the new challenges which presented themselves when I studied some third semester subjects back at home!

Some of my favourite events from my first year included a bush dance in o-week, which has thus far been a highlight for my second year.  As well as the fun that was had, the added bonus of this event was its assistance to help to adjust to the cold Toowoomba weather for a few hours (for a cold frog, this was great…but then winter came…)!  The red frogs’ café crawl soon after was also a highlight in order to get to know a some more college faces, as well as few of the fabulous coffee shops around town, of which the Park House is still a favourite (after all…who can resist their cherry ripe hot chocolates…that’s right people…CHERRY RIPE!!!!!!)!  For any first years who are reading this, hopefully they will hold one soon and it is DEFINITELY worth going! 😀

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Back on college, the social events of Semi-Formal and Formal were definitely the highlights for me for the year.  Seeing the creativity of outfits and the preparation which went into everyone looking their best for each of the nights was lovely to see. 🙂

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Thus far, 2015 has been off to a good start on Concannon.  I look forward to keeping you up to date with all of the goings on here and hope that my blogs are insightful.  Catch you next time!

RSC – The Crazy Folks

When you first move to college you hear about these Concannon Group Shotweird people who volunteer on your college RSC (Resident Student Club). Why are they weird you may ask? They volunteer their time to do stuff for the college and try to keep residents happy (not an easy job). They sound crazy, but they are actually kind of amazing for juggling everything they do. They plan all major college parties and events, they organise social sports clubs and college merchandise. And why do they do all this? Because they love college. As a second year RSC veteran, I can reassure you that being in the RSC is tough, you do a lot of extra work that often residents don’t notice or realise is necessary, and we do it for free. I like to think of the RSC as the college fun committee, cause it’s what we want college to be, FUN!

There are five positions on the RSC; Secretary, Treasurer, Social Coordinator, Sports Coordinator and President. And although there are different titles within the RSC, we all work together to make sure events are the best they can be.

So what does the President do? From what I have observed my own President doing they keep the team on track and make sure things get done. The President is kind of the boss and boosts up the team when things don’t go to plan.

Next is the Sports Coordinator, Concannon’s Sports Coordinator Alex has unwavering team spirit, the ability to motivate and a never give up attitude. He works with the other colleges to play regular sporting events so that we all occasionally leave our rooms.

On Tabletop mountainSocial Coordinator is next, and I actually have some experience in this role (a little bit last year). The Social Coordinator is in charge of organising all major college social events such as semi-formal and formal.

Secretary and Treasurer are often the forgotten roles, the nerds of the group (I’ve allowed to say it I’m one of them). These roles are responsible for keeping everything legal and everyone on track. Don’t take these two for granted though, they have their own important jobs to do too.

So, what is the best part about being on your colleges RSC? Getting to make college life better. If you see something that needs improving on college, do something or tell someone. We want you to enjoy college, and make it the best it can be. Don’t forget to nominate later this year for the 2016 RSC. THANKS GUYS!

2015 RSC

Getting the most out of your time on college

I’ve reached the end of my 3 year college journey. This is a sad realization, but in part, it is also a joyful one. Accordingly, I’ve decided to write a blog about getting the most out of your time at college.

 

There was a time where I had chosen to bury myself in my studies and my room, engaging in the world of my course and little beyond. Fortunately for me (and less fortunately for my studies), I grew out this thinking by midway through O-week in first year. I soon found that the best times I could have were times spent with my friends and colleagues. These times ranged from parties, to after parties, to the occasional dinner conversation that went somewhere weird, and are a massive contributor to my life on college.

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My encouragement to getting the most out of your time on college is to utilize opportunities. Opportunities to party, to go bowling, to hang out at dinner until 9pm talking about the intricate details of engineering. If something’s happening, then get amongst it. I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of people who, in part, forced me to be socially active, to hang out and spend time talking about random stuff. This group of people, strangely enough, were known colloquially as the theatre kids, and their input allowed me to branch out and spend my 3 years at college having fun, when study wasn’t being jeopardized.

 

My best memories at college have been the times when I’ve gone out on a limb, gone to something that I didn’t expect to enjoy, and had a corker of a time, these times, and pub crawl.

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The social avenues that college affords only last so long, so getting amongst them while it’s still an easy option is the greatest thing that I’ve ever done. Play assassins, get involved with the O-week activities, go to formal, and semi, have fun, do what you want, and do it with the people you want to do with.

Because if college isn’t the time for it, then when is?

Midnight snack? Why not an extravagant midnight meal?

Living on college has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have made lots of friends, studied in a really supportive environment and been involved in some really cool experiences.

Before I moved to college, I had no idea what to expect. I was just a shy teenager from Mitchell (a small country town in South West Queensland) who had never spent much time in the ‘big smoke’. I didn’t know anyone in Toowoomba, didn’t know what university was going to be like and wasn’t sure what to expect of college. Needless to say, I was one of those people who asked lots of ridiculous questions. For me though, one of my biggest concerns was food.

I love food, I love cooking and baking and I can be fussy about what I eat. I remember always helping my Mum and Nana in the kitchen when I was little. By the time I was 10 years old, I was driving my mum insane, offering to cook spaghetti bolognaise and jam drop bikkies for dinner every night.

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When my friends from school found out that I was going to be living on college, they started asking me lots of questions, the most common being the ones about food, ‘What’s the food like?’ ‘But what if you don’t want to eat dinner between 6pm and 7pm?’ and so on.

My answers to these questions were quite simple… I live in the self-catered block at Steele Rudd College. What that means is that I cook for myself and get to eat what I want, when I want, but I still get the same benefits as all the other residents. I can make my own dinner and take it to the dining hall to eat with my friends from other blocks or, if I don’t feel like cooking, I can purchase meal vouchers from the office and eat the same food as everyone else in the dining hall.

I love the flexibility of living in self-catered accommodation, I don’t have to cook if I don’t feel like it, but I can also make extravagant meals at midnight if I so desire. Some nights, depending on my budget and enthusiasm to hit the supermarket, I am quite content eating some 2 minute noodles.

Other nights, I have the choice to listen to my stomach and make almost anything, and it’s like I work in a bakery or gourmet restaurant. I make things like cakes and biscuits or salmon with prawns and scallops in a creamy garlic white wine sauce, with asparagus and garlic and rosemary potatoes, or a beef, mushroom and red wine pie with mashed potato, carrots, beans and gravy. Mmmm, thinking about food is making me hungry again!

Salmon Pie

As much as I love to cook for myself, I enjoy the nights when my block is invited to things like inauguration dinner, the semi-formal and formal dinners, Residential Shield dinner and themed food nights. These are always great fun and who doesn’t love getting dressed up!

Semi-Formal Inauguration Dinner

Most of all, we just love to have fun. Sometimes we do this by having our own little dinner parties where we get together and all contribute something awesome.

Dinner Party

So, whether you are like me and love to cook or just want to have a bit more freedom around the times you eat, give self-catering a go. If you don’t like it, you can always move to one of the other blocks and have all of your meals cooked for you.

Which do you prefer, cooking for yourself or having others cook for you?

Rudd 2013 Formal

So as of September 14th the Steele Rudd College formal is over and from my experience it turned out to be one of the best in my years on this great college. Each year we have a formal to celebrate our university accomplishments, the college year, reflect on what happened, celebrate the graduates and issue awards to those how have accomplished at a university level, contributed to college life and not to mention, followed by some pretty wild after-parties.

This event is run by the RSC and without the dedication and commitment of these amazing people, the college experience wouldn’t be half of what it is. But beyond the formals, the RSC is responsible for organizing a range of activities for the college including the Residential Shield competition, social events like bush dancing, Funday Sunday, after-parties and O-Week.

To give you an idea of a typical formal night we usually start with a big college picture of all residents; this time we wanted an afternoon shot as the sun was setting. With the orange background along with the open grass field and tree’s in the background it was really spectacular. We’re still getting the photos developed so you might have to take my word on it. Pre-drinks are held in the college Junior Common Room where we gather to admire the girls’ gorgeous dresses and talk before heading into our dining hall to commence the night.

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During the night we have a variety of events to entertain us like block videos made by each of the college blocks. These video represent the block’s lifestyle and the students that reside in that block. These aren’t really structured but we all get a laugh or a protest depending on which block does what.

Being the President of the Steele Rudd RSC I was expected to make an announcement regarding the college year which brings me to a particular topic; Phobia (Abnormal intense fear of a given situation, Organism or object). Our phobias change over as we develop but public speaking remains on average the number one phobia, ahead of Nerophobia – fear of death, Arachibutyrophobia – fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth, Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – fear of long words and Levophobia – Fear of things to the left side of the body. Unfortunately I am a part of the one in three people who suffer from speech anxiety, so doing a presentation to a group of my fellow residents is no easy task. Having a particularly low voice that sometimes is hard to understand doesn’t help either. However the highlight of my speech was a poem dedicated to the residents of B Block which I’d like to share with you.

What Duff really thinks of B Block

It’s finally here, like a dream come true
B Block this is what I think of you

 

I hate you B Block, I really do
I sit and wonder what can I do

 

You say hello, I say goodbye
You think the reason is because I’m shy

 

Katharine thinks you’re cute and also funny
But to the RSC you just cost money

 

You make me laugh, you make me cry
It’s like being back in junior high

 

Thank God we’re separated by a wall
I have considered a B Block brawl

 

You complain so much, and say “it’s not fair”
But other blocks just do not care

 

You talk of love, like you have a clue
And wonder why you’ve caught the flu

 

You say we’ll miss you Duff
I laugh at you 
But secretly I’ll miss you too

I’m quite the poet I’ve realized. Anyway getting back to the formal, it went well and to top off the evening we had a pretty awesome band to finish our night. Now this band just so happens to be a Rudd resident Ayden Ribbits, and his band “The Whisky Fox Run”. Rather than describing the music I found a video of them performing so if you love your music check them out. Yeah they’re still a little green but they’re pretty good.

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Now onto the after party – the most important point of the evening! It was pretty cool and I won’t get into the “who, what, when, where, why and how’s” of the evening because I could go on for pages. However, a party with a $400 drinking tab on the bar is a pretty good recipe for a good night out.

I am, by no means a big drinker but on occasions when I do have a big night out I may consider doing stuff a little out of the usual. This time it was Tequila Suicide and for those who are unfamiliar, I’d rather write about it than show you an example of what is involved in a Tequila Suicide. There is one performed by an actor called Sascha Gilly Israel you can look up if you want more information, or just a laugh.

 Yeah, so we snorted salt, downed Tequila and squished lemon juice in our eyes. Why did I do this you ask? Well it seemed like a good idea at the time – again I don’t overly support this, but a one off experience can be really painful but a lot of fun.

Anyway that’s pretty much everything worthy of noting from our 2013 Formal.

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I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and check back as I’ll be putting a new blog up soon.

An Enchanted Evening

What happens when you put a group of college students in charge of organising a formal?

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This year’s formal was a combination of beautiful decorations, amazing performances, painful video-editing and last minute details. This combination, while could have been a recipe for disaster was instead, a complete success. The night turned out better than anyone could have imagined given some of the hiccups that went on behind the scenes.

One of the major hiccups was the graduate video corrupting at 11pm the night before formal. Don’t stress, the nerd glasses came out and the video was saved and molded into one smooth and quite funny dedication to this year’s graduates, which happens to include myself.

This year was my last ever college formal. So I thought I would take a moment to reflect. Three years and three separate formals, it seems that the major consistency  throughout this time has been the friends and support that has been shared at college. I guess the fact that Concannon formal has always looked the best is also a consistency… or “tradition”, if you will.

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This year at Concannon, we decided our theme would be “an enchanted evening”. A way to set the mood for a delicate evening and an excuse to use fairylights because let’s face it – who doesn’t love fairylights? While the 24hour lead up always feels the busiest, we were well prepared and decided to set-up the night before, attempting to iron everything out. The night couldn’t have looked any better. Huge congratulations to our Social Co-ordinator, Gabe.

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We hit up our after-party and somehow only a handful of us were left to slowly make our way to meet our friends downtown. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on which side of the stage you stood, we found ourselves singing karaoke at a pub. While this part of the night was completely unexpected, I can now tick it off my bucket list.

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As this year draws to a close almost too quickly, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the time I’ve had at Concannon and the friends who now feel like family. Formal is the one night per year where we all dress up and reflect and celebrate the time that has passed. I think that needs to happen more often. Like high-school graduations, many of us are leaving. However, those who are staying at college or who have considered Concannon to be home at some stage, we are the smallest college but we have the biggest heart and that’s something that carries on long past the days of college life.

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Concannon Loud. Concannon Proud.

The Formal

Twice a year on college, even the shyest and most unsocial of us rear our heads and ready ourselves for the most popular events. The first of which is our Semi-Formal, which is really just a glorified costume party. However, even the most enjoyable of costume parties doesn’t compare with the excitement that twists its way through college at this time of year.

The Formal is coming.

It’s not quite the same as your school formal, since dates aren’t expected, sure you can have them, but for the most part you appear at the dining hall in all your refinery with the friends you’ve made in your block and all the work you’ve put in is because you’re trying hard to look fantastic for the cameras.
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For the boys, it’s easy, they have a shower, shave, and if they’re really dedicated, spray on a bit of cologne. Then, they don their suits. The theme for Steele Rudd last year was masquerade, and so the boys put on their batman masks, or in one case – a brown paper bag with eyeholes, throw the finishing touches into their block video and then they make their way to the party for a meal that fills their stomachs.

For the girls however, especially H Block, there is far more time involved. For weeks beforehand, we are leaping in cars and making expeditions to the shops for many various odds and ends that we may feel we require and each part is generally a different shopping trip.

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First the dresses, then the shoes and the accessories, then the masks – I was lucky, I bought mine off eBay – but you’re not finished here. There is still hair and make-up to do. Generally the most fashion-inclined of the group will whip out their hair curlers and straighteners and set to work on everyone else’s hair, trying to find the most glamorous and photogenic way to place every strand to hair. Once that has been done, it’s onto the make-up.

“What mask are you wearing and what colour is your dress? Oh, is that so? Well then, I think this colour will suit you best.” At that point, another girl will walk past and say, “I think that colour is better, and you should really do something about that foundation, it makes her skin look orange”

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But that still isn’t everything. There are block videos to create. Each block creates a video about the members, at the Semi Formal it’s to introduce everyone, at the Formal its five minutes of frivolities. The prize for the best block video is a free movie ticket, one for each member of the block. Not bad really.

Once all these steps have been completed, you are ready for the formal.

It’s certainly worth all the effort.