And with that, I’m officially done!

Every year the Residential Colleges host a Valedictory Dinner for graduating residents and their families. On Saturday the 24th of October, it was my turn to attend the dinner as a soon-to-be USQ graduate- Yes, the perfect excuse to buy a new dress! At the dinner I had the privilege of delivering the speech on behalf of the Steele Rudd graduates, and while I did get nervous, I got through it and managed to get a few laughs from the audience. #winning #success

New dress- ready for the valedictory dinner

I love an excuse to buy a new dress

Making the Speech

Despite the nerves, I made it through my speech

At the dinner we all shared memories, received advice for the future and were thanked for our contributions to the Residential Colleges community. We laughed and danced late in to the night, continuing to make memories and forge friendships at our final college event before moving into the ‘big wide world’.

Celebrating the evening with friends

Celebrating the evening with friends

I first moved to Steele Rudd College in February 2011 as a very shy and innocent 17 year old who had never been away from home for more than 10 days at a time. Looking back, I can remember I was extremely uncertain about what the next few years of my life would hold. I remember thinking things like, ‘What if I don’t make friends?’, ‘What if I don’t fit in?’, ‘What if I get homesick?’, ‘What if I fail?’ and ‘What if I don’t like what I am studying?’ It took me a little while to settle in, but I discovered that lots of ‘freshers’ felt exactly the same as me.

It didn’t take long for me to make friends in fact, the friends I made in my first few days at college are still my friends today. I discovered everyone is welcome and no one is left out, everyone fits it. I learnt it’s perfectly natural to get homesick and that it’s not something to be ashamed of. My friends stuck by me and helped me through when I was feeling really homesick. I made trips home to visit my family and friends whenever I could. I even spoke with my family on the phone every night, and still do.

First Year

Friends in my first year (2011). Myself, Sophie, Dimity, Cassie and Ash

Now

This year (2015) Ash, Myself, Sophie and Cassie at Dimity’s wedding.

‘What if I fail?’ While I’ve never failed a course, I did fail an exam in my first semester. While I was disappointed I’d failed the exam, I chose to learn from the experience. The next semester I was more dedicated to my study and started preparing for my exams much earlier. I’ve always told myself that I would only truly fail if I gave up, and I never ever give up.

In high school, two of my best subjects were business and legal studies, which is why I decided to study a double degree in business and law at uni. At the end of my first year I realised law wasn’t for me. I contacted my Student Relationship Officer (SRO) who helped me change from the double degree into a single business degree and apply for credits for the courses I had already completed.

I often hear people say high school is the best time of their life, but for me uni and living on college have been the best experiences of my life! The friendships I’ve forged and the memories I’ve made will stick with me forever.

Friends and memories collage

The friendships I’ve forged and the memories I’ve made will stick with me forever

Five years since I was first handed my key, I have grown as a person and have learnt heaps, and I don’t just mean academically. I’ve learnt how to be a good person, how to budget, how to manage my time and how to overcome the challenges life throws at me.

With the click of a button and nine minutes and 34 seconds to spare, I submitted my last assessment piece for my Master’s on Friday the 30th of October, I was officially done! 🙂

Last assignmnent finised

The last assessment piece of my degree submitted.

If you’ve never studied, are only just starting to study, are half way through, or have completed your studies, never give up! Embrace the opportunities life throws at you because, as Mark Twain once said:

Explore. Dream. Discover. Quote

For those of you who are still studying, good luck with your remaining assessments and courses. To all of you who are now finished your degrees, I wish you all the very best of luck for whatever your future holds, I hope all of your dreams come true.

Keeping in contact with your friends

It’s the end of semester: you’ve finished exams, your last assignment has been submitted and you’re ready for whatever the break might bring. When you’re living on college there are lots of people you can celebrate the end of semester with. But you may also be faced with the realisation that some of your friends are now moving off college because they’ve completed their degrees, or for other reasons.

I recently said goodbye to one of my close friends, who is moving home to Western Australia. While we won’t be in the same town, or even the same state, I know that this goodbye isn’t forever. During my five years on college I’ve seen many of my friends finish their degrees, go back home to be with their families and start other things, so I thought I’d share my top five tips for keeping in touch with your friends over the holidays as well as after college and uni.

Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone

We all get busy, but if you wait for your friend to call or text, you may never actually speak to them. If you call and they don’t answer, leave them a message or call them back later. I like to text my friends before I call to make sure they’re available, because a text message is much less distracting than their phone ringing.

Tip 2: Social media is great

Using social media is a great way to keep in contact with your friends, particularly if they are in a different time zone. You can send them a message and they can reply whenever it suits them. This way, you aren’t accidently waking them at 2am. I have a friend in Germany and we often use Facebook messages to organise our Skype sessions.

social media

Tip 3: Skype, Skype, Skype!

You may not have seen your friend in person for months, or even years, but with Skype you can have face-to-face conversations on a regular basis. Make sure you have a strong internet connection so you don’t have a call with lags or worse, have your conversation drop out completely.

skype

Tip 4: Write letters and postcards

I always get really excited when I receive mail and I know my friends do too. The messages and stories on the back of postcards help me imagine what that place is like, and make me want to travel there one day myself. Email is another great way to write to your friends, and it gets to them instantly.

Tip 5: Make the time to visit

While it is easy to visit your friends who are in the same town or only a couple of hours away, it’s more difficult to visit those who are in different states or countries. I’ve never been to Sydney, Western Australia or Germany but I’m looking forward to some great holidays during which I can catch up with friends, plus free accommodation means more shopping!

The most important investment you can make isn’t your job, the money you make or the car you drive, it’s the relationships you build. Building and maintaining these relationships will take effort and time, but no amount of money will make up for how good it feels to have friends there to celebrate the big events in your life with you. So what are you waiting for? Make contact with your off-campus friends now!

Who are Surveyors?

Hey guys today’s blog was inspired by my friends and family who seem to know little about my career of choice, Surveying.  When people ask what I do, they often respond like “oh, you’re one of those guys that looks into those funny instruments“ or “yeah, you’re one of those guys on the side of the road that checks the level and stuff“ though these statements aren’t entirely untrue  I’d like to share with you the basics about what we really do. For this blog I thought I would briefly explain what we do, enjoy.

Pic 1

What Are Surveyors??

Surveyors are essentially expert’s at measurements with the help of mathematics and specialised equipment (like the one you see in this picture above). We analyse the data which presents information about the land. Surveyors are capable of measuring just about anything whether it be on land, in the sky or under the ocean.

How we obtain data to produce maps varies with the type of instruments we use, the precision or landscape. Traditionally, surveyors used modified chain linked together that once stretched would equal a set distance to measure land. Thankfully, with passing years we have obtained instruments that make our job a little easier, these instruments include Total station, GPS and Laser scanner.

Total Station: These are operated wirelessly by a control

Total Station: These are operated wirelessly by a control

Laser Scanner: These instruments operate independently to produce data

Laser Scanner: These instruments operate independently to produce data

Laser Scanner: these instruments operate independently to produce this type of data

Laser Scanner: these instruments operate independently to produce this type of data

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

A diagram of old school survey (note the chain used by the surveyor in the blue shirt

A diagram of old school survey (note the chain used by the surveyor in the blue shirt

Depending on the work you’re doing different instruments are chosen due to their accuracy and convenience while there are many instruments can be used by surveyors, these are the most common.

Where can our job take us??

Now that we have a fairly good idea on what surveyors are let’s have a look at areas that surveyors can become involved in. Like some specialized careers the sky is the limit, however there are generally three main areas common to surveyors.

Cadastral Surveying:

A cadastral surveyor is responsible for accurately defining property boundaries and understanding the laws of land and ownership. This job may include the identification of residential or rural boundaries, re-establishing boundaries that have been previously surveyed or creating new boundaries as part of a land subdivision process.  A cadastral surveyor has the skill and knowledge to interpret and advise on the location of boundaries and if there are any rights or restrictions relating to the property. Only a registered cadastral surveyor can certify survey plans for lodgment with the government.

An example of a Cadastral Survey Plan

An example of a Cadastral Survey Plan

Engineering Surveyor:

Engineering surveyors are generally associated with the design and construction of new infrastructure projects. These may include high-rise buildings, road freeway systems, road tunnels, airports etc. to ensure they are built in accordance with the design criteria with regards to location, size and shape.

Just another day in the office for an Engineering Surveyor

Just another day in the office for an Engineering Surveyor

Mining surveyors

Mining surveyors work in both open cut and underground mines for minerals mining industries.  Mine surveyors will basically have responsibility for surface and underground plans of the mine site doing activities that include for an open cut mine identification the extent on the resource for excavation purposes or marking the drill patterns for blasting coal. In underground mines surveyor will determine and control the location and direction of tunnels as well as the mapping of all underground tunnels. In both open cut and underground mines, the surveyor will prepare mine plans and calculate the volume of materials moved or mined.

A surveyor at an open cut mine

A surveyor at an open cut mine

A surveyor at an underground mine

A surveyor at an underground mine

Do not be fooled in thinking that these are strictly the areas we are kept to they are merely the areas that make up the majority of the work force. We’ll now take a sneak peek into speclised area of surveying to keep it interesting I’ve posted a video of each area which you are welcome to watch if such an area fascinates you.

Hydrographic surveyors

Surveyors who measure and map the location and shape of the land under the oceans, rivers and lakes are called hydrographic surveyors. They use specialized technology to identify underwater hazards, look for oil, guide dredging projects and measure erosion.

Forensic surveyors

Forensic surveyors map, analyze and collect data used as evidence during court cases. They testify in lawsuits over automobile wrecks, industrial accidents and boundary disputes. Forensic surveyors are good communicators since they need to share technical information in a way that’s easy to understand – especially by people who know nothing about surveying. These specialists must be very precise since their evidence is scrutinized by other forensic surveyors hired by the opposing side.

Archeological surveyors

Surveyors work with archaeologists to define the parameters of an archaeological search area. They also map out locations to identify points to excavate for particular objects, artifacts, human remains and cultural heritage land.

Ok, that’s pretty much the bread and butter of what surveying is all about while it only scratching the surface I hope it helped educate you on what we really do. Like any job there are very generic parts to it that even I find boring however, I hope I’ve shown you that it does obtain exciting combination of both indoor and outdoor activity that continues to grow and revolutionize as technology advances. I hope you’ve found Surveying as exciting as I do and as a reward I’ve posted some pretty funny video relating to surveying, enjoy.

Valedictory Dinner

Valedictory Dinner is an evening where the graduating residents from each of the colleges come together and enjoy a dinner in honour of their time on college. Mine, I’m sad to admit, occurred in October this year. I’m sad about it because it means that my time on college is finally coming to an end, a very sad realization indeed. Regardless, this was an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the ups and downs of our journey, which, for most of us, has been many years. Between the good food and powerpoints, there was, of course, an important reminder of the significance of this moment.

Valedictory-39

There were four speakers, the valedictorians from each of the colleges, and our guest speaker, to deliver the valedictory address. The three valedictorians were Alex Darton from McGregor, Steph Piper from Steele Rudd, and Lachlan Withnall from Concannon. Steph had spent her first two years on McGregor, so had some horribly embarrassing photos of all of the McGregor residents, myself included. We remembered strange haircuts, unusual activities, and peculiar goings on. Lachlan reminded us of the general superiority of Concannon College, and Alex brought us home with a reflection on the beauty of finding time for yourself amongst the crazy college environment.

 

The Valedictory speaker took the time to remind us of the merits of being kind, of knowing what you need to help you through the university environment. We were regaled with tales of cats, kindness, and University life. For me, there was a moment of learning not touched on by our speakers, and it occurred as I watched all of the graduates receive the beautiful photo frame given to us by the colleges. It was a reminder of the significance of community and comradeship. As someone who holds a strong need to maintain close relationships with people, I had the opportunity to see many of my closest friends as the people they’d grown to become, which was frankly a magnificent experience.

 

Valedictory dinner, beyond the memories and reminders of the friendships developed, was a wonderful evening full of great conversation, excellent food (and wine) and fantastic opportunities to reflect upon the magnificent years that had preceded it.

Valedictory-132 Valedictory-126

Graduation from College Life? Here I come!

Beyond Graduation- 12 Months in Review Part 2

Part 2 and my third biggest lesson since graduation is here!

My biggest lesson over this last year is don’t be afraid to fail and don’t let anyone discourage you. I am still learning that lesson!

One of my favourite quotes is from Albert Einstein and goes something like this:

Einstein Quote

“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid.”

Everyone has their own skills and talents and you need to discover yours. Once you find your niche you will thrive but this can take time so in the meantime expect a few hiccups along the way. I thought I wanted to focus on my writing; I studied journalism and thought this was my strength. Over the last 12 months though I have realised my writing skills have a long way to go, and I don’t really enjoy it as much as I thought. Instead, my talent lies in my people skills and this is where I really thrive. I’ve also realised I am more passionate about events than I am about community engagement for construction and roadworks. Ultimately this was another huge factor in my decision to quit my job. I wanted to refocus my career back towards my passion. At first I felt like a bit of a failure, I couldn’t ‘hack it’ in this industry and I didn’t flourish after Uni as anticipated. However on reflection, I know it was the right decision for me. If you are truly unhappy in your job, then it’s ok to change your mind and decide it’s not the right fit for you.

There are so many people out there who are unhappy with their lives, who hate what they are doing and who are too afraid to try something different. Yes it’s a risk and comes with obstacles but is keeping up the façade of security really worth spending years in a job environment you hate? Take control of your life’s direction with confidence. Even if the transition is tough (which at times it has been for me) a new, better choice will eventually lead to a new, better life. I am finally working for the company I have dreamed of working with for years. No, I don’t know what will happen when my contract runs up but right now it is a foot in the door, its exposure to the right people and my team is so fantastic that it makes everything I went through in the last 12months so worth it!

This leads me to my third and final point….

3. Build your network

Networking Picture

Have you ever heard the saying “Its not what you know, its who you know”? Well in my experience that is very true. I thought if I worked hard to get the perfect grades at Uni that would be enough but sometimes you need that little bit more. I found nearly everyone I worked with got their job because they knew someone else in the company. That’s not to say they didn’t have the necessary skills but that connection gave them an instant advantage. When you graduate, the more connected you are the better your chances will be of thriving in your chosen field. A friend of mine for example sent a ‘connection’ request on LinkedIn to a bunch of people who worked for a company she was applying for a job with. Several of them accepted her and she got the interview. She later found out the reason she got an interview is because they noticed she had several connections to the company (yes they do really look up your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts so watch what you post or make sure it’s set to super private!) This got her the opening she needed to then sell herself in the interview and ultimately land the job. My advice, start building your networks now. Sign up for a mentor program, do internships or attend events in your field. I wouldn’t have gotten my current job if it wasn’t for someone I knew putting my name forward so trust me, networks are vital!!

12 months out of Uni and to be honest I still don’t know exactly what I want with my career but that’s ok because right now I am learning, I am trying new things and I am finding where my niche is. My experiences, both good and bad over the last year have helped me to grow as a person, to become stronger, more resilient and determined, and to stop letting other people intimidate, discourage and drag me down. The way I see it is, everyone will have that one job they hate in life right? Well I have already gone through that so it can only go up from here.

Until next time

Alita

Beyond Graduation- 12 Months in Review

Graduation is a huge accomplishment and takes a great amount of devotion, time and effort. However graduation is not the end – it’s just the beginning of the next phase of your life. I remember walking across that stage to collect my piece of paper that said I was ready to go off into the ‘real world’ and thinking “I don’t know anything yet. How am I going to be able to do this?” No matter how much you learn at Uni, I’ve found there are still some life lessons that just can’t be taught in a classroom. It’s been 12 months now since I moved off College and into the ‘real world’ and let me tell you it hasn’t been anything like I anticipated.

graduation-dog

I have laughed, smiled, screamed and cried, sometimes all at once (trust me its possible!).

You have these images in your mind about how your life will turn out after graduation: you will move into a fabulous apartment with your friends, its always going to be fun, you will have a fantastic job, get paid a fortune, fit right in with your team, be great at everything you do and people will be so impressed with you, you will be promoted in no time.

Call me naïve but I actually believed this would be how it worked so you can imagine my shock and dismay when my picture perfect future wasn’t so perfect after all.

Graduate meme

In the last 12 months I have moved into an apartment with friends, had a massive falling out with a roomie and realised that living with friends isn’t always going to be all fun and games, changed roomies twice, started a job in one role, been transferred to another, loved my job then hated my job, felt like part of a team, felt completely isolated from my team, quit my job, moved back home to my parents in Bundaberg, moved back to Toowoomba and now I am working in a temp job that only lasts for another month, uncertain of what my next move will be – not quite the success story I had planned… and yet despite all of that I am probably the happiest I have been in the last 12 months. So based on my experience I thought I would share with you the three biggest lessons I have learnt that I wish I had know 12 months ago.

  1. Its all about hard work and dedication

Your ability to succeed will come down to how hard you are willing to work, how badly you want it and how long you are willing to persevere for. Talent will only get you so far and if you have a tendency to procrastinate I suggest you get over it or else it could be your downfall. In the corporate world, it’s very fast paced and it’s very cut throat. There are no handouts, no short cuts, no one to pick up the slack for you and no one to cover for you when you don’t hold up your end of the bargain. There are hundreds of other graduates out there who will gladly take your spot so if you think you can get by without pulling your weight think again. When I started my first job straight out of Uni, they sat me down and said “This is a sink or swim industry so you’d better hope you can swim. The last girl couldn’t, we got rid of her…”

I stuck it out for 12 months, determined to do my best, to prove my skills, determined not to be put off by office politics and a very prominent pecking order (graduate = personal slave. Think fetching lunches and collecting dry cleaning). Needless to say in the end it wasn’t the right ‘fit’ for me. This leads to point number two.

  1. Its ok to fail

When I quit my job after just 12 months, I felt like I had let myself, my parents and everyone who believed in me down. This wasn’t how things were meant to pan out for me. I was embarrassed to admit that I’d had enough of the grunt work and had quit my job without anything to go to. Then someone helped me see it in another light. They told me it was very brave to be able to say enough was enough and to know when to walk away. They told me that as a graduate, it’s only after you give something a try that you will know if it is the right industry for you.

Stay tuned for part two and my third biggest lesson coming to you next week!

Alita

#success

At present, I am just about to start a clinical for uni at the Royal Children’s Hospital – the main focus being mental health.

This is getting me thinking about mental health in general, and how our western culture, with our constant exposure to technology and media affects our mental health.

laura blog 3

To my mind, it seems as though many young people – some of whom I’m friends with, are on anti-depressant medication, along with scores of other pills aimed at making one happy. To me, it seems to be a loosing battle because our society has very specific guidelines, if you are to take subliminal messages at face value.

“Girls should weight this much, have their hair in this manor, wear these clothes and have this many friends. Then they will be beautiful”

It might not be something we’re conscious of, but its most definitely there. The other thing that I have noticed is that everywhere we look; there are subliminal messages that we need to be ‘successful’ in order to have a good life and be a good person.

This week, I wanted to look at success; how I view it and how others advise we obtain the increasingly desirable, and yet ever elusive ‘success’.

Laura blog 3

I’ve read books and articles on the theory of success. All say the same thing, which is very aptly summarized in the above picture.

Success is not necessarily determined by how much money one has. In order to say that one has been ‘successful’ in life, one must first have a goal to reach, without a goal, there can be no success. An example of this could be that the boy sitting next to you in class wants to be a business tycoon when he gets older. Everything that I have read states that if he writes what he wants to be when he is older and the steps he must follow to attain that goal then he greatly increases his chances of becoming the person he wants to be. Simply thinking them, saying them out loud, or even writing them on a computer is not enough. Writing your goals on paper, gives them life that is not the same as simply speaking the words aloud.

 He might write – ‘I want to be a business tycoon when I’m older. This means that I have to do accounting in high school, and then a business course at uni or tafe, I have to read business magazines once a week, and pay attention to the things that other people do and say so that I know what they want and can make good business decisions.

This is pretty fair afield from my goals. I didn’t write a long-term goal quite like the one above, I wrote an ‘In 5 Years goal, which basically said,

“In five years, I want to have graduated Uni and be travelling the world and helping people,”

easy to achieve and what I want to do.

If someone were to ask me what I though success was, I’d say something along the lines of,

“We were all born on this planet for a reason, and that reason is to make the planet better for those who follow, and to be successful we have to make the planet a better place”

I’m sure there are people who would say that we were born to give birth or that there are far more complicated reasons, but that about sums it up for me.

images

But how is any of this relevant to university? My advise to those just starting is to set goals and strive to achieve them. But don’t set goals you know you’ll just ignore. Perhaps set a goal for one semester that states,

“ I’ll pass all of my courses this semester. If I get better – fantastic, if I just pass, then I have succeeded.”

But make sure to leave time for friends, family and relaxation because without downtime it is easy to give up on one’s goals.

IMG_1037

 I hope I’ve given you something to think about,

Cheers all,

Laura

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.

Nicky Mitchell Blog1

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…..

Nicky Mitchell Blog 1

Until next time,

 Nicky

The next chapter..

Nearing the end of my degree (I finish in February!), I realised I needed to get my name out there if I wanted to get a job. So, back in September, I sent out my resume to every company that I could think of.  After at least 20 rejection letters, and even one phone call to personally tell me that even if they did have a vacant position they still wouldn’t hire me because I’m ONLY a graduate, I have found a job!

Doing what you ask?  I’m working in the Marketing Department at FK Gardner and Sons Group (FKG), a Toowoomba construction company, and I have to say I’m pretty excited. This is the kind of job I had been looking for. I get to wear fancy corporate clothes and heels, work in a nice air-conditioned office and help plan events like the work Christmas Party (my first job was to order $3000 worth of alcohol!).

Oh, and on top of that, I get a work phone, laptop, a company credit card for wining and dining our clients, and when I need, a company car to drive around.

“Not bad for a  graduate right!?”

Here’s the catch, I’m only doing this two days a week. The other three days I have a second role as a Community Liaison Officer working on the Gore Highway Reconstruction Project.  It’s a mouthful I know, but basically it means I have to keep the public updated on what we are doing and if there are any complaints, I get to deal with them. This role is completely different from my Marketing one…

Lets just say wearing a men’s, fluoro yellow, high-visibility shirt, steel capped boots and a hard hat, and working in a donga on the side of the highway with a bunch of male engineers is certainly not what I had in mind. But you know what? I’m actually enjoying it and my team has been fantastic with helping me understand all of the construction terms like Geotechnical Investigation (basically digging a bunch of holes).

Alita Cause Blog 1

It can sometimes be hard keeping track of everything when I’m running back and forth between two different jobs but if there is one thing that I learnt from Uni, internships and being an Resident Advisor (RA) for McGregor College, it’s how to juggle!

As if starting a new job wasn’t enough of a change, I’ve also moved off college now into an amazing 3 bedroom unit with a couple of friends from McGregor College. I have to say, it is so nice having my own lounge room and kitchen and being able to cook what I want, when I want it.  Of course my favourite part of our house is my MASSIVE walk-in-robe!

It’s different living with just two people rather than an entire college. Breakfast is really lonely now since we all have different work schedules, but we always try and have a “family” room-mate dinner together.

Family dinner night!

When I finished my position as RA in December, handed in my master key and left behind my empty college room, I felt a wave of sadness wash over me. For the past three years, it had been my home and my family.

“Every year I have watched friends graduate and move on but I never stopped to think that one day it would be my turn.”

I’m excited to test out my domestic skills, but one thing I know I will miss is the convenience of coming home from work and uni knowing you don’t have to cook or knowing that someone else will be cleaning your bathroom and washing your sheets. Of course there are some things I won’t miss too, like being on RA Duty and getting 3am wake up calls from someone who has locked themselves out of their room.

Looking back at when I first came to McGregor College, I can safely say I am not the same little princess who showed up, never having done laundry a day in her life, and had to call mum three times just to work out how to make the washing machine start. The confidence I have gained and the friends I have made will stay with me as I venture off into the next chapter of my life.