What happens when you fail your first year at Uni?

The short answer: Nothing really. The long answer: A whole lot happens. Its like mourning the death of something you love. Entering university you get this idea that you are going to pursue something that you are so passionate about. And how can you really fail at something you are passionate about? Something that you love, and something that you spend 3 years of high school fighting to get, and something that had always been your dream. 

Now entering medical school I really thought that this was going to be easy, I know that is ridiculous to think, however, as said, something that I loved so much seemed to me as being something really easy to overcome. However it wasn’t. 

I could already from the start sense that this was not going to be as I had imagined. It was a lot more difficult. And it really was a big, big difference from high school. And so failing, was not an enjoyable thing that happened to me. Especially when everyone around you passed. 

So ofcourse the feeling of disappointment started to occur, the feeling of being dumb came alive and the thought that maybe I was not cut out for university started to be a daily question. Yet, I did what I could. I started studying again, this time aware of the mistakes that I did before. Mistakes like, not really focusing correctly, and just being in love with the thought of being in university. Mistakes like skipping chapters because “whatever I will come back to it” - which never happened. 

Now was there any benefit to failing then? Yes, there were many! Here are a few of them: 

  1. Learning more. I know it sounds like such a cliche “I failed, but now I know so much more” but you truly do. Getting to read the material once again, however focusing on your weakness and using your strength to build that up is actually really helpful and it makes you understand the topics so much more. 
  2. You discover your ideal study methods. I did study ALOT before the exam which I failed, however I believe that being new to university I still had not uncovered my ideal study method. Yes I did do well in high school with the study methods that I used, however studying at university and high school is not the same. And that is a very challenging fact to face, but going through the whole process of figuring out how you learn the best way possible is a very long process however it will sculp you and prepare you for the rest of your time at university. 
  3. Prepare yourself for everything. Failing from the beginning already gives you the idea that everything is possible. As someone who had straight A’s like the common medical student, you often find yourself thinking that failure is not possible. So when it becomes a reality, it helps you get prepared for most of the struggles that you will face for the rest of your life. Failure is a very natural part of being a human, and this actually helps you get that. 
  4. Discipline. Last but not least you learn how to set up a schedule and be more focused. It might be the push you needed. It was for me. 

Now last but not least, dont beat yourself down over failure. You will get past it, and you will come out stronger than ever. 

Belive in yourself, and never give up, 

Love, 

Dunia 

What’s In My Bag: Ange, Law Student (AU)

@fuckstudy | byeanges on IG | What’s In My Bag series

Ange is a university student from Australia balancing full-time study with part-time work. Ange’s bag includes items that increase productivity, provide flexibility and maximise her ability to seize opportunities which come her way.

What’s in your everyday bag and why?

Phone, laptop, keys, wallet and a bottle of water. I bring my Hobonichi planner and a few sticky notes so I can plan and track my day as I go. The extra pages at the back are great for writing down ideas and memos - particularly on the oft chance my phone has died! To tackle long commutes and errands, I’ll bring a book or a Kindle. I also keep a few handy items in my kit - earphones, usb and a few beauty essentials to combat that afternoon slump!

My preferred backpack is a Herschel backpack. On lighter days, I manage with a laptop bag and tote.

Along with these ‘work’ essentials, I keep a separate bag with a blazer, gym kit and heels in my car. These allow me to manage my day if plans change, whether it be being called into work, appearing in court or squeezing in a gym session on an unexpected afternoon off!

What’s your minimum must-carry?

Phone and keys.

Any tips for getting things done anywhere?

Be resourceful in order to adapt to your daily environment.

To make the most of your time - whether it be the ten minutes between classes, or the five-minute wait for the bus  -  use resources which enable you to adapt to your surroundings. Cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud allow you to access all your important essentials on the go. For example, I sync my iCal and Google Calendar across all my devices and have all my important documents on Google Drive. Look for apps with cross-platform compatibility - I highly recommend OneNote in this regard.

Be realistic in what you can accomplish in the day. Accept that there will always be certain stressors in daily life - traffic, a delayed bus, the 12-minute wait for coffee as everyone lines up for their caffeine fix in the morning. Know your personal habits - I’m terrible with early mornings and my energy dips around late afternoon, so during these times I try to schedule tasks which don’t require much focus. Prioritise your tasks, taking these personal and external factors into account.

Rest. Schedule in rest as you would a meeting, lunch or project deadline. I’ve often struggled with this, particularly with regards to correspondence. By switching off email notifications on my phone after work hours and restraining myself from reading university or work related emails on Sundays, I’m slowly allowing myself to switch 'off’ from work. This allows me to tackle the following day’s tasks with a sharper mind.

All in all, balance is not an automatic outcome of passivity; it is something which you must actively seek. Luckily, there’s an arsenal of tools on the market to help us with this endeavour.

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WORK HARD PLAY HARD. Day something/100.
This weekend consisted of:
• 2 parties
• MSFW Vogue’s fashion night out #vaefno
• road trip to Portsea
• marketing essay
• microeconomics assignment
While it’s important to work towards your future, it’s also critical that you enjoy your life. Don’t stress too much about that assignment. Go to that party. These moments are the memories that stay with you.