23 things I've learnt in 2013 (Simone)

I write to you on my official last day of university for 2013. There are exams, essays, references, stress-outs, and all-nighters still to come over SWAT-VAC and beyond, of course. But I still feel like today is a momentous day, my last day of going to classes as a first year UniMelb student. Wow. Time flies!

So, what have I learnt this year?

When I first read/pose that question to myself, I immediately kind of feel inclined to giggle. What have I learned?! Pffff! It sounds like one of those questions that your mum asked you when you got home from primary school (not highschool, because she gave up by then), and you would just be like ‘uhhh… nothing?’. And by the time you were a dorky tweeny-bopper, ‘nm’ for ‘not much’.

But I’m going to attempt to give you a bit more information that than in this blog post! So, ahem, here features, in no particular order:

What I Have Learned in 2013, as a “big kid” at “adult school” (yes, just discovered that I can colour words on here! Learnt0thing no. #1 no doubt!).

1. I’ve learnt that drinking four coffees during a short day at uni results in dizziness, nausea, shaky-hands and being broke.

2. I’ve learnt that at uni, you’re constantly meeting people. And people from everywhere, all over Australia, Victoria! So much more diverse than my highschool of 1200 students that I used to think was “huge”…

3. But I’ve also learnt that you actually have no idea most of the time whether those people you met will become friendships, whether you’ll blossom into being Best Friends Forevez…  or whether that person you sat with once will became this vague memory of a person you used to know a little bit about, whether pretty soon you could walk past them and not even really know who they are.

4. I’ve learnt that university is actually hard work, unlike the strange perception of uni being a ‘breeze’ that I got during highschool.

5. I’ve learnt about referencing, that every different subject expects a different referencing style… but I’ve also learnt that it’s possible, contrary to my first terrible ‘bibliogprahic assignment’ for Power in first semester, to ace the referencing!

6. I’ve learnt that it’s really hard to ace Arts subjects. Like, impossible hard (aside from being not worth it!). So, I guess I’ve learned not to stress quite so much about getting a H2B, because in the end majority of subjects only give a H1 to a very small percentage.

7. Actually, a year ago I didn’t even know what a H2B was or what it meant! So I can definitely add that to my ‘what I’ve learned’ list.

8. I’ve learnt (quite recently) that talking to Siri on my iPhone is not a particularly motivating form of procrastination, as you will see in my screenshot…


9. I’ve learnt how to be a public-transport freak, and how to deal with the afternoon packed tram. (I haven’t really mastered the how-to-avoid-having-a-smelly-armpit-in-your-face thing that happens too regularly on trams, but hey, I’ll get there!).

10. I’ve learnt the importance of that green Myki card – having it topped up, and in the same place in my bag every morning. Never again will I drop it on the tram and let $70 worth of Myki-money dissolve into Myki-heaven, where the Myki Gods are probably all laughing and pointing at me…

11. I’ve learnt my limit of champagne (a very important learning, I must say!). Thanks for that, Arts Ball.

12. I’ve learnt that people WILL judge you if you and your friend start drunkenly doing the ‘bricklayer’ and ‘shopping trolley’ dance moves to a techno-beat at a trendy bar in the city. (jks, this didn’t actually happen. Ha, ha…)

14. I’ve learnt that getting around the maze of UniMelb’s campus is possible! Yay! I know all the short cuts (thank you Lost On Campus app!), and though I still get lost (I know, sad), I can now confidently find my way to most places. Phew.

15. I’ve learnt which cafes do the best of different things. e..g Lot 6’s cheese and tomato toasties, Spade of Hearts’ soy lattes’, that the little convenience shop in Union House has ice cream.

16. I’ve learnt not to attempt eating a crepe and walking (as I posted about earlier in the year), especially when an umbrella in your hand. Disaster in the making or what.

17. I’ve learnt to put myself out there more, especially in tutes, when at the beginning of the year I was so much more shy. This feels especially momentous, especially in a subject like Politics where one of the first times I’d spoken, I found myself in the middle of a heated debate about feminism and Julia Gillard. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in, especially when you would normally classify yourself as not the loner-debating-against-groups-of-boys types, but by god, it’s so worth it. For the cause, and for yourself. So, in that way I’ve definitely learnt to be a debater, to take risks, to have a voice and use it. 

18. I’ve learnt that at uni you have to be able to have a few different outfits (I know, revelation much), so as to not be nicknamed the ‘blue coat girl’, or to be recognised for your red scarf, etc, etc, because ultimately you can only use the ‘superman only has one outfit too!’ jokes so many times.

 19. I’ve learnt that being an Arts student (i.e. One of a million), can be kind of isolating and lonesome at times. I’ve learnt that it’s actually kind of hard to have a full-on friendship group in first year Arts, but that having a few mini groups of individual friends is great, too. You have to be pretty proactive in your friendship (or other types of ‘friends’ 😉 ) making at uni. (Thanks for the Snapchat, my UniMelb friend. You know who you are).


20. I’ve learnt to challenge myself, and go outside my comfort zone in my Arts/breadth subject choices – I feel like I’ve reaped so, so many rewards. Last year I would never have envisaged myself doing a History subject as I did for breadth last semester; even over the mid-semester break I was seriously fretting about doing Politics when I’ve never done it before. But both were seriously worth it. Apart from meeting some wonderful people, and feeling proud for ‘challenging’ myself, I learned HEAPS! And I genuinely feel like a much more rounded person in my world knowledge than I was at the beginning of the year. This is, ultimately, why I picked Arts instead of a specific degree. So I’m so glad that it’s paying off in so many ways.

21. I’ve learnt that Uni events are awesome! And I feel pretty stupid for not attending more – the Greek Tavern Night and Arts Ball were seriously fantastic. Next year I plan to go to so many more!

I’m sure there are so many more things I’ve learnt, but I feel like this summarises them pretty nicely! Hopefully you, too, have learnt a bit over 2013, the year of new beginnings, new and old friends, daggy dancing, nightly readings-cramming, coffee overdosing and about a thousand essays… it can be surprisingly nice to reflect on things. 🙂

Until the next blog – no doubt a rant about how much I wish I wasn’t cramming for essays/exams (another ‘learning experience’, no doubt), – best of luck for SWAT-VAC!




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