Coffee, Essays and other Melbourne things [Lily]

I’ve done it. I’ve finally done it.

Today, April 30 2024, marks the day that I’ve finally had a coffee at Melbourne University. It also marks the first time that I’ve ordered my own coffee, strangely enough. I was always scared I would order wrong. Turns out asking for a small chai latte isn’t actually that difficult! 

Coffee at least seems to me to be a big thing here. I’ve lived in and around Melbourne my whole life, I should know this. I don’t. Maybe I should. But I liked my small chai latte, so maybe I’ll try that some more in the future.

I’ve had this big looming 2000 word essay casting my entire life in a shadow of anxiety, and today I was on campus all day, determined to finish it. I don’t know how to plan an essay for the life of me, so this essay worth half my grade is a long process of finding a source, writing a couple paragraphs about it, and fumbling to tie it back to my argument, over and over again. If I had more time, I’d rewrite it entirely and just use this as a first draft. However I lack that time, and I’m going to just try to polish this one up tomorrow. 

Here’s a lesson: actually research before you make your essay plan! I had an essay plan but then I very quickly realised that one of the sources I was planning on using had a much better position than my own and turns out that my new argument means I’m arguing against 95% of the research on the topic. 

I had about 750 words when I got to Arts West. I’ve been enjoying sitting by the windows on Level 1 and looking out at the people walking by on Professor’s Walk. I’ve long enjoyed the dark academia aesthetic (although I’m far too unserious to commit to it in any sense) and something about the overcast Melbourne weather dimly lighting the desks is remarkably pleasant to me. 

For some reason, the lamps on Level 1 don’t work. I saw them working on Level 2. I flicked the little switch on one, waiting for it to do something. Nothing. I googled it: ‘unimelb arts west floor 1 lamps not working’. Comfort is found in the fact that my forefathers before me have shouldered these same struggles. It’s here I learn about the UniMelb Love Letters Facebook page! I heard about it again today from a Reddit thread (I’m not an active Redditor, I promise). Looking at it now, it seems very cute!

I spent most of the day with one of my friends from my early high school years. We hadn’t seen each other at all this semester and so we hung out in Bailleu just studying together. Eventually she left for work and I left to get gyoza, where I relocated to the Student Pavillion. I stayed there til 8:30.

The buildings at night are very pretty. It was a relatively cold and rainy day (Melbourne, ammirite?) but that only really serves to complement the city lights. I could see people in other buildings studying too, some people scattered across the Amphitheatre. I didn’t expect to see so many other people so late at night– at least, I have to commute for over an hour to get to and from uni, so staying out so late isn’t my norm. Plus, I’m used to local libraries being closed by that time. It was really nice to know that I’m definitely not the only one worrying about deadlines, staying out to study so as to not fall asleep at home. 

I didn’t get to finish the essay, but that’s alright. I got to 1650 words, so I’m not disappointed in myself by any means. I’ll try to finish it up tomorrow and catch up on my modules before work. 

In the meantime, I’m going to get some good sleep. 

Do your assignments early and be kind to yourself.

– Lily

2 thoughts on “Coffee, Essays and other Melbourne things [Lily]

  1. I agree that city lights at night are so pretty!! Also I’m sure you will do great on that essay 🙂

  2. There is something supremely comforting about studying on campus – a sense of camaraderie. You’re doing great, Lily!
    P.S. Have you had a chance to try your new approach (exploring the research topic, creating a broad essay plan, researching and note taking, refining your essay plan, drafting, editing)? Love to hear how you go.

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