Year three, Semester one reflection

After another long and hard semester, I have finally come to the final leg of my journey. My last semester. Here in university.

For starter, graduating in six months seems like quite a bizarre concept – what should I do next? Go to Honours? Take a year off to travel? Find work? Do Master in journalism? Or what? Yet as nervous as I am, I am excited of the possibility of living my life – not only to dream big but to actually have the time and resources to pursue it, and leave a dent in this crazy, hectic world.

But first let’s review these past six months.

I spent the last six months trying new things. Meeting David Choi (Youtube artist). Interviewing Glenn Fredly (Indonesian singer). Changing my blog’s design. Buying the new iPad. Reading more news. Subscribing even more.

That said, this semester is unmistakably the worst semester in my whole university career. Not only I have taken too many activities, the subjects are much way harder compared to first and second year’s. I did not anticipate that. I had 14 hours of uni and 16 hours of internship at Royal Children’s Hospital every week. That said, I was also a blogger at Farrago and a journalist/columnist at Meld Magazine. Life’s never been more hectic.

image by Mike Flanagan at

Food for Healthy Planet 3 (breadth)

If there are University of Melbourne students among you who are thinking to take this subject as a breadth, a word of caution – it’s a super expensive subject (with subject fee cost higher than any of my other subjects).

In this course I learned about water scarcity, protein diet, food security, animal welfare, and much more. Every week the subject required us to attend the two-hour lecture preached by guest lecturers in their own expertise – including Peter Singer.

Yet starting from the first week there were some hiccups happening. During the first five weeks, my official tutor did not come (and replaced by some random guy for the last four) due to sickness, and the last six weeks’ tutorials did little to help us understand about the course. Frankly saying, the tutorials were super boring. In the end only five (out of more than twenty) students came to the tute.

The materials, although interesting, were not well-structured. In my opinion, there were some weird assignments (e.g. the media requirement of writing a discourse analysis and a news article – which actually came to my advantage as I am a media student) that did not really help us learn about the food for healthy planet.

In sum, for what this subject offers and what we are paying – this subject is not worth it. I did get good marks in the end, though.

My attendance throughout this course: two lectures out of 12, eight tutes out of 12.

Writing Journalism (Media and Communication)

This is the hardest subject I have ever taken in my whole university life (or second after Creative Writing subject that I took in my first year). My tutor is a well-known journalist in Australia, and she is a very harsh marker. (I end up scoring quite low for this subject).

That said, I didn’t really learn much about journalism compared to what I’ve gained during second year’s Introduction to Media Writing subject and my work experience at Meld. This subject emphasised what I already know and yet failed to actually teach me how to write. I felt like making the same mistakes again and again, without really knowing how to fix them.

Maybe I’m not a journalist after all?

My attendance throughout this course: four lectures out of 12, ten tutes out of 12.

Research Methods for Human Inquiry (Psychology)

This is the subject that I hate the most. From every bone and every drop of my blood, I hate it. Really, really, hate it.

It’s the statistics subject requirement for Psychology, and in sum, I hate it. I have always hated statistics. I know I wouldn’t be able to become a psychologist if I don’t understand how to do statistics, but this truth can’t easily erase my hatred towards statistics. I have been forced to learn about p-value, one-way ANOVA, regression analysis, correlation, and some other words in the statistic dictionary. Not only that, the lecturer was super boring and made everything ten times harder than it actually was. Oh how I hate it.

This subject’s exam was my last, and for the whole weekend (the exam was on Monday) I underwent a total mental breakdown. On Saturday I ended up yelling some songs while turning on my speaker to the max, Youtubing some classic songs such as I don’t wanna miss a thing – Aerosmith, When you say nothing at all – Ronan Keating, Art of love – Guy Sebastian, I will always love you -Whitney Houston, and much more.

On Sunday I flicked through my notes, confused on what to learn as there were lectures, lecture problem sets, lecture review questions, multiple choice review questions, and lab review questions for each of the two-hour 12 lectures. Too many things to learn for a 60-multiple-choice-question exam.

That night I uttered my desperate prayer, and went to bed. On Monday I had headaches.

Then I survived.

I haven’t gotten my results yet, but I’m hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

My attendance throughout this course: three lectures out of 12, ten tutes out of 12.

Developing Persons in Social World (Psychology)

I love this subject. I have the best lecturers in the world. Professor Jeannete Lawrence and Professor Agness Dodds – you guys are gems, really. I have learned a lot about how humans interact with the environment and how the environment affects our own development. Fascinating.

I know I’ve done well for the case study assignment, but I’m not too sure about my exam. I’m hoping to get good marks on this (because I really like this subject), but we’ll see in the next couple of days. Will inform you as soon as I know the results.

My attendance throughout this course: nine lectures out of 12, six tutes out of six.

Preparing for the last semester

This winter holiday I have so many things to do – searching jobs and internships, updating blog to become more professional-like, editing resume, launching Facebook page (yes, finally! Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks!), deciding whether to pursue further studies or work, writing more, and having fun along the way. Life’s too short to be lived otherwise.

“I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left.”

Randy Pausch


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