Category Archives: Uni Life Sorted


Effective Study Tips

So, you’re at that point of the semester where you’ve found yourself searching Google for “Study Tips to Pass Uni”. Yeah, I know that moment. It’s a time you’re hoping to find the ultimate study tip – the answer to all your tertiary prayers, the answer that’ll take away the pain of study and make it just so easy to ace that exam. Well, guess what ….? Sorry! No quick fix here! (apologies to anyone who thought they’d just discovered the long sought-after secret to study success). However, there are still heaps of awesome study tips out there that you can try, and we’ve listed just a few of these below. Give them a go and let us know if they work for you. You’ll still have to work hard, but they may make the whole study thing a little easier. Happy Studying!

Study Tip 1
Hit the books before hitting the hay

This is one for all the peeps who love a little bedtime reading. But forget the fairy tales and put away the John Grisham thriller, Divergent book or whatever else it is you’re reading and grab your study notes. You only need to study for a few minutes just before you doze off to la la land. By taking in this information right before you sleep, you’re more likely to be able to remember them in the future. Why? Well, science has shown that during sleep the brain strengthens new memories. But don’t take your notes in the bed with you. That should be your zone of rest and zen, and having the notes there simply gets in the way of you getting to sleep. Plus, there’s nothing worse than waking up with a face full of algorithms and pen marks down your cheek.

Study Tip 2
Study Wise with Exercise

Work out the brain and the body and boost your marks! Exercise has been proven to improve the speed in which the brain works and processes information. Plus, it makes you feel happier! So, it doesn’t matter if you go for a ride around the park, a jog between lectures, or create a 30-minute circuit in your own backyard, as long as you’re moving and raising the heart rate you’re doing your body (and hopefully grades) a favour!

Study Tip 3
Write, Write, Write to Get  It Right In The Exam

If you were ever punished at school and forced to write lines over and over and over again, you’re sure to be a gun at this technique. Studies have shown that if you put pen to paper and write stuff down, you retain that information much better than if you were simply reading it or typing it on a computer. So, shutdown the laptop, dust-off the biro and start writing and rewriting your essays, notes, formulas and other important bits of info from class.

Write Out Your Notes

Study Tip 4
Say No to the Net

The internet can be an awesome source of information and a very helpful tool when it comes to studying. But let’s be honest, it’s also able to suck you into a time vortex, one filled with dancing cats and Times Square flash dances. So, say farewell Facebook, buzz off to Buzzfeed, ta-ta Twitter, p*ss off, Pinterest and see ya, YouTube! Switch it off and focus solely on the study. Go on, I dare you …

Study Tip 5
Become a Quiz Master

It has been proven that quizzing yourself before a test can greatly improve your memory recall during the real thing. So, set up your quiz, set the clock and quiz, quiz, quiz. Create your own quiz incorporating questions you know you’ve had trouble remembering. The more you are faced with them in a practice mode, the more likely you are to recall it during the exam. If you’ve got a friend doing the same thing, why not write an exam for each other.


Handy Books full of Handy Study Tips

Reading & Making Notes – $9.95 MP


Brilliant Writing Tips for Students – $9.95 MP


14 Days To Exam Success – $9.95 MP




What are your study tips? Share them below and tell us why they work for you.


Homer Simpson’s Guide to University

Homer Simpson is a deep (and round) well of unique wisdom, with views on the world like no one else. Here we’ve brought together some of Homer’s wisest* words for you can look to for guidance** during university.

*May not be wise
**May not actually help

Homer Simpson on hard work …

Image: Tumbler



Homer Simpson on nutrition …

Video: YouTube


Homer Simpson on using music to focus…

Image: Giphy


Homer Simpson on study/life balance…

Image: memecrunch 

Homer Simpson on failure…

Image: Pinterest


Homer Simpson on why it would be nice to succeed…

Image: Peg It Board


Homer Simpson on fitting in…

Image: Reddit


Homer Simpson on what to do in exams…

Image: Reddit


Homer Simpson on going out…

Image: Twitter


Homer Simpson on facts…

Image: YouTube


Homer Simpson on beer…

Image: YouTube


For more words of wisdom from Homer Simpson, check out Homer Simpson’s Little Book of Laziness, available now at the Co-op! They might even help you get through uni … or give you a laugh at the very least!


Sleeping In – How Not to Do It



Sunlight shining on man in bed saying "Ugh. Early. Bad."

Waking up early is tough. But uni life, being the punish that it is, often makes waking up a requirement for those wishing to successfully get through the semester. Tutorials, lectures, group assignment meetings in the library at some crazy hour (“no, I do not want to meet you at the library at 10am“) – they just keep popping up in the calendar, until all of a sudden the hours before lunchtime are fuller than a fat dude at the end of a session at the all you can eat buffet.  

To help you out, here are a few handy tips to help you get up when your alarm sounds, so you can get ready and arrive on time to take on the world (or something like that) … 

1. Set an alarm clock up in every corner of your room/house before you go to bed. Make sure all the alarms are set to go off a few minutes apart. That way if you do roll out of bed to turn one off and leap back into bed in the hope of falling back to sleep, the next one is sure to go off just as you’re dozing off. 

2. Set your alarm and lock it inside something that requires you to actually use your brain to open it and shut it off. Once it’s open, you’ll be too alert to go back to sleep.


3. Ask someone who loves to annoy you (sibling, mate etc.) to wake you up each morning with their very own unique musical creation.

4. Get a puppy or kitten …

Kitten Waking Person Up


5. Set your alarm clock up in such a way that you really won’t want to touch that snooze button …

alarm clock set with mouse trap on snooze button

6. If all else fails, there’s always this (warning: this is for extreme cases of ICANTGETOUTTABEDITUS only).


 EXTRA TIP: If you do sleep in, just make sure you’ve mastered the art of the sickie …

I Can't Go Anywhere!






Setting Up a New Kitchen

If your new year of university also heralds in the exciting time of moving out of home and renting somewhere, then it comes with the fun but slightly headache inducing task of stocking a new kitchen.

It can be fun for the first week or two, living off Red Bull, hummus and pita bread. However, that’s not exactly the healthiest (or tastiest) option and take it from me, once you’ve worked through the flavoured hummus, you will hate the goop for a while.

Fortunately, with a bit of planning, setting up your new kitchen can be made a whole lot easier.

I think investing in one or two good cookbooks and some staple ingredients is the best method. I swear by Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. Everything is simple, delicious and, while it took me a bit of practice to work fast enough for the ’15 minutes’ part, they are very simple and easy recipes that can be whipped up after work/study; or on a lazy weekend and frozen for a week of microwave meals without the MSG. A few other books that are awesome include Save With Jamie, Bill Granger’s EasyThe Hungry Student Cookbook and The Hungry Student Vegetarian Cookbook.


Living with house mates can be great due to the fact some items often become communal and, therefore, cut costs (and definitely saves having four different bottles of olive oil and the entire contents of a spice factory taking up space). As for the rest of it, your menu is whatever you want. And if that includes popcorn for dinner then go forth and prosper.

I love this list of Jamie Oliver’s pantry essentials. I would probably add other important items, like coffee, wine, beer, pizza, and chocolate, because those are very essential for a student’s daily life. With these items on hand you can easily pick up fresh veggies or meat throughout the week to add to meals, depending on what you feel like cooking.

Also, do not feel afraid of the frozen meal. For the days you cannot be bothered to cook, or are schlepping home from an awesome night out, or are sick, or it’s 3am and you’re hungry, a delicious meal in three minutes is great – so keep a few frozen meals in the back of the freezer.


If you’re in a share house, it’s a good idea to start off by discussing the utensil situation with house-mates and work out what you have and what you need to buy – saves having a kitchen with 25 spoons, 3 forks and no drinking glasses. If you’re living in a university accommodation, the kitchen may be stocked with some items (i.e. kettle and toaster) but have no plates, so make a list of everything you need and get it in one hit. It’s far nicer to have everything you need on hand then struggle through without – especially when you buy baked beans but no can opener (true story).

Jamie has a list of essential kitchen utensils here, and he is pretty true in what he says – a good set of knives and great quality pots and pans will definitely improve your cooking and save money in the long run. Other items like cutlery, tongs and mixing bowls can be bought for less money from Kmart or Ikea. It’s also a good start to check in with friends and family who might be more than happy to help you establish yourself in the culinary world by giving you stuff they aren’t using in their kitchen.

In stocking a kitchen, it is also good to consider what kind of meals you will be making regularly to help decide what appliances you need. I personally think a rice cooker is fantastic – it frees up space on the stove and since they turn off automatically, you’ll never burn the rice or yourself. If you’re a green smoothie fan then get a good blender.


Once you have acquired all items, consider the space you have available. If you’re running out of bench space, then an over the sink cutting board or a moveable island can add more work space.

Keeping things in easy, logical reach is a must. Oil, spice, utensils like tongs and stirring spoons should all be near the stove; things rarely used – mix masters or serving platters given by a well meaning relative can be put on a top shelf. Cooking and life in general is made so much easier when everything you need is just there.

Similarly, keep plates and glasses away from the stove – open cupboards might look fab in a magazine, but they and anything on the shelves will attract grease and smoke when you start frying. Store these on the other side of the kitchen.

Also, consider the function of utensils and storage over the design – it may look pretty to have a set of pastel measuring cups, but if they don’t stack, hang or store in your kitchen then they will just become annoying. Make sure tins and canisters are easy to open, and items are of good enough quality to not fall apart 5 minutes out of the box.

So, armed with this knowledge, you can now go forth and be a master chef in the University of Cooking! May the Forks be with you.


Sell Us Your Textbooks – Score Cash Instantly!

Uni’s out and summer’s on! Now it’s time to kick up your heels, let down your hair down and party! Wait … what? Oh, right. Yeah, it can be pretty difficult when your bank account struggles to keep up with your social life … Read on!

Head into any Co-op store with your old textbooks, hand over your old textbooks and you could score some extra cash instantly. The Co-op buys back thousands of different textbook titles year-round, which we then resell at a discounted price to future students.

By bringing in any of the texts on the list (download the full list here) , you could get up to 40% cash back, on the spot. No waiting around. No mailing books. Simply drop it off to the friendly team and walk away with a wad of cash in your sky-rocket. If you’re more the cashless kind of crusader, we’ll happily put it on your card.

The Co-op’s Bucks 4 Books program is just one of the things we do to make uni life more affordable for students and give back to our Members. Not only are you getting rid of old textbooks you don’t need and scoring extra cash, you’re also waving the invisible eco-warrior flag by recycling. It’s a win win situation!

So, bring your eligible textbooks in to any store. It doesn’t matter where you originally bought your book from – so long as the ISBN appears on our list of buyback titles.






#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amaruso

I love rags to riches stories, I love fashion, I love badass women taking names and building an empire… Sophia Amoruso has built an empire of vintage designer fashion and her new book #GIRLBOSS, documents her meteoric rise to online shopping domination with the fabulous Nasty Gal Vintage online store. Amoruso is an inspiring young woman who has truly made it. With a sharp tongue and clear hope for her readers, #GIRLBOSS may be just what you need to read if you have entrepreneurial dreams of your own.

This book is part memoir of a wayward teenager making good, part business advice guide and part inspirational tale for young entreprenuers and women starting their careers. It’s fresh, vibrant and written with the perfect amount of snark and wit to truly set it apart from other business books.


Amoruso definitely caught the right wave at the right moment, launching an online fashion store through MySpace and eBay just when these platforms where taking off and gaining popularity. She went from being a petty thief to the CEO of a national company that was expanding exponentially, making her a business and cultural icon. Did I mention she achieved all this before reaching 30 years old!! While it may be hard to replicate her incredible success, since the online world has changed so drastically, her life and business advice is definitely interesting and helpful for those at the start of their career, deciding the merits of a company job or striking out on their own as an entrepreneur.

Amoruso blends wit and humour into her life story and business advice, that will inspire you to shift your personal and professional goals to achieve what you want in life, and present yourself well in a difficult marketplace. I highly recommend it! Her frank, no-bulls**t way of dishing out advice and life lessons makes this a refreshing read in the sea of books targeting young uni graduates. Seriously, I loved this book, #GIRLBOSS for the win.



How to Win in Your New Job

Meet Jim

Jim’s just about to graduate from university. Lucky for him, his hard work has paid off and he’s already been offered a new graduate position in the new year. Jim’s super stoked and really excited to begin; however, he’s a little nervous. He’s done a couple of short internships throughout his university studies, but nothing long-term. As the office arena is still pretty new to him, Jim is a little anxious about how he’s going to fit into the workplace and avoid the office politics he often hears about.

Jim wants to get off on the right foot at his new company and make good relationships. He also wants to ensure he has the opportunity to show he’s got what it takes to do great things and grow in the role.

Jim wants some advice on how he should approach the workplace “arena”?

Some advice for Jim

Starting off at a new company is always a little nerve-wracking. But it’s important to realise the importance of establishing good relationships with co-workers from day one. Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t fit in straight away. That’s the same for everyone! It can sometimes be useful to look to the behaviour of your colleagues to better understand the “vibe” of the company – what’s acceptable, what’s not in terms of dress code, lunching, office hours, meeting styles, emails etcetera. This can really help to ease your anxieties about “not fitting in” to the company.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

You’re new to the company; there’s no way you can know the answers to everything. Don’t waste time trying to solve a problem on your own, as it is often less efficient and can also result in avoidable errors. Seek assistance from your manager or one of your colleagues.  This being said, do not continually ask the same question. Ask the question, listen and learn, ensure you properly understand it, and away you go!

2. Don’t take on other tasks until you’ve nailed the one you were hired for.

If you really want to become a standout at the company, begin by focusing all your attention on the role you were hired for. Once you excel at that and you prove to your manager that you have great potential, your time to shine in the spotlight will come.

3. Get to know your co-workers and build rapport.

Introduce yourself to everyone you interact with and try to get to know them on a personal level. If you are able, take a lunch break with them. Avoid existing cliques; be open to office friendships with all your co-workers, and don’t let other people’s opinions or gossiping dissuade you from getting to know someone.

4. Be honest but accepting of existing processes.

Many companies have “there way of doing things”. Many of these may not make sense to you, may seem inefficient or may be different from what you’re used to. Give the processes a chance; often you will realise why it’s implemented in such a way. If after a while you still feel the process is not working well, raise your concerns and suggest an appropriate alternative in a friendly and constructive manner. Tip: do not simply complain and not offer possible solutions.

5. Stay away from office politics.

Gossip and bitching exists in almost every office. Don’t engage with it. If you can walk away, do so. If you can’t stay out of it and keep quiet! There’s nothing to be gained from gossip in the office, and there’s plenty to be lost if it turns nasty. You’re at the beginning of your career, and building your working relationships is vital to success and growth.

6. Offer to assist where you can.

As you settle more into your role, you may want to start putting your hand up to assist your co-workers with extra projects outside your work scope. Whether this is simply sitting in on meetings or playing an integral part in a task, this will prove your are a team player and motivated to helping the business succeed. It will also give you the opportunity to learn new skills while playing an active role at your company.

7. Be enthusiastic, stay positive!

Maintaining a positive attitude at work is one of the most important things to remember when in the workplace, and it’s so very simple. Stay motivated, be enthusiastic and be bold. A successful future awaits!





Study Hack: Speed Reading

A wise man once said, “To get the most out of one’s study time, one must tear through textbooks at the speed of Usain Bolt, taking in all the contents that matter and ditching the rest“. Now that’s all well and good for freakishly fast readers who eat pages at the rate Homer Simpson eats donuts. But what about the rest of us? Never fear, good people. We may have the solution you’re looking for … 

Regardless of what you’re studying, university involves a lot of reading – whether it’s books, course notes, study guides, research papers or something else altogether. And this proves to be a hugely time-consuming element of uni, particularly so if you are a slow reader. And even if you do carry out all that reading for study, it’s often futile as you’ll either – A) be wasting time trying to absorb irrelevant and unnecessary info; or, B) not absorbing the content at all.

But don’t worry, that’s where speed reading can help!

A very brief history of speed reading:

Speed reading was not a “thing” until the 1950s, when a teacher named Evelyn Wood began to investigate why some people naturally read more quickly than others. Based on her findings, she created the speed reading system. This system was designed not just to greatly increase the rate at which one reads,  but also increase information retention. After it was launched, it went on to become kind of a big deal. Find out more about Evelyn Wood here.

Speed reading in a nutshell 

Speed reading is designed to help the reader absorb all the important deets of what they’re reading, and turfing the rest. The idea is to read quickly and take in groups of words together rather than looking at each individual word one at a time. Readers must also stop subvocalisation. In other words, stop saying the words in your head as you’re reading them.

Want to know?


  • If you’re more into the visual style, here’s a great video designed to teach you to speed read in 15 minutes …


  • Read your way to speed reading victory

The Co-op has numerous books on Speed Reading, all of them filled with tips, techniques and other insights to help you become a more efficient and effective reader!

Speed Reading , BuzanSpeed Reading For Dummies , Sutz R    Brilliant Speed Reading: Whatever you need to read, , Yeung Rob   Complete Idiot's Guide To Speed Reading , Abby Marks Beale








Want Instant Cash? Sell Us Your Textbooks!

Got a heap of old textbooks? Yes! Want instant cash? Umm, obvs.

Well then, you’re just the person the Co-op is looking for! Head into any Co-op store, along with your pre-loved textbooks (or perhaps they’re not so loved if they were the textbooks you needed for that super hard subject!), and discover the true awesomesness that is the Bucks 4 Books program.

As long as your textbook is on the Textbook Buyback list, we’ll take it off your hands and give you up to 30% of the RRP in cash on the spot (oh, if you’re into the whole cashless living thing, we can totes put it on your card). We’re buying back thousands of textbooks – head to the Book Character with dollar signTextbook Buyback page and download the full textbook buyback list.

The exact buy-back amount will be determined by the store manager and is based on the condition of your book, so refrain from doodling all over it, tearing out pages for paper planes or impromptu origami sessions.

It doesn’t matter where you originally bought the book from …

That’s right! We don’t care if you bought the textbook at the Co-op, another store, or even if you found it in the back of your best mate’s car*. So long as the book’s ISBN appears on the list, you’re in the money!

Come one, come all! We’re buying from everyone!

Whether you’re a student, a lecturer, a staff member or someone else altogether, the Co-op will buy back your textbooks! So, bring them in to the store and we’ll happily take them off your hands. By selling your old books you’ll not only declutter your room of all your textbooks-turn-doorstops but you’ll also top up your bank balance and gain extra good karma points by being green and recycling. This really is a win-win sitch!

Check out the Terms and Conditions for more info, and don’t forget to download the full list of approved buy-back titles. #bucks4books

*The Co-op advises you ask any best mate before removing textbooks
from aforementioned back seat




The Naked CEO

Awesome is the first word that sprung to my mind when I finished reading Alex Malley’s The Naked CEO. Alex Malley is the CEO of CPA Australia and his new book is a fantastic guide to professional development that is incredibly well formatted, easy to read and engaging.

“This book shares the career and leadership principles that I worked out the hard way on my journey from suspended schoolboy to CEO. It’s also my challenge to you to go out into the world and test what you are capable of.”

 As a recent uni graduate, this book definitely stands out from the swamp of advice books that throw buzzwords at you and say ‘have a good LinkedIn’ and ‘make a good first impression’. The Naked CEO goes a whole step further than just stating these buzzwords – it shows you how. Beneath every headline of the things you should be doing, Alex has practical steps in order to achieve it – from ways to hone your listening skills and how to save a conversation if you’ve forgotten someone’s name the moment they’ve said it, to exactly how to achieve that rocking LinkedIn profile.

But what I truly found valuable and brilliant about The Naked CEO is how it doesn’t just take you to the door of your new job, it has plenty of constructive info and ideas to truly make the most of your professional development and lay down the skills that will help you through your career (and maybe even get you to a CEO position!). This book truly stands out as a great resource, whether you are about to leave uni or have been in the workplace for years.

Moving through the stages of starting uni and choosing a study path, to getting a grad job and then moving up in your career, this is a fantastic read. Full of Alex’s advice, anecdotes from mentees and solid, practical tips to round out your professional development, The Naked CEO is a must-read book for 2014!

There are also a tonne of resources and info on the official Naked CEO website.