Category Archives: Uni Life Sorted

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Workouts for Readers & TV Fans

We all know it’s important to get plenty of exercise and stay healthy. But as the weather starts to slide and hearty soup and a cosy blanket starts calling your name, the motivation to work up a sweat and go running in the morning is quickly wearing thin. It’s just too easy to trade the treadmill for a good book or TV show. So, here are a few ways to binge and work out at the same time 🙂

For the readers…
  • Do the same number of crunches or push-ups as pages you read – 10 pages then 10 push-ups, then the next 10 pages followed by 10 crunches. (This is also good if you need to cram study time and exercise together)
  • If you’re getting deeply engrossed in a good book you might find yourself flying off the treadmill, so ditch the paperback and listen to an audiobook while working out on exercise equipment so you can maintain your posture and focus.
  • Hold a plank or child’s pose or any other yoga position you feel like while reading a few pages before swapping the position. You’ll still stretch and get ahead in your book.
  • Re-stack your bookshelves. It’ll involve lots of lifting and squats as you take everything down and then reorganise it.
  • Grab your book and head out on a long walk; maybe walk from one side of a beach until you find a nice, warm cafe to curl up with and read in before walking back home.
For the TV show binge watchers…
  • Put your fave TV show on your laptop or stick the treadmill in front of the TV and walk/jog for the length of an episode. You’ll have done the minimum daily required 30mins in no time.
  • If you’re watching normal TV that has adverts, then jump up and jog on the spot or do sit ups, squats and star jumps for the 5 minutes before you can crash on the couch to watch the rest of the show.
  • Make an exercise game – say you’re watching Game of Thrones, then do things like squats when the dragons come onscreen, lunges when someone dies, star jumps when someone says ‘you know nothing, Jon Snow’, and so on.
  • See how many reps you can do during a commercial or the opening credits of your show.
  • Watch a comedy and burn calories through laughter!

 

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University is more than just a degree

I never really understood what people meant when they said “university is more than just a degree.” In the back of my mind, my answer to that was, “yeah, I know – it’s an expensive loan too.” But three years on, with the last of my assignments done and dusted, I’ve realised the truth of that statement, and the bigger picture is something a lot of people underestimate until uni’s all over.

Sure, the workload can be strenuous and a lack of funds in your savings account becomes the norm, but the quality of skills that you gain when studying, all without expecting it, is worth a lot more than money. For me, the cliché westy kid who sometimes can’t help but sound like a bogan, I learnt the useful skill of how to interact with a range of people.

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I took university as an opportunity to submerge myself in a variety of different groups, ranging in intelligence and professionalism. Every semester meant new classes, students and tutors and in order for me to make the most of my time studying I had to try my best to relate to every person I came in contact with. Learning how to deal with a variety of people meant that I could be thrown into any situation with people I don’t know and still feel confident and comfortable.
From these interactions I’ve found that we tend to stick to our comfort zone and hang around like-minded people, and it’s there we pick up habits in how we communicate with people outside of this group. Consider it to be the accent you add to a conversation. Everyone interacts differently and unless you can mould your interaction style to that person, whether it be your boss, a friend or a complete stranger, than you are going to have a hard time.

On top of improving my communication skills, I really learnt how to manage my money. Fast food wages were definitely not the best form of income but it was flexible and was enough to get me by. Like most other students, there were times when I had to say no to a night out or had to make a sandwich rather than having a three-course meal. But, after a while, not only do you adjust to this but so do your friends and family.

As you draw closer to the end of your degree or are really thinking of things that you are gaining from university, take the time to think beyond the piece a paper at the end of the tunnel. Because it’s these unexpected skills that make everything worthwhile.

Guest Blogger: Bradley is an over-excited and sometimes charismatic journalism graduate from UTS. He enjoys talking people’s ears off and taking #selfies – you can connect with Brad here – Instagram: BRADBIRNIE, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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Six Tips to Make Study More Bearable (and Effective)

Let’s be honest. Studying can suck. But it shouldn’t have to mean all-night cram sessions or 10-hour long stretches in the library with no toilet breaks. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your study sessions – and keep your sanity intact.

1. Break it up

I think we can all agree that studying in one long stretch is hell boring, often resulting in delusional states and episodes of mild madness. And, if science is anything to go by (it often is!), it’s not theUltradian Rhythm most effective way to study either. Your brain loses focus, your body loses energy and it is more difficult for you to retain new information. So, how should you study?

Try dividing your study periods into 90-minute blocks, and follow each with a short break (20 minutes or so). Why 90 minutes? Well, it’s got to do with what’s called your ultradian rhythm, the body’s 90-minute energy cycle. Although it’s most commonly talked about in relation to sleep patterns, this rhythm also impacts your waking life. So, banging out 90-minutes of study and then taking a break means you’re sticking more closely to your natural energy cycles. By doing this, you’re giving your body a chance to reset and renew, resulting in improved energy levels, greater concentration and people often mistaking you for the energiser bunny of studying.

2. Exercise

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Whether it’s a 20-minute walk around the garden, a ride on your bike or a yoga session in the park, a brief bit of exercise (preferably outside) is an awesome way to alleviate stress and recharge the batteries. Exercise not only releases endorphins (those natural hormones that make you feel so good), it increases blood flow to the brain, thus improving alertness and focus for when you return to the books. If you’re really stressed, punch away your frustrations with a quick boxing workout. It’s an awesome mood-booster and amazing for fitness too. Otherwise, if all fails, do as Elaine Benes does and dance with reckless abandon!

3. You havin’ a laugh (well, you should be)

There’s no denying assessments, exams and study can all be stressful and often leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This is why it’s so important to have balance in your life and ensure the good times keep rollin’ despite the pressures. Making time for the things you enjoy in life is a must as it gives your mind a chance to unwind and recharge. It can also really help to ensure your mood stays positive and your vibes are chilled. Take a break, kick back and watch an episode of Mad Men or Doctor Who; sing along with your ukulele; or flick through the latest Cosmopolitan or Rolling Stone. Feel like a coffee? Don’t do it alone. Invite mates over for a catch-up or meet at your local and talk about anything other than uni (unless it’s in reference to the next party!). Or why not try out Laughter Yoga? Laughter really can be the best medicine.

4. Power nap time

Yep, sleep is encouraged! Power naps have been proven to improve creative problem solving, verbal memory (awesome if you’re one of those peeps who records lectures/tutes and listens to them back), motor skills, and perceptual, object and statistical learning. It can also help with logical reasoning and symbol recognition, as well as boost moods and reduce feelings of fatigue. And these are all reasons why  companies such as Google, SalesForce, PWC and Saatchi & Saatchi have installed sleep pods in their workplaces. But try not to exceed 20 minutes or you’re more likely to wake up feeling bleary and dazed (known as sleep inertia).

5. Check out what the experts  think

The Co-op has a great range of help books for uni students, covering everything from exam stress, group work, essay writing, communications skills and grammar. See them all in the links below:

6. Mix it up

Are you one of those people who reads and revises in the exact same spot when it’s study time? Well, some studies have shown that by alternating the environments you work can help improve data retention. So, give it a go and see what you think. Try your desk one day, move to the park or the library the next. Change is a good as a holiday – except for the fact you’re studying :/.

 

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The Co-op Goes West!

“Go Weeeessssst …”

Yep, that’s right – we’ve been marching around the office singing the Village People for the past week … Ok, ok – I’ve been singing the Village People for the past week, much to the dismay of those within earshot. Why? Well, it’s just so exciting that the Co-op is taking over the main book shop and retail outlet at Western Australia’s Curtin University. Woo hoo!

From 28 April 2014, a gun team of Co-op champs will take over the store, offering friendly service, fun banter and an awesome range of books and products. Sandgropers, get ready for rows of bestselling fiction and non-fiction, mobile and tech gear, beauty bits, sports and fitness, stationery and more. There will also be all your must-haves for uni, such as textbooks, learning essentials and reads on staying calm and focused!

Located in the heart of Curtin Uni’s Bentley campus, less than 10km out of the Perth CBD, this is an exciting addition to our store list and gives the Co-op a retail footprint of 53 stores across Australia. That’s pretty amazing, and something I certainly think is worth singing about!

Oh, and if you’re not yet a Co-op Member simply have one of our friendly team members sign you up in-store. Alternatively, get it out of the way now and join online ! The benefits are fantastic and Membership’s for life. Sweet!