I dare anyone to tell me the life of a university student is simple. Go on. Do it.
Watch any American college film and it seems all there is to a student life is the following routine: Sleep in, turn up to class late (if even at all) hungover from the previous nights dorm party, rendezvous with a current boyfriend/girlfriend, maybe attend afternoon classes, go shopping, replenish party supplies, party the night away; repeat process. Perhaps there is an all-night cram session before an exam. Maybe an essay gets written with thirty seconds to spare. And somehow, a degree is always produced at graduation. What an easy life.
Hollywood is hideously naïve.
These films never show the stress. The bitten nails. The extent to which students are responsible for the success of every coffee plantation in the universe. The junk food ploughed through to sustain an all nighter. Monthly planners showcasing the neverending stream of assessment due. Fights with housemates because you’re all under too much pressure and venting seems the only thing left to do. Partying is not a priority. Relationships are doomed. Shopping NEVER happens because, let’s be honest, once rent, gas, electricity, water, phone, insurance, cat food and train tickets are paid for, there’s barely money left for goon, let alone party supplies. There is no never-ending flow of money coming in from extraordinarily wealthy parents – just the painfully obtained Centrelink benefits that seem to have so much red tape attached, it almost isn’t worth it. The only light at the end of the tunnel? The hope that at the end of all of the deadlines, the seemingly worthless essays and the disapproving looks from teachers as you walk into an early class late because your train is NEVER on time and you really appreciate a little extra sleep… there will be a paying job that means study is never required again.
Please, don’t get me wrong, I love what I am studying. Getting into VCA has been an amazing experience, and learning the plethora of incredible skills has been rewarding. However, one thing must be said. The student life blows. There. I said it. Every student in the history of the alma mater can express the same sentiment, because it resonates globally.
Now that the above has been expressed, I can begin expressing my love for the study of Production Design at the Victorian College of the Arts.
If you had told me twelve months ago that I would now be able to brandish a welding iron and successfully complete a butt-joint (yes, that is its’ real name), I would have smirked at you. Did I ever anticipate how much I would enjoy learning how to use a router? Definitely not. These are a few of the surprises that the past year at VCA have thrown at me, and for the next two years I am certainly expecting more of these challenges and excitements.
There is so much more to the past year that need to be shared, including tales of the wonderful people I have studied with, the sing-alongs which have driven our teachers insane, the numerous conversations about whether or not Miley Cyrus has legitimately gone insane or is just in it for the publicity (I’m in support of the latter), and an abundance more. Stay tuned for these tales. The university life may be stressful, but it surely isn’t dull. Not by a long shot.