Tag Archives: University

Moving House!

16 Aug

This is a little off topic, but we’re moving house on Saturday. At age 30 this will be my 19th move which means, on average, that I have moved house every 1 1/2 years since I was born……crazy much?!

Originally we were going to move because of my hopeful return to university, as we currently live in a fairly expensive part of town, but we weren’t going to even consider it until we knew where I would be going, which probably won’t be until January. However we received our notice to vacate recently so the decision was made for us. To be honest, NB: Actually, just a side note here, I really dislike that expression, “To be honest….” because it kind of implies that most of the time you are less than 100% honest when you do not preface your sentences!!  So apologies for my use here ;D, I’ve loved the area where we’ve been living (the beach is just at the end of the road and we are pretty much right in the heart of the city). But our landlord is a difficult piece of work and I’ve never felt truly at home here primarily because when we picked up our keys a year ago from the agent and made our first trip to see it on our own, always a favourite time of mine, she was in the house painting!!! She lives by her own rules, she is a little (or a lot) mad, and I won’t miss that at all.

To a certain degree, I actually love moving house. (Which you can probably tell being that this is my 19th move!!) The excitement, the planning, the setting up and the design of your new home, and the fun of getting to know a new area. The bit I don’t like at all are the practicalities of moving. For example, sitting on hold for 20 mins waiting for your electricity company to tell you that even though you’ve been a customer for 4 years, there will still be a disconnection and reconnection fee :/ Anyways, at least we could split the calls between myself and Bob, meaning half as many people to get frustrated at 😀

The other part I hate, and why I am blogging right now (and so may I say is Bob, an even more recent convert to this blogging malarkey than me!), is that I HATE packing 😦 (Huzzah for procrastination) I don’t know why but the thought just makes me want to run away, shut my eyes pray for the packing fairy to magically appear and do it all for me. I know if we just get going it will all be over before we know it but oh the pain of getting going :O

As well as just the eternal dullness of pulling things off shelves, wrapping them up in old newspaper and making sure that you don’t overload the boxes, there’s just something a little soul destroying about slowly packing up your whole lives into a series of giant cardboard boxes. Something about seeing it packaged up like that maybe………I’m not sure, and I know, once I get going, I’ll get into the rhythm and it will all be done before I know it and then we’ll be at the new house unpacking, which is my favourite bit of moving, and starting a whole new chapter of our lives which is so exciting!

Anyways, I’ve successfully managed to put off the packing for another night, so it’s off to bed for me 😀

Fact 5: Killer whales are not whales at all, rather a species of dolphin!


Making the Application :D

8 Aug

So, I have made the decision to return to study 😀

Since coming to this conclusion, I’ve been spending lots of time researching, finding out all my options, what courses are available and how to make my dream of studying again a reality.

I guess I should let you know at this point that I have only been in Melbourne for 8 years and I’m originally from Scotland, therefore all my previous study was done over there, and I have very little knowledge about how the Australian tertiary schooling system works. So, as you can imagine, that has my first point of call!

There are plenty of great universities here in my local Australian state of Victoria, so it was a case of finding out which ones had the best courses, most suited to what I want to do.  Here in Victoria, most applications for all tertiary courses need to be done through a central admission centre (VTAC) and they allow up to 12 applications per year. The way it works is that they go through your preferences directly with the universities on your behalf until one of them acccepted (hopefully!).

I have found 9 suitable under-graduate degrees (from various universities) ranging from Environmental Science (Wildlife & Conservation Biology) to straight Science. My last three preferences are TAFE (Technical and Further Education institutions) courses which are shorter courses that will provide an entry into further university study should I fail to get accepted into any of my 9 under-grad preferences this time around. I don’t like to think of not getting in this time around, not when I am so anxious to get going, but I believe I must cover all my bases, as I have defintely learned in the past few years that nothing should ever be taken for granted!

As I’m sure many of you are aware, it’s a little more complicated applying as a mature-aged student than applying as a school leaver. Here in Australia, school leavers receive one score when they graduate (the ATAR) which is their key to university study. For me, what counts is an undergraduate degree that I completed almost 10 years ago (in a completely different field) and to be honest, the first time round, I wasn’t the best of students, preferring the many Edinburgh student bars on offer as opposed to the to the student library! Luckily, as a mature-aged applicant, there were other options available to me in lieu of having the ATAR as well as having prior tertiary qualifications.

I could submit a personal information sheet, which is pretty much like a personal essay where you can state your reasons for returning to study, committment etc. This part was easy, as brimming over with excitement as I am at the moment. It also is a chance to talk about what you have done to show your passion for your chosen area of study but more on this later 😀

The other option is to sit the local STATs (Special Tertiary Admissions Tests), a series of tests designed to assess a range of competencies considered important for success in tertiary study, covering writing, numeracy and analytic skills. Luckily, when I had flirted with the idea of studying last year, I had actually sat these tests, and I have to say that I was pretty happy when I found out that my results are valid for use for up to 5 years after sitting, so no more scary entrance exams for me this year 😉

So, courses found and requirements discovered,  I then went to VTAC, and when all applications opened on the 1st August, I lodged all my 12 choices through their Special Entry Access Scheme (this scheme covers applying as a mature-aged student) 😀 😀 😀

I am SO excited, nervous, scared and a whole number of other adjectives but I have to now call in all my skills in the art of patience (of which I do not have many) as I am in for a long wait. Not including early admissions, the first round offers don’t come out until Jan 16th!!!

5 months feels like an age at this point, but I just have to buckle down and get on with it. And there are plenty of related things I can be doing with my time between now and then….but that’s for a different post ;D

Fact No 2: Echidnas and Platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs instead of live young! (Both species found here in Australia.)

And just because……Echidna babies are called puggles!

For more information, please see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echidnas and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus

NB: I feel I must apologise for this detail laden post, but I felt that if anyone is reading who may be considering starting on the same journey, these descriptions could help in some small way!