In a glitch? Need a switch? Hear my pitch

When life throws you lemons, should you make lemonade, or throw them back full-force to the deities above?

At one point or another, all hapless souls seek out the advice of others; it’s common knowledge that an unbiased, third-party opinion is just what you need to lift those rose-tinted Gucci glasses off your nose, and get grooving out of your rut. Whether it’s navigating university, relationships, or one of life’s many lessons, here’s some invaluable advice to get you through what’s pressing.

How can I become more confident?

Just a boy looking to find his inner Beyoncé

 Art by  Alex Shute .

Art by Alex Shute.

Confidence means something different to everyone. For some, it means being able to fearlessly approach and conduct a conversation with a stranger at a moment’s notice, but for others, it may be as simple as maintaining eye contact while ordering at a restaurant. There can be no one-size-fits-all approach to raising your confidence levels.

My best advice would be to identify your main challenges, and set some small achievable goals to help overcome them. For example, to combat my fear of making friends during my first year of university, I set the goals of not sitting alone in a lecture or tutorial, introducing myself to my desk and lecture buddies every week (because they always tend to rotate), try and set up a coffee date with my new buddies, join a society and speak to someone in the same society, and go to a society event, even though I initially didn’t know anyone there. There is a slight progression, especially during the first few steps, which allows you to ease yourself into these scary situations. It’s challenging, but you’ll be so proud once you tick these goals off your list.

My friend stopped talking to me when she went on exchange! What should I do?

Unlucky in friendship

Going on exchange is an exciting and tumultuous time. While you may see it as your friend going on a vacation in a beautiful and exotic place – there is likely much more happening behind the scenes. Understanding that your friend is probably facing stressful situations, relating to finances, family and employment, is key.
Give your friend time to settle into their new life on exchange. If
you feel like they have had time to adjust to life alone overseas, however, maybe send a thoughtful message letting them know you’re thinking of them and missing them. Your friend should have so much to tell you about their exchange experiences – whether it be a horrifying flight story or hilarious accidents in culture-shock.

If your friend simply isn’t reciprocating and you’ve attempted to maintain the friendship alone – it’s time to speak up. Sometimes, people can be oblivious and simply not realise the effect of their actions or in this case, lack of actions. But if you don’t say anything, it can’t begin to be fixed.

How can I balance my life during university? I don’t want to give up work, friends, family or university!

Have my cake and eat it too

This is the true blow of transitioning from high-school to university life. While your two- to three-day class schedule might seem like bliss compared to a five-day high-school life, factoring in the need for work and making time for a social life can make life unbearable. The most imperative thing to do is to keep organised. Utilise the calendar on your phone, such as Google Calendar, to keep track of your key assessment dates, working hours and social events.

Take this one step further and pencil in when you intend to begin assessments, and what progress you want to achieve by a certain date. Keeping university life under control allows you more time and flexibility to work and socialise with family and friends. Another important note is to know your limits. While a certain job might seem like a dream-come-true to get your foot in the door of your field, consider whether it is truly viable for you to take the role on. Taking care and maintaining your mental and physical health is crucial to keep you going through the semester. If you’re feeling out of control, dial back and reject that job offer, or retreat from extracurricular activities for a while. Prioritising is always important.

This article appeared in The Comma’s 2018 Annual Edition. Read more here.

Stephanie Luong is a second year combined Law/Communications (Social and Political Sciences) student and is most likely asleep right now, or at any given moment really.