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from the editor
Hello! Welcome to O-Week, the place where many memories will be had – and forgotten. No doubt you’ve already experienced the freedoms that come with the lifestyle, as well as downs that are university-grade hangovers. Alas, all is not lost. This magazine is called Interpellator – what that means is up to you, but we’re here to help you through your time at uni simply by providing entertainment, some news, as well as a place for you to contribute work and have it published in this snazzy little number! We’ll talk more about that later. For now, sit back and soak up the next few pages – we know you’ll love it. This magazine will feature everything from politics (urgh) to the latest Schapelle Corby incident – not that we haven’t had it forced down our throats, right? In this edition we tackle hipsters, settling into university life and even mention some of our university clubs! Big kudos to Maddie Small and the CSU Feminist society on their article – check them out on Facebook! If I could give you any advice (and being a third year, I definitely can), I’d say that while university can be an amazing, literally life-changing time, it can also be extremely lonely, sad and difficult sometimes. That’s why we’re here, and ultimately why you’re here. The people you will meet this year will stay with you for a long time – especially if you’re doing a double degree… Or something insane like paramedics. Big kudos to those kids. I’m glad you’re still reading. I like that. And you’ll like this, for in the upcoming pages you’ll find work written for you guys, by fellow students. Hit us up on facebook if you want to find out more or even get in on the team – we’ll always welcome new recruits! Have fun, stay safe and see you on campus,
Jake Contact usFacebook: www.facebook.com/csuinterpellator Email: email@example.com
Meet the Team
Letitia Wallace Associate Editor
Caitlin Christensen Head of Design, Marketing and Promotions
Tahlia Sarv Journalist
Steph Allen Head of Advertising
Katie Rose Journalist
Carly Schad Journalist
Maddy Small President of Feminist Society
Amy Boyle Journalist
Contents Page 6- How do you eat an elephant ? One bite at a time. Page 8- Mainstream: The ins, outs & every other obscure angle of the hipster Page 12- Bored in Bathurst? Impossible Page 16- Trip to India Page 19- Job Searching Page 22- Donâ€™t Feminists hate men and not shave? Page 25- Greetings and salutations, freshers Page 28- Big Brother is always watching
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Amy Boyle
Please don’t think this is a pro-elephant eating article – it’s simply a saying that I hope to inspire you with. How do you tackle those huge assignments, projects or reports that crush your spirit, ruin your self-esteem and make you feel about as useless as a screen-door on a submarine? Well, after two years in this institution I feel as though my ability to procrastinate is pretty sufficient - a talent shared by almost every member of the student body. However this isn’t a particularly useful skill, as the better you get the worse your situation becomes. If I could go back I’d tell my past self to Just. Do. The. Damn. Work, and make a plan. Nothing will assist you more than planning ahead. Being spontaneous in life is fantastic - go and book that holiday to Madagascar via New Delhi, order the meal you’ve always been unsure about and never, ever be afraid to meet new people. That said, when it comes to minimizing stress and tackling ‘the elephant’, unfortunately, you wont always be able to do it the night before. To make this easier I’ll number three steps.
1. Plan Ahead
Don’t think this means you’ll need to rush out to KiKi.K and stock up on all optional stationary (unless it does help you, then by all means do so). Where this will help is when you have this huge essay due that you have absolutely nil interest in, where the topic given by the lecturer is so painfully useless and you can foresee your own untimely demise. But before you lose yourself to stress start by planning out what info you’ll need. Write a list of words and ideas that relate to the topic - even if it seems crazy, it’s a start. Another idea is plan to write a certain amount of words in a sitting, even if it’s only 50 words - it’s something. This all needs to be done well in advance of the due date mind you, but lets keep in mind that these tasks, at their minimum, shouldn’t take more than 20-30minutes. If you can nap for 90minutes a day, you can study for 30minutes.
“Effective planning turns a daunting item into a series of small, clear, manageable tasks” 2. Doing
As I write this I am slightly distracted by the show ‘How It’s Made’ on Discovery Science, it’s fantastic viewing. I have the show playing in the background yet I’m still able to sit and type this article. I am still DOING this work. It’s important to plan your work but it’s probably more important to actually put pen to paper (metaphorically of course, who uses a pen? #hipstersprobably). Getting through this first task is a challenge (the first page is always the hardest) but don’t forget you have your plan. You already know what has to be said in the first paragraph, and that’s a solid place to start. Don’t be to concerned if you run into struggles, that’s when you’ll want to give it a break - and surprisingly, that’s not the worst thing. You’re allowed to take breaks as long as you find what information you need to finish within good time. Remember, you’ve started this assignment, project or report well in advance from the deadline, so you have the luxury to take breaks. Use it.
7 What you will discover is the feeling of high self-esteem and self-satisfaction as you begin to slowly tear this shitstorm of an assessment to shreds. Looking at the calendar with 2 weeks between you and the deadline and half the assessment done, don’t be modest - bask in the glow of your awesomeness.
“Once you get 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through a task, especially if it’s going well, you start to feel great about things and suddenly the end is in sight” 3. Proving
So you’re done (or, like, so super close) and it was all you. Congratulations, but how can you prove to yourself that you CAN do this more often. - Accept that all choices made were your choices. No one forced you to do anything that delayed your assessment. You make your decisions; you decided to not start the assessment until two days before it was due, you make your timetable and you give priority to things you want to do. It’s that simple. - Find a way to put positive pressure on yourself. Eg: If you have to do a blog post each week put ‘New post every Monday’ at the top. This way other people will be expecting it -you’re now accountable. The same technique works by telling other people that you’ll have the assessment done by a certain date. Telling others means you’re more likely to stick to it. The last piece of advice is what we began with, which is to take it slow, just one bite at a time. Benjamin Franklin, an avid fan of ‘Air Baths’ (Google it) once said:
‘You may delay, but time will not’.
Mainscream: The ins, outs and every other obscure angle of the hipster. (AKA: Never be this) For this (enlightening?) article we’re helped by a one-off contributer, Simon. Based in Newtown, Sydney, it goes without saying Simon has seen a lot of weird things, but none as weird as these beauties. Sorry guys, but really? When did this ever become cool? Anyways I’m diving back into the mainstream. Enjoy! (or not)
Hey guys, welcome to uni! It’s a blast – in fact I vaguely remember my uni days/nights/shenanigans at the Perth CSU campus. Anyway let’s get started. It may sound kind of naïve, but whenever I see a person of a particular race I think of how they survived through evolution/changing societies – a quick example being the Chinese with their samurai warriors back in their dynasty days. But going along this train of thought, I always get stumped at hipsters. Where did they come from? How did they survive? Rumour has it their influence has reached our musicians, artists and even gasp our universities. Not only that, they don’t survive in the wild at all – it’s been tested.
You won’t believe this. There’s a science to being a hipster. We’re not talking about some crazily unique yakshit hipster making up some reason as to why they have
that beard. No, we’re talking about a legitimate psychology. It will blow your mind.
1. Getting back to nature: Hipsters in the Wild
Someone thought it’d be hilarious to put a hipster in the middle of Tanzania, on a nice little trip to a deserted tribe. Now before you go waving your hipster-cruelty flags, we should mention that he was given a stick in order to feel truly native (it was a damn fine stick). They tried making him feel comfortable – guess the experience wasn’t alternative enough. Look at that face. This is what I mean – how the hell does this guy live so excessively when he’s being such a wank? It must be a miracle, but not only are they surviving – they’re closer than you think.
Guess the hipster
Everyone’s reaction to hipsters
9 2. Back to Reality: They walk among us
We hate to be the bearer of bad news – being such a great magazine and all – but these indie kids are actually all around us. Hell, some of them are even disguised among the homeless and more creatively minded of us. Check out this comparison:
Here we see the musician Chet Faker, a man comprised of a few things: sunglasses, production software, a few hand-rolled cigarettes and an admittedly majestic beard – all signs of being a hipster.
This is a young homeless man who allowed us to photograph him in exchange for a soft filter on the lens. Poor guy.
The resemblances are uncanny, right? Little did you know, there’s a very specific psychology to the way these people work.
3. The Psychology of being a Hipsteh
We’re not justifying the way these people act, we’re not condoning and we’re certainly not saying these are the sort of patients we want to see our beloved psych students to encounter. In fact, we’re not saying anything at all – author and psychologist Jeff Wise is. “People are largely motivated to spend money not just on things that they materially need, but that bolster their sense of identity. Imagining themselves as rugged, they buy a Harley-Davidson. Imagining themselves as respected, they buy a Lexus. Hipsters, though, follow a different paradigm – they reclassify their own behavior as being separate from the aggregate activity that the rest of the world lumps together as “hipster”. What? He’s just saying what we already know – that just like everything else about hipsters, their psychology is unique. Unfortunately, their style isn’t. Have a look at 90’s grunge. And girls, please don’t get those god-awful moustaches drawn on your fingers. It’s not cute – I mean really, why is it you shave again?
4. How do we tackle this disaster?
You could bomb New York’s annual Fondue competition. Or you could man up and realise nothing will change their corroded minds. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, there is an annual Fondue competition. Never before have I ever been so appalled yet so deliciously intrigued.
4: Signs you’re a hipster You realised we used the number four twice. Or you look like these guys:
Bored in Bathurst? Impossible.
Welcome to Bathurst. Population - around 41 000. Home to the iconic Mount Panorama and of course, Charles Sturt University. 200km from Sydney; 55km to Orange. The town where you must nail angle parking to survive. For the majority of you, this beautiful town will be your home for about three-quarters of the year. To some of you, it will be an enormous change; to others - possibly not. However when class, study or work isn’t in our way, what we all share is our ability to explore, amuse ourselves and relax in our new surroundings, and enjoy what this interesting town has to offer. I’ve compiled a little list of things to do and see, in and around good ol’ Bathurst, which shall ensure (at least one term’s worth) of weekend and day off amusement. Enjoy!
From a dirt track carved out of the energetic city’s bald hills in the mid 1930s, Mount Panorama is now home to the pinnacle of Australian Motorsport - the Bathurst 1000. Drive it, walk it or run it (yeah, enjoy). Pointless to mention where it’s located, as you can probably see it from your dorm. The track is open to public when no event is being run. However don’t get too excited, there is a strict speed limit of 60km/h, which is enforced by regularly patrolling police. The gym junkies of CSU love a good run on the track, especially during sunrise or sunset. The spectacular view of the sunrise, sunset, town and stars from the top of the mountain is also greatly appreciated by the hung-over, the adventurous, the bored and the procrastinating. Come October, we get to witness Bathurst come alive during the annual V8 supercar race. The population booms, the noise level rockets, and for the students who secure jobs during the race; sleep becomes a rarity and ridiculously generous tips become normal. You’ll be quick to discover that this iconic mountain will soon become quite a regular visit.
13 Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum Pfft who needs beaches or Westfield shopping malls when you can go see Australia’s only complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton! (seriously)
Housed in an 1876 Public School and situated on Howick Street, the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is home to the internationally renowned Somerville Collection - claimed to be one of the most spectacular fossil and mineral collections in the world! Nearly 2000 fossil and mineral specimens are displayed in the two main exhibitions. They also have a temporary exhibition space, which is constantly changing between a variety of exciting dinosaur, earth history and science product displays. Even if you’re not really in to that stuff, the T-rex skeleton makes it worth your while and your $10. It’s open between 10am - 4pm Monday to Saturday, and then 10am - 2pm Sunday. Get keen.
Got a competitive dorm? Nothing like battling it out during a bowling match. Some students will leave Bathurst not even knowing a bowling alley exists so close, but strikingly it does (pun oh so intended), and is located on Lower Mitre Street. Now, don’t expect the interiors or atmosphere of a Strike Bowling alley here, but this place still does the trick and for pretty cheap too. Call 6331 9922 to book, and game on!
Church Bar, The Hub, Venue Café Foooodd, mmmmmmmmm…….
I’m fairly certain not many returners will disagree when I say that these three places are definitely a few of the favs when it comes to eating out. Church Bar- Located on Ribbon Gang Lane and residing in one of Bathurst’s oldest building, this atmospheric place is famous for its drool-worthy and unique wood fire pizzas, and delicious cocktails. On Sunday’s it’s 2 for 1 pizzas and happy hour 5-6pm every day. Need I say more? The Hub- Nestled in greenery on Keppel Street, this espresso bar and eatery provides brilliant coffee, incredible food, a lovely out-door area and a take away or eat in option. It’s an all round great place to cure a hangover or for birthday brekkies. The Venue- Basically, how can you go wrong with affordable all-day breakfast? Plus, their fresh fruit smoothies are incredible. This great café is located on Howick Street and can also be located via Bathurst City Centre. (Note for all: booking is essential on weekends or for big groups)
A standard, but a classic. For $13 a student ticket, you can be entertained by your choice of film from the large selection of latest blockbusters Metro has to offer. Located on Piper Street, this cinema also offers their Super Tuesday deal, where tickets are down to a splendid $11! Visit their website or call 6331 8000 for showing times.
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Orange Need a quick break from Bathurst? Feel up to a 45min drive? Want to find a dress for the Ball or Dining in Excellence? Craving all-you-can-eat Pizza? Well then take some time and explore what Orange has to offer. After less than an hour of driving through the stunning country landscape and vineyards, the bustling city of Orange can satisfy all your shopping and food needs. Homing a Myer and Kmart, amongst various fashion, jewellery, gift and home ware boutiques, Orange is perfect for a girls day out or dorm excursion. Besides the shopping, Orange also provides a huge variety of lovely cafes and places to eat. I feel like the all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut in Orange deserves its very own mention, as I have not seen one of them around for at least the last 12 years. That dessert bar…. Worth. Every. Calorie.
Kangaroo Track And I promise you; the “kangaroo” part does not disappoint. Located right behind our very own Macquarie Village and JOV residencies, this walking track is truly stunning, providing a variety of track options and difficulties. It’s most commonly used for early morning or late afternoon (prime kangaroo viewing) power walks/jogs/runs, but is also ideal for some alone or quiet time to ruminate about life and how cool it would be to be a kangaroo. Might just be me. Seriously though, these guys are fierce! So, if you can handle the hundred, staring, intimidating kangas, this walk will become one of your favourite places to exercise.
15 Adventure Playground For the children at heart. Yes, it’s for kids and their families, but this playground definitely does not get enough credit. Situated within Victoria Park, on the corner of Durham and Hope Street, Adventure Playground contains a flying fox, maze and one of those really cool spinning-around thingamajigs that can fit like 10 people on it. Obviously, care and attention has to be given to the little kiddies running around, but if you go around sun set you basically have the park to yourself. Although the thrill and amusement will only last a trip or two, it’s still definitely worth the visit.
or simply just a social outing, the Bathurst Aquatic Centre is quite a popular choice of entertainment amongst students. The aquatic centre is made up of a 25m indoor and 50m outdoor swimming pool, leisure pool, sauna, steam room and café. For the student price of $4.50 you gain access to both the indoor and outdoor pool, however $7.30 will also give you a wristband with entry to the spa, sauna and steam room (so worth it). The centre is open 6am to 8pm every day.
Flat Rock If the suns out, it’s your day off and you’ve finished your assessment, then you have no reason not to be enjoying yourself at Flat Rock! Set on the Rainville Creek, twenty-minutes southeast of Bathurst, Flat Rock is a place of tranquility and fun. This place is perfect to have a BBQ, relax, swim, sunbake on a rock, play sport or study under a tree. Flat Rock is much loved by locals, campers and CSU students. Ask a returner for driving directions, and enjoy the company of your dorm and new friends at this gorgeous place.
Bathurst Aquatic Centre “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…. What do we do? We swim, swim.” Whether for exercise, a way to cool down
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Pictures takes by Katie Rose
Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read (AKA don’t be this Dormie - Part 2) Nobody likes hearing nonsense and knowing it’s a lie. Do your research before you open your mouth – it’ll sting you. From university papers to dorm life, you want people to know you’re legit. Case in point: You remember reading our article about hipsters? Simon doesn’t exist. CSU doesn’t even have a Perth campus.
Job Searching Letitia Wallace
With Uni students hitting the town and handing out bulk resumes, it becomes a competitive game to get a job in Bathurst! There are a lot of different places to find a job in Bathurst – whether it be at one of the many cafes in town as a barrista or a waitress, Woolies or Coles often recruits, as well as the various bars and pubs. These places are often looking for uni students to do some casual work throughout the year. Here are some tips from some job recruitment professionals in Bathurst. Krystal Jeffree is a Senior Recruitment Specialist with Adecco Group in Bathurst and has some tips and advice for you: ‘Resumes are a must, they need to be well written and well-presented and easy for employers to pull out key information. Personal presentation is another issue we have with people handing in resumes looking for work, first impressions count. Keep in touch, if you drop a resume off, keep chasing the employer, show that you are keen and willing to work.’
20 Krystal’s top three tips are: 1. Be well-presented and have an updated resume 2. Update your Uni timetable with availability for work. 3. Be reliable, work hard and accept work as it comes through, because you never know where it will lead to. Vicki Anderson, Career Development Officer at CSU has provided some helpful advice: ‘The Student Employment Forum (SEF) is where the Career Development Team post any local area casual and part-time work opportunities that it is advised of. Other staff and students also provide their own leads, tips, advice, etc. Frequently check local newspapers, many can be viewed online, and shopping centre noticeboards. Many of the large stores such as Coles, Woolworths, Bunnings and IGA allow you to register for employment, sign up for job alerts or have information on how to apply with them, via their websites. Another way of finding work is to take your resume personally into places of possible employment. Once you have dropped off your résumé it is a good idea to go back or call a short time later, say 10 days, to see if they have had a chance to review your resume and if any work in the future would be possible. This shows that you are genuine about looking for work with them. If you continue to be unsuccessful and feel that perhaps your resume could do with some tweaking, or you need some help with preparing for an interview, make an appointment with me. Appointments are made via CareerHub. Try not to be disheartened or take it too personally if you are not successful initially. ‘Perseverance is the key.’ Best of luck everyone with your job-hunting! And remember try and get in early to impress potential employees. Let the job searching game begin!
“Don’t feminists hate men and not shave?’ By Maddy Small
The first time I realized how unpopular the
term ‘feminist’ is, was in my first year of university during a world politics lecture. We were talking about politics and gender and my professor asked every student who considered themselves to be a feminist to raise their hands. As an emerging and avid feminist I obviously raised my hand, as did about four or five other girls in the class, only to realize that we were the only 5 in a class of almost 100 students. I talked to my friend sitting next to me after class about why she didn’t raise her hand, didn’t she believe in gender equality? Of course she did, she reassured me, but she didn’t want to be known as a feminist because in her eyes, “don’t feminists hate men and not shave? Besides we’re pretty much equal anyway”. She’s not the only one to think this way. People tend to hear the label feminist and think of unkempt, unshaven women burning bras and yelling at men. And yeah, I’m sure some women do that, but feminism doesn’t come with prerequisites stating that we’re not allowed to enjoy men or wear make up or any of the other stigmas attached to it. All feminism is, is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. I hear a lot of young women asking why we even need feminism anyway. I mean, we can vote, we have access to healthcare, education, and employment. Hell, we’ve even had a female prime minister! Feminism seems redundant doesn’t it? Women are no longer confined to the household and don’t need to rely on husbands for financial security. What
are we complaining about? Well yes, women have come a long way to becoming equal, especially within the last hundred years or so, but there’s still quite a way to go. Feminism is still relevant and still very much needed. Lets take the first female prime minister for example. Political differences aside, I think we can all agree that Ms. Gillard had her work cut out for her. She was the leader of a hung parliament, which is no easy feat, but she also had to face vitriolic hatred and misogyny on a daily basis. She was constantly criticized for what she wore, the shape of her body, her sexuality, and more often than not, criticized just for being a woman in what is a traditionally male dominated field. Let’s take the LNP’s fundraising dinner menu for example, which served up “Julia Gillard Fried Quail”, which consisted of, “small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box.” This kind of ‘joke’ is hardly original. Women everyday are likened to animals in order to dehumanize them and justify their oppression, you need only think of anytime a woman has ever been called a bitch. However, lets not forget that this vicious act of sexism was aimed at our Prime Minister, a woman who may not be liked be everyone but should at least be respected. After all, if the Prime Minister is fair game for misogyny, it doesn’t leave much hope for the rest of us girls. Another prime example that sexism is very much alive and well is the 2013 hit song ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke. Whether you love it or hate it, Blurred Lines has been a huge pop culture sensation and stirred a lot
23 of controversy within and outside the feminist movement. And here’s why: it demeans women and promotes rape culture. For those who don’t yet know, rape culture is a concept that links rape and sexual violence against women to the culture of the society. It basically means that societal attitudes, ideas, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, and basically condone rape and sexual harassment. It sounds extreme but you need only look at Thicke’s lyrics to gain an understanding of how prevalent it is in society. After all, the lines “You know you want it”, “I’ll give you something to tear your ass in two”, and “The way you grab me/must want to get nasty” don’t exactly give the woman much power in this situation. Not to mention the fact that the title itself implies that there is a grey area between consent and rape. Let me clear it up for you, there is no grey area, no means no, not “I know you want it”. Phew, that’s done. Now onto the video! The list of demeaning images in the video clip is endless so I will focus on only a few instead. In the video, women are seen as powerless. The three naked, expressionless models are gawked at and pawed by three fully clothed men, making them seem much more sex dolls made for male amusement more than grown women with intelligence, personality, voices, and opinions. However, in Thicke’s defense of the song he does say, “When we made the song, we had nothing but the most respect for women and — my wife, I’ve been with the same woman since I was a teenager... People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.” But guys it’s cool, at least he’s respecting us while he blows smoke in our faces. Finally, one of the most obvious examples of blatant sexism and why feminism is still
needed is the gender pay gap. In Australia, women working full time earn on average $266 dollars less than men every week. The pay gap isn’t only affected by gender, it also affected by race. In America a while man makes approx. $1.24 for every dollar that a white woman makes, approx. $1.44 for every dollar a black woman makes, and approx. $1.67 for every dollar that a latina women makes. Now this isn’t even just about money (even though we are screwed out of thousands of dollars every year), it’s also about power. Money gives men the power to make decisions. It gives them the power to define value, and it gives them power to define which traits are necessary in the workplace, which often leads to women being seen as less able, as their supposedly ‘feminine traits’, such as listening, being empathetic, and collaborative, are seen as second-tier to more acceptable male ordained traits. Finally, after years of friendship with an outspoken feminist, I am happy to say that if asked ‘do you consider yourself a feminist?’ in another politics lecture, this time, my friend would definitely raise her hand, as I hope you all would too. For more information go to facebook.com/CSUFemSoc
Note from the Editor
Esquire.com: The “Blurred Lines” video has prompted debates about whether it’s sexist. Do you think it’s sexist?
Emily Ratajkowski: I don’t. That eye contact and that attitude really puts us in a power situation. The director, Diane Martel, is a woman, and so is the DP. We really worked on that and tried to convey that in the video. The way we are annoying them, being playful and having a good time with our body — it’s something very important for young women today to have that confidence. I think it’s actually celebrating women and their bodies.
Greetings & Salutations, Freshers
Welcome to O-Week, one of the most thrilling and thought provoking weeks you will experience at CSU. I am not usually given a topic each month to write about, I am instead – very luckily – given the freedom to write intrinsically about what I feel most passionate about during the months. But this issue, I will be giving a bit of sage advice, which I hope will resonate and elevate all of your up-and-coming adventures during O-week. I can’t assume how you youngsters are feeling but if it is anything like how I felt on my first day at CSU, you should be almost paralytic with nerves and excitement. O-week will become the dirty boot-mark on your butt as you are kicked into your first year at university and it is not an overstatement to say that this year will become a defining factor in the kind of person you will become at CSU. I remember a conversation I shared with my mother during our first two hour and forty-five minute drive to Bathurst. The car was filled to capacity with all of my ‘necessities’ and I could feel, with every kilometer, that the butterflies in my stomach were being brought to a boil. My mom reached her hand behind her car seat to brush my leg and comfort me, saying the words, “this is the year that you can start fresh and be whoever you want to be”. The moment the words left her mouth, I responded instinctively by saying, “I’m going to be exactly who I have always been”. This, my freshest of flowers, is the first advice I can give you: Do not change yourself to fit into what you think campus accepts. If there is one thing at Charles Sturt allows you to do, it is to be exactly who you are.
To those who are lucky enough to be moving onto Towers this year get ready to be a part of one of CSU’s most infamous dorms (Towers pride). I spent the first two years of my degree on Towers and have made the most terrific and lasting friendships. Sure, there was all the normal drama – cabin fever can hit you pretty hard – but if there is another lesson in this, it is that there is no better way to round yourself into a mature person than living with a group of like-minded individuals. I think my favorite part about living in a dorm is how close you do eventually become with your neighbors. So many nights were spent in deep conversations with my dormies in the common room or someone’s shoebox dorm room. We would talk about our lives before CSU, our relationships, our sex lives, secrets, mistakes and regrets. You learn to be open with yourself and open with others and realize that acceptance is simply status quo. I found it very hard to ever feel left out from the campus fray, anywhere you look there is opportunity for a relationship and a friendship to be had. My second bit of advice to you fresh pieces of meat is: never be afraid to speak to a person on campus that you want to. Never be afraid to strike
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up conversation and learn about another person. Never be afraid to discover all of the sorts of people that are waiting inside these walls and on these greens. Unfriendliness is very uncommon here. Take advantage of it. But what am I saying, whether you like it or not, your introversion (if you have some) is going to be ripped out of the palms of your hands during O-week. You are physically unable to keep to yourself in this first week of on-campus activities and, trust me; you are going to be so happy you let go. I think my favorite O-Week activity was the speed dating – as a helpless flirt – it was right up my alley. I remember speaking to freshers in my second year that said it was the most embarrassing and nerve-racking experience they had in their first days at CSU. I say, enjoy it. If you did get to indulge in the forced speed dating your O-week leaders and Residential Advisors prepare for you, or you are about to, here is my third piece of advice: if you feel like you missed out on a flirtatious opportunity, remember, everyday on this campus is a game of speed dating.
27 Never will you ever find a place as sexually infused as this. Dates, one night stands, walks of shames, shameful and shameless hook-ups, are all part of university’s brilliant normality. Let’s be honest, we are young, we are almost always intoxicated and we all live together. It is a cesspool of sex if I ever did see one. Of course, you needn’t submit to that if it isn’t what you are into. Like I said earlier, this place has no shortage of places to belong. It is just something you will notice, more than you ever had before, and it is something you will have to deal with at one time or another. More than just sex, you will fall in love, many times. Sometimes it will feel real; sometimes it will feel like you’re searching for a replacement to other emptiness’s you may stumble across as you wade through the bog of living on your own. Nevertheless, it is a thoughtful adventure that merely adds to your experience at CSU, and I advise anyone to take a chance on it. Be yourself, meet new people and fall in love. That can’t be all of my advice for you fresh eggs, can it? I’m just going to do some speed-dating style advice right now and finish this article with some things you should
add to your first year to-do list: Have fun, do your own thing, join a club, leave a club, try and go to as many of the parties as you can. Ladies, do not miss out on ladies night and gentleman, try joining the Rugby Club because I hear it’s the best thing that can happen to you at CSU. Talk to as many people as you can, gain the fresher five kilos and then lose it, never miss a pre-drinks, get centrelink, complain if you don’t get centrelink, do your assignments last minute, join your dorm sport team, roll your ankle and then never play a game again, visit all the dorms and realize you like yours better, get a nickname for yourself, get a boyfriend, get a girlfriend, break up with them, make goon your new best friend, make some bad mistakes, make some good decisions, have a terrible hangover, miss some classes, make it to your classes, get some high distinctions, say ‘P’s get degrees’ at least once during your undergrad and please, take this year at Charles Sturt University by the balls and make what you want of it. This campus is a force to be reckoned with and I can knowingly say that you will have that best year of your life as freshers of 2014.
Big Brother is always watching The politics of dorm living Kate Neilson
Living in a dorm with a bunch of different people will cater to all extremes of your social sphere. It will nurture your sense of fun whilst pushing the limitations of your privacy. It will force you to be honest (with both yourself and those around you) whilst also cultivating a newly found sneaky mind. It will accidentally throw up on you at least once, steal your cutlery and at times and try to sneak into your bed at night. But, oh what fun it shall be. Living in a dorm blends together the social circles, allowing you to make friends with those that were part of a different clique in high school. With these new friends, comes a new set of rules and a new sense of the word ‘loyalty’. If you were to do something tragically stupid the night before, everyone is bound to know about it the next morning. Not because they want to humiliate you, but because it cushions the blow for the next time they wake up in someone else’s bathroom. It’s something to bond over and snapchat around the campus. It’s just like Big Brother, a form of entertainment and Big Brother is always watching. 1. The Contestants (Your Dormies)
BB contestants are usually a mixed lolly bag of personalities. You’ve got the hot one, the smart one, the mother, the farmer, the butcher, baker or candlestick maker
and one or two minority stereotypes for good measure. While your dormies aren’t handpicked or chosen based on a grueling audition process, you will find that there is a definite mix of people that you may or may not be used to. For example, the ‘Ciggy Sisters’ from the country are a group that I originally differed from greatly, but through getting to know them I saw the sweetest and kindness that transcends through the conversations of pig slaughtering. In a dorm, people are categorised in many different ways : where they live, how old they are, what year of uni they are in and what course they are doing. The distinction between the journos and paramedics will always be evident, but the good thing about having them in the dorm, is the chance to learn new things and have someone to bandage your wounds (physical and emotional) without a grimace . Unlike Big Brother, you have the option of walking out the door when someone is pissing you off. You don’t have to violently sob in the corner of the kitchen while the world watches on. Which brings me to my next point: Nominations. 2. Nominations
You will want to nominate someone from the dorm for eviction at least once a day. You are in such close quarters with these people and you really get to know their ins
and outs. The first few weeks are usually fine and dandy, you’re all settling in, but when your assessments start rolling in and the girl upstairs wont turn her music down, things start to get ugly. Just as on BB, the issues that annoy you are petty. You can feel like you’re about to explode with rage because someone used your milk or the bowl you cleaned earlier today is now sitting on the floor covered in pasta sauce. Take two deep breaths, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, living in filth makes going home that much better. Take comfort in the fact that you do have a room to yourself. This becomes your safe haven. A place to scream into your pillow and Skype your best friend whilst sobbing because you can’t find your toothbrush. Don’t let the little things get you down, because unlike BB contestants, you can run to the shops for a fix of comfort food or dramatically storm out of the dorm when you’re having an argument. This is a lifestyle that you may never experience again, you might as well make the most of it.
3. The Diary Room
The one thing lacking from the dorm is a small, funky place that you can lock yourself in and release your bitchyrants. Unfortunately, this means that they come out at random times, which is not always the best way to deal with your issues. How do you fix this? Create yourself a diary room through confiding in a certain friend. While you make lots of friends through communal living, make sure you have that one special person that will open their bedroom door to you at any point, put on a deep husky voice and ask you “And how did that make you feel?” This will keep you sane! It’s harder with your friends and family at home, because often they wont understand why something so little has upset you or they have no context to the situation. Your Diary Room friend will be experiencing everything along side you, they will get it and be able to help. Just make sure your door is always open for them too, and perhaps invest in a furryglam chair or something?
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4. On Air relationships
Weren’t we all soooo over seeing Jade and Ed sucking face all day long? But you can see why they have clung to each other, considering the environment they are stuck in. Companionship is something we crave in everyday life and a need that is magnified when in a confined situation. It is also something to be very, very careful about. Sitting around as a dorm, watching Big Brother, we all joke and judge about the poor choices made by the contestants and ask ourselves, ‘Why would they do that on national television’. A great night is had by all and then we all tottle off to bed. Sarah then sneaks upstairs to Johnny’s room, Tom creeps down the side stairs to visit a special friend over in JOV, Sally records strange noises coming from Timmy’s room and the next day everyone dishes the goss and passes it down the grape vine. Safest option, ask yourself if you would still be doing the same thing if there were thousands of people tuned in to watch your next move. If you still would, then go for it! You only live once right? But sometimes this moment of reflection might save you some palm to forehead action somewhere down the line. You have to ask yourself, will this last on the outside world, or is this just like a BB fling? It’s hard to take it slow, but harder when you rush into things and they get evicted (decide to start sleeping in their own bed) and you have to face them everyday.
5. Eviction night and the outside world.
It’s really sad when people start leaving and the dorm starts to thin out. Your dorm becomes your family, you have a tight connection with these people and it’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that eventually we are all separated and spat out into the ‘real world’. Even going home for the weekend is a shock to the system. You’ve inserted yourself into a bubble of 18-25 year olds and all that comes along with that and then suddenly you’re at home watching SBS rather than Geordie Shore. It’s nice, but different and unusual. In your dorm world, everything feels like it’s a good idea, hence why I would often awake to see holes punched in the roof and a trolley on the table. Inhibitions are no longer a thing, you smile a lot more and do feel quite grown up. Back at home, it can be hard having to notify someone of your whereabouts and answer their questions. It’s like a culture shock, but you can take comfort in the fact that you can come back and do it all again next year. 6. The highlight re-cap of your time in the
house Soak it all up. Because it’s not likely that you’ll have a neatly edited package to reminisce on your time in the house. This is going to be a wonderful year. You’ll dress up a lot, cry a lot, drink a lot, laugh a lot and probably eat more pizza than you have at any other point in your life. It really is a fantastic experience, one that you will look upon in twenty years time and say with a satisfied breath, ‘Ah, the good old days’.
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