The everyday habits that got these successful graduates through uni

October 11, 2016
Article Promo Image

Look, it may be a controversial thing to say, but if you’re currently at uni, then I think you deserve a pat on the back. While workload stress and assessment deadlines might seem like a very first world problem, everything is relative and life as we know it is becoming more busy, more complicated, and it’s harder to stay afloat.

Education is the golden ticket to many, if not all aspects of life, so we're lucky to be living in a country where we have the opportunity to access it. At times it’s not easy though, and if you’re anything like me, you might also find yourself dropping multi-coloured balls while trying to juggle it all. So how do we reach that Zen-like state of balance while pursuing our university degrees?

Hijacked spoke to these four successful graduates about the daily habits that got them through uni, offering some advice for us mere mortals.

Sammy Lewis, 29

What did you study and what do you do for a job now?

I studied a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism and PR. I am currently a Group Sales Manager at Realestate.com.au in their Media & Marketing team – I love my job!

What daily habits did you engage in at uni that you think enhanced your productivity?

In all honesty I wasn’t a perfect uni student! There were a lot of all-nighters frantically getting essays done and a few tears because I wasn’t as organised as I should have been. But I knew the importance of balance, so I always made sure I took the time out each day to do something for myself as well as uni work, whether it was going for a run or online shopping.

And I was constantly asking questions to people I interned for, lecturers, my employers and to people at all different levels of seniority. Educated questions enabled me to learn as much as I could and to make contacts with people in the industry. Don’t underestimate the power of curiosity!

What advice would you give to yourself back at uni?

We have a saying in this industry that if you play up, you show up. It’s all well and good to let the hair down and have a few vodka Lifts at the bar on uni night, but always show up to class the next day, even if you look and feel like death. It’s exactly what is expected of you in the real world. It shows that you know how to have fun, but you’re also dedicated and you know exactly what is important – your career… and paying rent.

Lachlan Sweet, 28

What did you study and what do you do for a job now?

My degree was a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in marketing. I am the current Marketing Manager for ALDI in Australia.

What daily habits did you engage in at uni that you think enhanced your productivity?

I tried to use my time wisely, so that meant working hard in the time I gave myself to study to ensure I was able to do the other things I enjoyed. I also had a killer detailed list of all the things I needed to deliver on and constantly updated it based on priority/impact. This became my bible and enabled me to take a helicopter view of all priorities 'to see the wood for the trees'. I also drank beer (still do).

What advice would you give to yourself back at uni?

Firstly ENJOY IT and don't stress too much, it inevitably always works out for the best. Move overseas – seriously it will change your life. Do an internship (but if you work in advertising, be prepared not to be paid). And have fun – the real world is great but stressful, so soak up having 26 weeks off a year. And remember it’s not all about money, but about experience – money will come later.

Sam Lambooy, 23

What did you study and what do you do for a job now?

I studied biomedical engineering and finished my thesis in 2014. I did a double-degree of engineering/law, and I finish law this year. After my engineering degree I got a part-time graduate role at Stryker where I currently work on the medical education team 3 days a week. I also co-founded a start-up with two mates.

What daily habits did you engage in at uni that you think enhanced your productivity?

I struggled to get work done unless I was around friends and still do! So at uni I studied with mates, bouncing ideas and thoughts off each other. I'm more productive when I'm doing work as a team. I also made sure I got enough sleep as I know how detrimental a lack of it can be for your mental state.

What advice would you give to yourself back at uni?

Don't be so obsessed with results. Travel more, get experience in any and every industry, and have fun – the real world is so much more about life skills than the WAM you slap next to your name!

Samantha Wilson, 25

What did you study at university and what do you do for a job now?

I studied a Bachelor of Nursing with a postgraduate in children’s nursing. I am currently working at The Children's Hospital at Westmead in the Hunter Baillie Ward.

What daily habits did you engage in at uni that you think enhanced your productivity?

It was so important to me to stay fit and healthy so I was always doing yoga, walking the dog and catching up with friends. I always had a holiday planned too, so I had something to look forward to! And I maintained a part-time job so I was financially secure and independent.

What advice would you give to yourself back at uni?

Don’t be so hard on yourself – a pass gets you a degree! Also stop comparing your experience and lives to others – everyone is on their path and yours is unique. Embrace the journey, work hard and good times are sure to come.

Avril Treasure

Avril studies Journalism at Notre Dame in Sydney. In her spare time she enjoys playing cards with her grandfather, drinking one too many margaritas and pondering hypothetical questions.

×