5 Things to Consider Before Apartment Hunting

One of the biggest life changes you’ll make when you start university is MOVING.  I am referring, of course, to the process of turning a new and unfamiliar place into home-sweet-home.

Before you begin your ambitious search for a place to call your own, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for.  Flinging yourself willy-nilly into the vast world of housing rental options will end in disaster… and possibly the occasional weeping fit.

To help make for some hassle-free apartment hunting, here are the basic things you need to consider before you start: 
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UPON ARRIVAL: A blog post for the newcomers

For those of you who are new to SIBT (and possibly new to Australia completely), WELCOME!

(And a friendly hello to those of you returning – hope you are enjoying your break!)

Starting your studies somewhere new can be a daunting process, especially with that massive, scary check list of things you still need to do.   Do not fret!  SIBT students are here to save the day with some information that will make this transition a little easier for you.

Hopefully this blog hasn’t caught you at the airport about to board a plane to Sydney, Australia, with no plan on where you are going to go or stay, but if that is the case hopefully your airport has Wi-Fi (assuming it does if you’re reading this) and you can click away on all these fabulous links.

First of all, let’s get you some ACCOMMODATION.
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Celebrating the end of exams!

CONGRATULATIONS!  Exams are over and it’s time to celebrate. Celebrating doesn’t have to involve a raging party (although it most certainly can) – the main point is that you’ve worked hard over the last few weeks*, and you need to reward yourself appropriately.

*You should have been working hard – if you spent more time looking at kittens on the internet than studying last week, you don’t deserve anything but this disapproving face —————>

After that final exam, you’ll probably feel a number of things all at once: excited, exhausted, sleep deprived, relieved and WILDLY happy they are over. So there will be many different ways you can reward yourself for those epic study efforts. And here they are:

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The Science of Study

Whether or not you are actually studying Science, it’s always encouraging to hear some study tips that science has given its’ tick of approval to. It’s no news that maintaining focus while studying is difficult. It’s practically harder than studying itself, though I’ve managed to find a few tips (that I didn’t know right up until this moment) to help you along your study journey.

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Surviving a day at the library

The good news? You’ve made it this far without a breakdown and there are only a couple more days of exams left.  Before you can let your hair down and really celebrate, you’ve got to face just a few more days of library lockdown.

To help prepare you for long hours in the confines of the library, I have created a Library Survival Guide. This will allow you make it through the rest of this sickening week – ideally without any outbursts of profanity or stress-related night terrors.
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Brain Power Foods!

We all know the best form of study procrastination is eating or preparing the food you intend to eat. It just seems to be a really effective way of both wasting time and rewarding yourself with plenty of delicious foodie mouthfuls.

The process of deciding to snack while studying occupies a sufficient amount of time. First you decide to snack, then you think about what you want to snack on, you make the executive decision to snack, you walk from your allocated study space towards the kitchen, you assess the current status of the fridge/pantry, you pick your ingredients, you prepare your snack, you admire your master chef skills, you transport your snack to a couch / back to your study area and finally you consume your snack. That has to occupy a quality 30-40 min right?

Well…what if I told you, you could snack while studying and it could IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION!?!?!

I know. Science has done it again people.
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How to beat the top 5 causes of procrastination


YOU are your own worst enemy when it comes to staying focused. Not only are you contending with thousands of unrelated thoughts in your own head, you are the source of many other distractions.

Maybe you find a mysterious stain on your sweater, only to spend the next half hour brainstorming its origin. Or maybe there’s a thread unravelling that you MUST pull through to the end. In the most extreme case scenario maybe you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, decide to give yourself an impromptu haircut and wind up looking a bit “special” – like you’ve had a nasty run-in with a lawn mower or a pair of children’s scissors.

Solution: Pick a spot on the wall and stare at it when you are trying to focus on something. This is your “study spot”. And avoid mirrors at all costs.
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Studying vs. Weekend

So it’s Friday afternoon, you’re done classes and work for the day, and you are heading home.  BUT… you have an exam on Monday. And Tuesday. (Maybe even Saturday…eww).  Come to think of it, next week is a minefield.

The weekend is studying’s natural enemy. At the beginning, you’re convinced that you’ve got the willpower to lock yourself in your bedroom for 48 hours straight. Come Sunday, you’re staring at that untouched textbook and contemplating life as a hermit in the forest.

Nobody wants to spend their glorious free time studying*, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure a pain-free yet productive weekend – here’s what to do (and what not to do) in the lead up to finals:

(*if you do, this blog is not relevant to you – please stop reading and leave immediately with the knowledge that you disgust me.)
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State of Origin Supporter Tips

To be blatantly honest, I have little understanding about this so called game of “Rugby League”. If you are anything like me, you watch Rugby League three times a year (Origin time) and feel this is enough to sufficiently class yourself as an expert. Now while I may not be a real expert, I have however become an expert at making people believe I know what I’m talking about. Last night’s game was extremely exciting (a real nail biter) with the Blues coming out on top beating QLD on their home turf 12-8. I made sure to practice all my fake expert techniques and every single one worked a treat.


If you’re new to the whole origin scene, here are my top tips to keep you from looking like a footy fraud (the ultimate crime when watching the Origin at a pub, club or RSL).


Guidelines to follow when watching the next two games:

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If you experienced a shudder or felt physically sick as a response to this word, you are probably one of many SIBT students preparing to sit your finals next week.

It’s easy to get intimidated by the “E” word. Exams are hostile creatures – they loom before us, aggressive obstacles standing in the way of all our future happiness and success.

And they will happen. Next week.

Now that I’ve successfully freaked you out with a threatening introduction, let’s move on to the good news. With just a few simple tricks and a little discipline, you can maximise your study prep and be ready to kick the “E” word in the “A” word.


Time management

If you try to dive headfirst into the exam material, you’ll end up treading water and will get nowhere fast. First, take the time to organise yourself and break each unit up into manageable sections to tackle one at a time. Be strict about the time you can spend on each section and allow extra time for more difficult material. DO NOT pull an all-nighter the night before!  Anything you think you might have crammed in will be lost in a haze of sleep deprivation – you’ll end up scribbling something unintelligible about unicorns.


Not everybody studies the same way, and therefore where you study is an important factor. Some students benefit from some music or background noise; others may thrive in a silent, empty room cut off from wireless internet and contact with other humans.


If you are the type who finds yourself googling “Channing Tatum” instead of paying attention to your notes, then the latter may be more appropriate for you. (Note: Check out MUSE – great study space at the North Ryde campus)




Set small, achievable goals and reward yourself. This could be a lolly at the end of each chapter you read, or a hot chocolate once you’ve mastered a difficult formula. Treat yourself for each little “win” and you’ll look forward to the next one. (Within reason – obviously consuming a mass amount of chocolate or sugar during your study sessions will not end well).


Staring at the same dismal page of notes alone and praying for something to sink in is a slippery slope to madness. Instead, bring a little joy into those painful study sessions by studying with friends. Do some casual quizzing and have a laugh over obscene pneumonic devices – you’ll remember the fun you had AND the exam material.


While an all-day studying frenzy seems like a good idea in the weeks leading up to finals, it isn’t.

Your brain needs time to recharge and process all the information you’re abusing it with. It could be a nap, a sandwich, a stroll around the block, or some quality time googling Channing – give yourself a break and look at the material with some fresh eyes later on.

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