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Author Topic: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy  (Read 2844 times)

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justwannawish

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A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« on: February 23, 2019, 11:03:21 pm »
+11
Hello and a warm welcome to anyone who might be reading!

I spent so much time deliberating on whether I should start this journal after starting (and giving up) on a journal during my HSC year that it seems quite surprising that I'm here and typing these words out. But after a lot of consideration, I decided to try and have an outlet for my current thoughts, so that in years to come, when everything in life is more settled, I'll be able to look back on these days with fondness and pride. Fingers crossed!

A bit about me first:
I'm a first year law and actuarial student at UNSW! I think it's worth mentioning that at the start of last year, law was the last thing I wanted to do and even now, I'm not sure that I would ever want to be a lawyer as such, though I do like the idea of many of the humanitarian jobs and concepts like international relations and representation, that come up with it. But as a child, I loved the idea of being a lawyer and diplomat, I wanted to establish justice and equity, I wanted to change the world even if I couldn't save it. I was immediately hit with comments that I was too weak, too indefinite to do law. There were so many unemployed law graduates, who was I to say I wouldn't be one of them? And then what would I do? I think I replied with the comment that I would be top of my grade and would get a job straight away. I was idealistic to say the least, but now, a more cynical me wonders whether it was fate or something of that nature that led me to the dream job of my childhood self. And if it is, who am I to dispute that?

Actuarial studies... I only learned about it last year, and the main things I was warned about was "it's hard" and "it's a good salary". I don't really know why I chose this really, law required me to select another degree to satisfy the credits, and actuarial seemed to have good prospects afterwards. In fact, my other UAC choices were all around actuarial studies ahah, with no law (Even though I kinda enjoy my law classes so much more, but that's more about the Maths course I'm strugglign through).  As much as doing a science or arts degree (or the ever popular commerce-law) option appealed to me, I decided against it because I wanted something with a definite career path, especially since law students seem to constantly be described as "over-supplied" and "unwanted". I'm scared of being in a position where uncertainty rules my decisions, which I know works for many of my friends and a lot of the people who I love and respect and do those degrees. They've done things I could never imagine with the flexibility of those degrees, but I'm kinda tired of floating around and want something concentrete to aim towards.

The Context Behind My Decisions
I initially tried out for another degree, under a combination of advice from everyone around me and I think I convinced myself that it was what I wanted to do. I began planning out my life around it, my admittance into the course, the degree related clubs I'd join, the electives I would choose, the career and life I would lead. Needless to say, it didn't work out and after a time, I think I might be glad that it didn't. Don't get me wrong, after failing to get in, I cried for all the hardships and fear and that feeling of failure and emptiness that had guided me to that point and I did feel like devastated. But now, I feel that I rushed into everything, I planned out my entire life for something I didn't even know everything about. I don't know if I want to do law or actuarial studies, but I don't really know if I want to do anything in particular. I had never been someone with definite ideals and goals, and I really tried to change that. But in the process, I feel I might have given up a bit of me with it. EDIT- This sounds a lot sadder on my second read of it, and I do want to emphasis that I am no means regretting trying out for that degree, since it did shape me, and I am ready to face whatever I might encounter along the way.

Clubs and Societies
I've only joined up to the ones around my degree. For a lot of my life, I had been scared of regret more than anything, and even now, that still seems to be a defining fact in the decisions I make, from joining a variety of clubs in high school and even in the subjects I took. But I had become so drained from all the things I did in high school, I did everything out of obligation rather than passion. There wasn't anything I loved and that realisation scared me. I had no definite interests, I liked music sure, I liked movies, but I wouldn't necessarily listen to music or watch a movie unless someone wanted to watch with me. In a crowded room, surrounded by friends and achievements that wouldn't mean anything once I left high school, I felt empty. Out of all my friends, who were enjoying their last year, I felt alone and terrified (what if I don't get that ATAR, that mark, that reference) and the extracurriculars I had were just more responsibilities, more stresses. I liked them at times, but most of them seemed to be obligations since I had done them for such a long time.

That's why this year I hope to live for me and redefine who I am. I just want to be happy and gain something from life. With time, I'll find activities that I like, pick up extracurriculars and hobbies and a job, but currently, I'm struggling to balance everything properly. I think I'll get the hang of it soon enough but for now, I'm content with all these assignments I have haha and the courses I do. My maths course is kinda killing me at the moment, but it should one day work out (right??) and I enjoy the other classes I have.

Song of the Week
Here's a chance for everyone to see and probably judge my dodgy (lowkey top 40 trash at times) music taste. This week I've been listening to a lot of 'Therapy' by All Time Low.

Arrogant boy, love yourself so no one has to
They're better off without you (they're better off without you)
Arrogant boy cause a scene like you're supposed to
They'll fall asleep without you
You're lucky if your memory remains
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 11:36:20 pm by justwannawish »

PhoenixxFire

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2019, 11:13:09 pm »
+4
Omg I used to be obsessed with All Time Low (fun fact: I attempted to teach myself to play that song on piano - only figured out half of it and it was quite bad 😂)

Good luck with figuring out what you want to do after your degree. Canít wait to see more updates ;)
2019: B. Environment and Sustainability/B. Science @ ANU
2020: Just Vibing
2021: B. Paramedicine/B. Nursing @ ACU Canberra

justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 11:41:07 pm »
+1
Omg I used to be obsessed with All Time Low (fun fact: I attempted to teach myself to play that song on piano - only figured out half of it and it was quite bad 😂)

Good luck with figuring out what you want to do after your degree. Canít wait to see more updates ;)

Ah, back when I did piano, I struggled through some Beatles song or another and even played it for an exam. Years later, I listened to the actual version of it and I did not recognise the song at all... I apologise to my poor piano teacher, who was the biggest Beatles fan for butchering his favourite song so badly.

Unfortunately, I'm a fake fan of ATL and I don't know any of their other songs! I found this track from a youtube video, and the lyrics resonated with me at the time. I had always been a sucker for sentimental things and I downloaded it to remember that this song meant something to me :)

justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 09:43:38 pm »
+7
Another week finished and luckily, I finished a bit earlier today and got home in time to relax (before beginning on the stack of work I have to do).

Law
The most critical thing is my assessment, which is a court observation due next week., Essentially, it's a court report about some cases we personally have watched and we have to link that to the professional development of lawyers as well as key concepts from class, but it is quite open to interpretation. I haven't started yet, but I've brainstormed the key concepts and I know some of what I want to talk about. Hopefully, it shouldn't be that bad to knock over.

Of course, I have readings and more hw from our law tutorial but I think I'm getting the hang of everything right now!

Explanation behind tutorial vs lecture
at UNSW, law is split up into lectures, perhaps more accurately described as Socratic semainers, and research tutorials where we learn how to cite cases, how to find these documents, etc There's not much in common with both, except the research tutorial is good for your general knowledge. There is mandatory class participation points from our lecture, but not for our tutorial, though our final exam is split into 2 exams, one for the lecture coursework and the other for the tutorial work.

Maths
Next will have to be all this maths I have to do. I finished my Calculus test for the week (we have these 6 quizzes and a couple of tests to do which are worth like 4% of our grade, but we can do it however many times we want which is super good imo). But I have a bunch of questions to do, some of which I don't totally understand yet since our lectures are behind our tutorials. It kind of annoys me since most of us end up learning everything ahead, which is somewhat time-consuming, to be able to answer the questions and our tutor expects us to have already covered everything in our lecture, which we haven't.

I think the problem is because of the trimesters (lmao, I can't truly judge), since my tutor said they never used to teach tutorials in the first week, but now they do to make up hours or something like that. Anyway, I also made the horrible realisation that after class ends for the term, we have exams in a two week block like after HSC. I honestly thought we'd be finished everything when term ends, but it be like that sometimes, I guess. (Is it just me or does uni have a lot less breaks than what I expected?)

Economics
Economics, well, well, I have only really done the stuff for the first week so I'll get cracking on the stuff for the second week this weekend as well. I think we have an in-tute assessment in two weeks but my tutor hasn't really said anything about it. And I'm somewhat confused on how to operate playeconomics, which is a game and completing it is part of our grade (meant to be the easy bit, but I don't think my laptop really has the storage to properly play it haha). But that's it.

Highlights of My Week
I went to the Drop-in Maths Tutoring and I honestly want to rave about it. One, it's free!!! Secondly, the tutors are all extremely nice and helpful, and they are much more approachable than our lecturers or even our tutors. The guy who helped me out did not blink an eye at any of my stupid questions and was really considerate, making sure I understood the mathematical symbols for example, even though our tutor just assumed we must have covered it in high school. When there was five minutes til his lunch break, he insisted we cover anything else I wanted to know and even went ten minutes into his lunch break, instead of just calling it quits then, which I would have understood. Thank you so much to my tutor for all your time and effort! It means more than you could ever know!

I also went to the LawSoc Peer Mentoring, and by accident, ended up being the only person there out of my group of 6. But my mentors were so nice that I didn't feel awkward at all, they were really kind though, and made sure I didn't feel left out though they had obviously known each other for a long time. A huge shout out to my mentors for all their good humour and genuine interest in what I had to say ;D

The third most memorable thing was that, I met some of my high school friends on the commute home by chance. Even though they go to a different uni, it was good seeing a familiar face once in a while and catching up on their lives!

That's pretty much it, I'm going to try and finish my tutorial hw for Law and hopefully get started on my report right now.

Song of the Week
I found this song this week and I really enjoyed it (lowkey tried to make a spotify playlist with just this song but nevermind about that. It's Sam Smith and Normani's 'Dancing with a Stranger' (was thinking about putting Shallow in light of the Oscars but I don't really love the song as much as everyone else does :(

Look what you made me do, I'm with somebody new
Ooh, baby, baby, I'm dancing with a stranger


owidjaja

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2019, 09:59:09 pm »
+4
Next will have to be all this maths I have to do. I finished my Calculus test for the week (we have these 6 quizzes and a couple of tests to do which are worth like 4% of our grade, but we can do it however many times we want which is super good imo). But I have a bunch of questions to do, some of which I don't totally understand yet since our lectures are behind our tutorials. It kind of annoys me since most of us end up learning everything ahead, which is somewhat time-consuming, to be able to answer the questions and our tutor expects us to have already covered everything in our lecture, which we haven't.
Honestly though, I get so lost with quizzes. Like I try to read the notes or watch some videos but don't understand so I just end up asking around. I'm literally procrastinating right now (I'm supposed to be doing a quiz on Intermediate Theorem but I'm so confused lol so I'll just sit here and watch the timer count down ;-;). Are you in MATH1131 or 1141? How are your lecturers?

I went to the Drop-in Maths Tutoring and I honestly want to rave about it. One, it's free!!! Secondly, the tutors are all extremely nice and helpful, and they are much more approachable than our lecturers or even our tutors. The guy who helped me out did not blink an eye at any of my stupid questions and was really considerate, making sure I understood the mathematical symbols for example, even though our tutor just assumed we must have covered it in high school. When there was five minutes til his lunch break, he insisted we cover anything else I wanted to know and even went ten minutes into his lunch break, instead of just calling it quits then, which I would have understood. Thank you so much to my tutor for all your time and effort! It means more than you could ever know!
You might actually convince me to stop by at the Drop-in Maths Tutoring haha. I keep saying that I may go but then I end up not going because I don't know what kind of tutors they have or if they're gonna judge me. But now I'm barely keeping up with calculus so I might go :)
2018 HSC: English Advanced | Mathematics | Physics | Modern History | History Extension | Society and Culture | Studies of Religion I

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justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2019, 11:57:18 pm »
0

I do neither haha, MATH1151, which is one of two pure maths courses we have to do and then it's hopefully freedom from this. Which maths course do you do?? How is it? I have some engineering friends doing 1141 but wasn't sure if they could have done 1131.

I like my Algebra teacher, he's a good explainer and he's quite dynamic so it's easy to follow him, though conceptually algebra is harder for me. My calculus professor seems like a nice guy but his voice and actions are quite monotonous and he doesn't really pause or ask if anyone is following what he says, so it's a bit trickier. We have two lectures where an hour is given to calculus, another to algebra, and another one hour lecture which alternates between the two each week. We also have two tutorials per week, one on algebra and the second on calculus :)

I found the course notes to be quite useful, but I also tend to google some theorems and concepts and then learn from that, especially for calculus. The thing that bothers me about the quizzes is that they don't actually relate to any of our homework questions and are only vaguely connected to the coursework (often a few exercises ahead of where we are at in calculus) , but so far they've been a lot easier than the hw, which I'm so glad about.

I personally would recommend it since the tutors were a lot better than my own class tutors and a lot more understanding of the gaps in your knowledge, especially since it's your first uni maths class. You might have to wait a while since it does depend on whether anyone else is there ahead of you, but I think I only waited around 10 minutes so it wasn't bad at all (also you can study there afterwards, I think, and then ask questions when the tutor is done with another student, which was something I saw).  Something else that might be helpful is that the course might also run extra classes? I know 1151 also has Pass courses run by ASOC, so there might be something similar for your maths classes?

owidjaja

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 03:04:17 pm »
+2
I do neither haha, MATH1151, which is one of two pure maths courses we have to do and then it's hopefully freedom from this. Which maths course do you do?? How is it? I have some engineering friends doing 1141 but wasn't sure if they could have done 1131.
Oh lmao, I'm doing 1131. I have mixed feelings about the course. I really like my algebra lecturer because he goes through content at a really good pace and explains the content really well. And then there's my calculus lecturer who crams everything in an hour. His French accent also isn't helping because it's difficult to understand him. At the moment he's off for 2 weeks because his wife had a baby but then we got replaced by another French lecturer lol. She goes through content a bit slower but still crams content and everyone talks whenever she lecturers, so that's annoying.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 03:34:51 pm by owidjaja »
2018 HSC: English Advanced | Mathematics | Physics | Modern History | History Extension | Society and Culture | Studies of Religion I

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2019: Aerospace Engineering (Hons)  @ UNSW

justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 09:24:18 pm »
0
Yeah, my main issue with 1151 is that it doesn't really align up i.e. our calculus hw for chapter 2 had questions about content we will only learn about in Chapter 5 and some don't appear in the lecturer notes at all, sigh. I feel like I'm paying the uni just to do exams, and not teach at this point (since our tutorial hw is ahead of our lectures and my tutors still want us to do it on our own). I shouldn't complain too much haha but I'm just stuck on a question so I'm just annoyed at the whole system (I'll be good before).

Hopefully, your lecturer gets better! Are your tutors good?

justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 09:25:10 pm »
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Law
The most critical thing is my assessment, which is a court observation due next week. Hopefully, it shouldn't be that bad to knock over.

You see that line? I regret writing that. I regret it so much. What I am now facing as a mindblank is karma because of that particular line. This is why you should not be cocky kids, smh at past me for tempting fate.

owidjaja

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 10:39:22 pm »
0
Yeah, my main issue with 1151 is that it doesn't really align up i.e. our calculus hw for chapter 2 had questions about content we will only learn about in Chapter 5 and some don't appear in the lecturer notes at all, sigh. I feel like I'm paying the uni just to do exams, and not teach at this point (since our tutorial hw is ahead of our lectures and my tutors still want us to do it on our own). I shouldn't complain too much haha but I'm just stuck on a question so I'm just annoyed at the whole system (I'll be good before).

Hopefully, your lecturer gets better! Are your tutors good?
My tutor is Russian lol. Not that I have a problem with foreign lecturers/tutors but he's just very difficult to communicate with. Like in the first math tute, we were going through limits and he gave us an example so one of the students suggested to divide by the highest power but then he thought the student was saying polynomial division. The student ended up giving up on explaining. He also straight up told the people who only did 2U math (which was me and another student) that we'll find the course hard so he wants us to ask him as many questions. While I do get his point, it's not really the best way to encourage us.

How about you? Are your tutors good?
2018 HSC: English Advanced | Mathematics | Physics | Modern History | History Extension | Society and Culture | Studies of Religion I

ATAR: 93.60

2019: Aerospace Engineering (Hons)  @ UNSW

justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2019, 12:46:27 pm »
+1
Itís been a very long time since I last updated and Iím really sorry for anyone who was interested in reading this! In essence, I just have been flat out with work, assessments and everything else that is coming up, including a few birthdays of my closest friends. But I finally made some time for this, right after a bad test haha. This might just be a rant so be warned (and apologises in advance)

Law
At the start of the year, many older students advised me that this was a dry and boring course, so I went in with an apprehensive outlook. Five weeks into the degree, I find that Iím really enjoying myself with this degree and do personally enjoy it. It seems almost weird to admit that Iím enjoying my classes, especially sincein high school, I wasnít enjoying anything at all and it was all just work and more work. and I almost canít believe that I am looking forward to the lessons.

A lot of the material we cover now is very historically based. historical aspect. I have always been a bit of a history nerd and so learning about the Tudors and Stuarts monarchs and their contribution to the rule of law is really fascinating for me (Horrible Histories anyone?). We brushed over the Civil Revolution in England as well as the Magna Carta, and now are heading towards Australia and I think Aboriginal dispossession.

My court report was handed in two weeks ago, I think weíre getting the results this week sometime. But we already have another assessment, a case note, which is due in two weeks. So Iím never not busy haha, but Iím already a lot behind so itís all very tiring trying to catch up and do everything. Luckily, we donít have class for law next week, which is my only chance of catching up I feel at this rate.

Microeconomics
 i donít have much to say about this since I signed up to the web lectures (and then ditched the web lectures after finding how much easier the textbook was to listen to). I did my quiz for it last week which was alright I think. I feel I have been falling behind since Iím not entirely up-to-date for my tutorial homework so Iím going to spend a lot of time catching up this weekend. We have a mid-semester test next week which is on a Saturday, which is an awkward end to my week. but fingers crossed, it should go well?? Iím just really drained

Maths
I did a quiz today and it was not pleasant. I think I walked out in a daze, surrounded by people who were talking about how great their test went and how easy it was. It kind of has demotivated me for the time being since it was the last thing I really wanted. But there were so many people who helped me out before hand and I just want to say a big thank you to all their efforts.

Weíre learning about inverse matrices in algebra and just finished the mean value theorem for calculus. Itís a pity I tuned out last lesson to do more practice papers for my quiz since I have neither done well on the quiz or have an idea of whatís happening rn but I might finish doing my notes from last lecture in my upcoming break.

Song of the Week

I've been listening to Silence by Before You Exit a lot recently and I really enjoy. It's a very calming song and it's a perfect fit for some of these rainy train trips home.

Everybody's looking for a love to start a riot
But every time I look in your eyes
The world gets quiet


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t4qnH8tpd4

justwannawish

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Re: A Speck of Dust in the Galaxy
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2019, 12:50:35 pm »
0
My tutor is Russian lol. Not that I have a problem with foreign lecturers/tutors but he's just very difficult to communicate with. Like in the first math tute, we were going through limits and he gave us an example so one of the students suggested to divide by the highest power but then he thought the student was saying polynomial division. The student ended up giving up on explaining. He also straight up told the people who only did 2U math (which was me and another student) that we'll find the course hard so he wants us to ask him as many questions. While I do get his point, it's not really the best way to encourage us.

How about you? Are your tutors good?

My tutors are nice people but they don't really communicate very well and a part of their problem is that they only go through problems that they have selected themselves from the homework (which i totally get and i appreciate their work) but they refuse to answer any other questions for other problem in the exercise. Which means they often explain the questions that everyone in the class found doable and not many of the questions we all have difficulties doing. sigh, I have a lot to catch up on!!