The Stand.

Stories from UOW

Isabella writing study notes

First-year commerce student, Isabella fills us in about her end of semester exams, how they compared to the HSC and if studying has gotten any easier.

Coffee. Procrastination. Stress. For me, it could only mean one thing:

If you’re a HSC student, it’s a time of your life you dread; a time you hope to never repeat. Alas, it’s true what they all say: uni is a bit like sitting the HSC every six months.

But, therein lies one of the greatest differences between uni exams and the HSC: time. I have just completed the exams for my first four subjects. Revising 12 weeks of content compared to twelve months in school releases some of the pressure.

Not only this, but I have found that, since commencing uni, the only person you are competing with is yourself. My passions and aspirations are motivating me, not an ATAR. For this reason, you strive to complete your exams to the best of your ability.

Study notes on a desk

Some study notes from this semester

I can safely say that I study differently since the HSC. Back then, I would study endlessly – sometimes ten hours a day. Nowadays, I do not practise, encourage or condone this behaviour.

With a three-month break before uni started, I found it difficult to rediscover the same work ethic I had for the HSC. This semester was a challenge but I did work hard. I often had my head in the books, sometimes literally, hoping to learn the content through some kind of osmosis.

Isabella writing study notes

Me and my trusty calculator, studying hard together

I always found it easier to study for the HSC subjects I liked the most. It’s the same at uni, but since all my subjects have something to do with commerce, it’s been a little easier to get motivated.

Studying – or stu-dying as I like to call it – hasn’t changed a lot between the HSC and uni. The anticipation and stress of an exam haven’t changed much either. It’s my motivation, purpose and willingness to succeed that have.

A compilation of three images. 1. Isabella at her desk. 2. A note that reads: you are so close to the victory, don't you dare give up now! 3. Isabella in a hammock

Me being a perfectionist using white out on my notes // A note carried by a friend during the HSC // Relaxing in the hammocks on campus

P.S. Like the HSC, you get a long break after you finish your uni exams. Now I can watch as much Netflix as I did during session – just without that nasty feeling of guilt.

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