AUT Uni Life

Want to blog in 2018?

2017-12-15

By Jeremy Raine (Student Comms Manager)

It's been a long year.

Most of you will be soaking up this amazing weather by now, even those doing summer school, no doubt! Right now I'm looking out at the perfect 26-degree day from level 9 in WO building and wishing I was at the beach. Oh well, one more day to go.

To those of you who are already at the beach... yeah, shut up. LOL

What a year it has been though. Between surprise election results, Donald Trump, love him or hate him, Stranger Things and... well everything, it's true, stranger things have happened, but not many, and not often.

Purportedly, there's an old Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times." No matter what your opinion is on the state of the world right now, one thing is for sure - we certainly live in interesting times.

Many of you will be writers, bloggers or creatives of one form or another, and most of you will have opinions (strong ones, if I know students at all). This being the case, why not write for UniLife next year? You can contribute as much as you like and we welcome content on all aspects of life at AUT, life in Auckland or indeed, life as a human on planet earth (within reason!). If you're really keen, and can commit to regular contributions we can even pay you!

So, as you read this off your smartphone, while sipping a cold one at the beach, give some consideration to what life as a student has meant to you in 2017 and whether you'd like to share your thoughts with the wider AUT family in 2018. After all, writing is good for the soul. Maybe not as good as the beach, but pretty good - I feel better already.

Happy Christmas everyone - have an awesome break.

If you'd like to write for UniLife next year just flick me an email on studentcomms@aut.ac.nz

Young entrepreneurs shine at AUT X Challenge showcase

2017-11-27

By Sharleen Shergill

The AUT X Challenge finals took place last week at the Quay Project. This competition gave students the opportunity to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test and develop an idea for a business, cause or project. The contestants were required to submit a detailed business proposal which included information such as what problem the idea is trying to solve, who the target market and competitors are as well as strategies on product launch. The competition was divided up into four categories; product, service, digital and social enterprise. After the initial submission of the business proposal, twelve teams made it to the finals with their ideas. Some had been working on it as a hobby and some had only put it together the night before it was due. You can view the full list of finalists here.  At the final pitch night, competitors had five minutes to present their idea followed by five minutes of q & a from the judges’ panel. This panel included; Lisa King, CEO of Eat My Lunch; Vaughan Roswell founder of Vend; Josh Comrie, CEO of Ambit and Dale Clareburt, co-founder and CEO of Weirdly. Big prizes were also up for grabs for winners of each category ($5,000) as well as an overall runner up ($5,000) and overall winner ($15,000). Winning teams also received KPMG, Tech CafĂ©, Lowndes Jordan and Xero packages.

Before the night took off, I chatted to some of the teams to see how they were feeling. Most were excited, they had been working on this for weeks and it was finally time to share their ideas. High energy filled the room with everyone supporting and cheering each other on. I also learnt that some chose to work on their proposal by themselves and some had teams of up to four people working on the idea. Furthermore, each group was also connected to a mentor, some of whom had their own businesses overseas and would check in with teams over Skype. I found this very impressive. TV presenter, Sonia Gray hosted the night and after an address from the Vice Chancellor, Derek McCormack the night was underway.

The product category kicked it off with PROTEANZ – a New Zealand produced redefinition of a sports drink presented by Tyler Lewis and Jonathan Leftley. Followed by Illu- mate –presented by Colin Anderson whose product illuminates plants based on their health needs. Concluding with Nina Lopes’ Better Butter a dairy-free plant-based alternative to normal butter. Nina’s presentation stood out as she handed out jars of her butter to the judges as well as passed around a plate with the butter on bread so people could taste it.  In each q & a, the judges got straight to the point and asked about how much the anticipated price point would be for the product, whether there was anyone else already doing this and how the product would get into the market faster than if a big company such as Fonterra or Coca-Cola were to do it. The amount of research the contestants had done was amazing, especially in building connections with people in their market. Some were already in talks with big companies regarding sponsorship and having their brand present at events as well as in talks with suppliers.

The winner of the product category was Nina Lopes – Better Butter.

Next up was the digital category. Michelle Extross and Amritpal Kaur presented Chat Grow, which designs unique chatbots to help small restaurants grow through messaging services. For example, you could message a busy restaurant using Facebook Messenger and get instant replies as well as place an order instead of having to call or scroll through a website. Moving onto Jarek Beksa who pitched a unique idea which revolved around changing the way blind or visually impaired people read documents – Mobile Finger Reader. The last one in this category – Outdoor Planner was defined as “disrupting pen and paper”. This app by Nairi Nasrallah and Mikey Stewart helps users to plan their outdoor trip safely, including checking the weather and route difficulty.

The winner of the digital category was Nairi Nasrallah – Outdoor Planner. This also went onto receive the overall runner up prize as well.

The service category covered a range of areas. First up were Mark Price and Kiran Sahota with Parcel Box – electronic parcel lockers that improve the experience of parcel deliveries. Followed by Unbounded Environmental Consultancy presented by Jamie Engelbrecht and later Rachel Cooper who joined us during the Q&A over Skype. The idea revolved around collaborating with local farmers to meet the environmental regulations while also financially helping farmers in need overseas in terms of climate change. The service category ended with Catia Batalha and Pedro Silva’s Yoga Psychotherapy. This service brings together the best of the West and the East by combining psychotherapy and yoga to address the issue of mental health in New Zealand.

The winner of the service category were Catia Batalha and Pedro Silva - Yoga Psychotherapy.

The last category of the night was social enterprise. The first team Twenty Eight consisting of Dayna Jackson, Aston Wainhouse, Mohini Manu and Shevonee Muthiah

presented their idea of a subscription service offering women comfort items such as sanitary products whose proceeds go towards supplying these products to women in need. Followed by brothers Michael and Daniel Lough who proposed an idea for the housing shortage with Little Big Construction. This involved architecting communities of tiny homes with shared laundries, gyms and utilities aimed at a generation who want to live a simple life. The last team to present were Holly Sutich and Bradley Hagan with Beta Energy. Something that stood out was that they already had their product – a sustainable energy drink – made, bottled and were able to give one each to the judges. This was inspirational, especially when thinking about how long they must have been working on developing their product to reach this point when they could actually give it to key industry leaders to try.

The winner of the social enterprise category were Holly Sutich and Bradley Hagan – Beta Energy. They also went onto receive the supreme overall winner prize as well.

Overall, it’s clear why these teams were all in the top twelve. The long hours and hard work paid off. I felt privileged to be in a room filled with these intelligent minds and am excited to see where they take their ideas in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m walking down an aisle in the supermarket and see Proteanz, Better Butter and Beta Energy products on the shelf – because they all deserve to be there. I would also like to be using Parcel Box, Chat Grow, Outdoor Planner while attending Yoga Psychotherapy and living in a Little Big Construction community. I encourage everyone to participate next year because you have nothing to lose and will come out with useful lifelong skills and valuable connections. I know I’m ready to sign up for next year!

www.xchallenge.co.nz

A little goodbye

2017-11-23

By Tom Vasey

This has been a pretty tumultuous year, in all honesty. Even beyond the obvious stuff that’s going on in the wider world, it’s been a long year when it comes to university, too. There’s been plenty to do, lots of people to meet, clubs to get involved in and a nightlife to say you’re totally going to join in on, but keep putting it off (if you’re me, that is). Now, here we are, at year’s end, with stores playing interminable Christmas rubbish on their radios as a method of new-age torture for those of us in retail, and exams are all behind us, even those of us who needed to do the resits.

If you didn’t do as much as you wanted to this year, I think that’s okay. It’s certainly not the end of the world, and there’s more time in the future to get stuff sorted out. Actually, you know, I signed up for the gym last year, but it’s only this year I started going consistently, so the moral of the story is that as long as you get to it when it feels right to you, then it’s okay if you haven’t done everything you planned on this year.

I suppose this is the part where I say goodbye for the year, with the solemn hope that I’ll come back again next year to pretend I know what I’m talking about to students both new and old. The truth is, I’ve played it by ear about as much as everyone else here does, if not more so. Be prepared when you can be, and when you can’t be, improvise with the best knowledge that you have available, right? 90% of the time, it works every time.

Still, a simple goodbye isn’t quite adequate, given the world we’re living in nowadays, especially since I’m also aware there’s a lot of students who’ll be leaving university behind after this year, either because they ran into problems or because they’re graduating. That means that a lot of folks – thousands, in fact – are getting thrust into a big stupid world that’s full of misunderstanding and disdain. This year especially, it’s become increasingly apparent to me that there’s a lot of anger in the world, some of it justified, some of it not. Heck, there are things I’ll lose the plot over too, and I try to stay well away from it. On top of that, though, there’s a lot of things that are needlessly complicated about our world, too. Some people will have postgraduate degrees they’re graduating with at the end of this year, and they still won’t know what they want to do. Because of this, I’d like to talk a little about two of the smartest people I’ve ever known.

One of them is my best friend, a guy called Jeff who lives in the USA. The other is someone I used to date. Both of them graduated with exceptional grades and Chemical Engineering degrees from fine universities, and I couldn’t possibly be prouder of them. The thing is, though, they weren’t sure what they wanted to do with their newfound qualifications, and they went in very different directions. One of them ended up moving countries, the other ended up training on a nuclear reactor. There’s a lot of possibilities in the world, and while there’s no question more upsetting to a graduate than “oh, what are you going to do next? ” the truth is that you’ve got the whole world at your feet, and a lot of adventures ahead of you. It’s okay to not know what to do next because you’ve given yourself the opportunities you need to make sure that you can handle it all, come what may.

The next thing to remember, and this is important, is that no matter what it’s important to be kind to one another. I am so furious about the world right now and how many perfectly capable adults have come to forget that. Look, I’m not going to sugar-coat anything – the world is a place where there is evil, there is misunderstanding, and there are people who will exploit your empathy or match it with hatred. I’ve seen a lot of this in Europe, the UK, and especially in the US lately. There are a lot of media sources that absolutely love documenting this stuff as well, or presenting violent rioting subversives as heroes, but at end of the day it’s all perpetuating a cycle of hate that won’t bring life or happiness, only pain and suffering. Don’t punch people, don’t label people with broad blanket statements, and don’t hate anyone for who they are, where they were born or anything of the sort. We should all be above this, and work to improve ourselves as a species.

After all, with the exception of some group project teams at uni, we tend to work pretty well in unison as a species, and we’re going to change the world in little or big ways. Whether we have immense power or nothing to work with, we’re all going to bring about a little change, and that’s super important.

The moral is that we must be kind to our fellow humans. Do not let your politics, your beliefs or anything of the sort get in the way of that. As I said a couple of months ago, make kindness the order of the day, and you will be contributing towards the betterment of our world. If even one or two people remember that in the coming years, I will be looking forward to the future of our planet far more than I am now.

I hope to see all of you next year, and remember to be kind to yourselves, too. Keep pushing yourself to do better, but no matter what the final grades look like at exam, remember that it’ll all be okay in the end.

Thanks guys, and take care, okay? Have a lovely holiday no matter where you’re going and where you are.

What to do next year

2017-11-14

By Tom Vasey

One of the big challenges that you’ll no doubt be coping with right now is enrolment for next year. Hopefully you’ve got a fair idea of what you actually want to do, but it’s not quite as simple as picking something, is it? Especially if you’re choosing your major, it can be a pretty harrowing experience just to make sure you don’t get saddled with something utterly rubbish. Even if you’ve got that sorted out, there are things like electives that you need to watch out for, which are their own kettle of utter nonsense.

So, what can you do about it?

Well, let’s start with majors. You’ve got an insane amount of variety available when it comes to majors, and it’s often a matter of too much choice rather than too little. It’s easier said than done to pick something like this, and if it seems like a big decision, that’s a good thing – it really is and it’s good to give it a level of respect. The standard advice is often to just choose something you enjoy. While that’s an okay option, it’s also a good idea to make an informed decision. You can check online to get a few ideas about where a career path will take you. Some things tend to look really good and interesting on the surface, but they won’t lead you in a direction you’ll ultimately be happy with.

Take me, for instance. I actually do a Psych and Business conjoint degree, which has involved trying to pick some sort of business major for next year. The obvious choice for a major to gel with Psychology is Marketing, and a lot of people tend to follow that path. In fact, the person who first twigged me on to learning about conjoints last year was in that major. Still, it didn’t really feel right, and as I come to the end of my second year, it still doesn’t feel right. Advertising, marketing and things like that are really good for some people, but I don’t think I could live with it myself. Besides, I’d be one heck of a hypocrite given my liberal use of Adblock.

The point is, it’s a huge decision, and it’s okay to take it seriously. If you know any alumni or people further along in your degree, feel free to ask them. Just make sure you make a choice you can be happy with. And if you’re still in doubt, go and talk to AUT’s Careers and Employability team – they’re really helpful.

So with that done and dusted, what about electives? Well, again, the vast majority of people will say to do something that’s interesting to you, and that’s totally viable most of the time. However, I’m going to drop a little knowledge about how electives used to work back in the day and what it means for university students. You see, in the olden days, an elective was meant to be something utterly divorced from what your major was. The idea was that taking these additional papers would help round out your knowledge. Obviously it isn’t the 1800s anymore, so no one’s going to boot you up the backside to make you do anything, but it’s something to consider. Electives are a great way to round out your knowledge base, become a much more broadly educated person, and get a little expertise in something you never would’ve considered looking at before.

As always, make sure to check in with your faculty, and feel free to ask anyone who’s taken an interesting elective or major before to see if you can get a little inspiration. You’re spoiled for choice in this place, and it’s a great opportunity to do something a little different with yourself.

Take care everyone, and have a lovely week!

SUUUUUUUMMER!

2017-11-08

By Shannel Milne 

I can practically feel it in the air, taste the freedom and it is amazing. The weather is getting warmer, my last assignment EVER is nearly finished and my stress is almost completely vanished. I graduate in a month and my university days are numbered. I can understand that this time of the year is incredibly stressful for a whole lot of students. Exams, study, assignment and more exams. But the end is fast approaching and soon summer will hit. Everyone just needs to stick out these next few weeks! I can see light at the end of the tunnel! I won't go on about taking care of yourself and offering study tips. Everyone knows how they work best, so keep doing you.

To give myself motivation to push through to the end of the semester I plan for the future. This seems like an even more terrifying idea to deal with. What I mean is short term. My 21st birthday is coming up, I graduate and it's summer soon. So plan something to look forward to. Look at planning a weekend away after exams, or an outfit to celebrate in. Give yourself a small goal to achieve so that you have something to distract yourself with. For every hour of study you do, reward yourself with an episode of the new Stranger Things season. (See, not tips on studying... tips on low-key procrastinating).

We've all got this under control! So keep your heads up mentally and down physically. Pick a playlist and power through those notes, reference those assignments and think happy thoughts about the uni-free time on the horizon.

Good luck team!

10 random things I've learnt from being at uni

2017-11-08

By Shannel Milne

2 minute noodles are life

Before uni I ate whatever my mum made me and the idea of going off on my own and eating whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted, thrilled me. At first I loved it. I had pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then my money dried up and 2 minute noodles became the love of my life. I can't cook to save my life so 2 minute noodles are a God send! Plus they're superfast to make and cheap.

Napping isn't just for nannas

Naps man... Need I say more? If you're tired have a nap. If you're stressed, nap. Bored? Nap. I don't know how I survived before I started taking daily naps. 5 minutes or 5 hours, naps are necessary.

You might be broke but you'll always have money for booze

Uni does tend to put your priorities out of whack. Stock up on food or buy a bottle of vodka? I know which one I should do but I always go with the latter. I admit I've spent A LOT of time figuring out when I should buy alcohol and how long it will last me. You never know when you'll next go out so it's best to be prepared.

Pajamas are acceptable attire EVERYWHERE

I don't know if this applies to everyone but I go everywhere in my PJ's and no one blinks an eye. I feel no shame in going to Countdown at three in the afternoon wearing the clothes I slept in.

Course friends are stress relief

Sometimes I check in on my friends/acquaintances from my course just to see if they're still failing at life. A quick message asking if they've started the assignment and getting a "...no" reply always helps ease the pressure. Neither of us really offer the other help but the united struggle is encouragement in itself.

Everyone loves Disney

This one is a no-brainer. Even 20-year-olds will eagerly spend a night binge watching Disney movies.

Laundry can wait

If I still have bikini bottoms then I don't really need to do a load of underwear, do I? It just takes so damn long and wastes the whole day. Even the thought of doing laundry is tiring!

If you haven't considered dropping out, you, my friend, are lying

Early mornings, hard degree, boring paper, homesick or just plan old unsure and confused. Dropping out is a fantasy I entertain all of the time. What would I do with all that free time? I could live the life! I'm not sure what the 'life' is but it must be better than an 8am lecture.

Bad habits are here to stay

The binge eating, lazy days, partying and all the other bad habits are harder to break than I realised! It's always something I tell myself I'll stop after I finish an assignment or the semester or the degree. I still have hope! I go to subway for the $2.50 toasties so often that I'm now very good friends with the people that work there.

My old life was a luxury

I never felt that spoilt living with my parents, sure I am a Princess and revel in being treated like one but... I have never appreciated toilet paper, toothpaste and deodorant so much in my entire life until I had to buy it for myself. It always just showed up when I needed it.

Keeping up good habits over the holidays

2017-10-31

By Tom Vasey

One of the consistent problems I’ve had over the last couple of years is sticking to a half-decent schedule over the holidays. This year, I will be doing a lot of hanging out at work over the next few months, so that ought to create something vaguely resembling a schedule for me, but others might not have the same driving force.

It is very easy, especially if you live with your parents or don’t have a job, to let everything just collapse in on itself. It’s very easy to slip into some bad habits if you don’t keep a close eye on everything you’re doing. Now, of course, there’s a few things you can do to mitigate that.

First of all, it’s a good idea to try and grab a job even if you don’t need one. Even if you live with your family, it’s worth doing, especially since any money you make is pretty much pure profit. This is a good way of keeping to a schedule, which means that you can continue to keep to your other commitments.

If you can do that, there’s a few other things that are worth doing. First of these is going to the gym, if you haven’t already. I’ll be honest, I really enjoy exercising now, even though over the last few years I was more likely to stuff my face with cheap muck. That’s still true today, but to a lesser extent (only 15kg shy off the target weight now!)

Alternatively, this is also a great opportunity to pick up some new hobbies and suchlike. Summer is usually a really nice time to get out and do something different, especially since the nice weather usually has a positive effect on your mood overall. It’s a great idea to get out there and do something you’ve never done before, especially if you’ve been looking for an excuse.

It’s also very important to have a careful think about what you want to do next year, or even see if you can apply for summer school if the fancy takes you. Probably doesn’t hurt to have a few more papers under your belt, but you really have to think about it because summer school involves a rather intense workload.

There’s a lot of possibilities, but I’ll leave you with this: don’t wait for New Year’s Day to start making resolutions. Today could be the day that you decide to do something different with your life, or explore something brand new. It’s not some big decision, either. You don’t have to stand atop the Sky Tower and bellow it into the night. Doing something different is a little decision, and even a little variety will help make everything a bit better.

Take care everyone, and I’ll catch you later!

Change

2017-10-25

By Harris Dowson

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now; almost a month since the election, Winston Peters and New Zealand First reached a decision. The decision they made was one that will change the future of our country. After much deliberation, Winston Peters stated that he would side with the Labour Party and their confidence and supply agreement with the Greens; giving them a majority to lead the New Zealand government. This is huge news and regardless of whether you are happy about this or not, the majority of Kiwis have voted for change and that’s just what we’ve got.

So, what now? What does this “triple threat” government mean for our country and for us as students? Well, hopefully some pretty great things. The definitive roles of each party and the outcomes of their long negotiations aren’t yet apparent, so what this government will actually look like is yet to be seen.  There will certainly be concessions that have been made, some policies that were campaigned on may have had to go by the wayside but this is the just the reality of negotiation and compromise. All these intricacies will become apparent in the next few days but for now there are three major factors that we do know about the new leaders of our country and they’re all positive.

They all agree that there’s a housing crisis.

As Aucklanders, this is great news for all of us. The National government never said out loud that there was a crisis of housing, even when every man and his dog knew there was. The new collation government have all vocally agreed that more houses need to be built. People should be able to save and purchase their own homes and more importantly, not have to live out of their cars because they can’t afford to rent.

They all agree our waterways are dying from pollution.

Farming in our country is causing major damage to our waterways. Many aren’t swimmable or drinkable and the pollution is also doing damage to the ecosystems that depend on them.  Farmers do a lot for the Kiwi economy but continuing like they are just isn’t sustainable. The new coalition government agrees on this and has said it wants to work to save our waterways; while not breaking the backs of our farmers.

They all agree child poverty exists in our country and something needs to be done about it.

The National government denied this fact but it is true. In our beautiful country, there are children going to school with no shoes on their feet or lunch in their bag. That is unacceptable. We know have a government that knows this and is going to change it.

New Zealand has new leadership and this is just the beginning. There’s a lot of work to do yet; but for me, the future looks bright.

Saying goodbye

2017-10-25

By Tom Vasey

I’ve been having a rather interesting week. My group project concluded on Friday, and it was funny to say goodbye to so many people that I’d hung out with for the whole semester. It’s very interesting, actually. Even when you’re talking about people who have consistently gotten on your nerves the whole way through the semester, it’s harder than it probably should be to say goodbye.

By now, it’s probably obvious who you’re not going to see again. Some people might be switching universities, maybe looking at dedicated tech schools or something else. Some people might not cut it in uni altogether, and might be putting their talents to use elsewhere. Others are in very different majors from your own, and you’re going to spot them from time to time, but it’ll never be quite the same as it was. Sometimes you’ll talk to someone and make a noncommittal comment about adding them on Facebook, or maybe they’ll do it, too. Either way, you might just see them again from time to time, when your schedules intersect, but that may be the last you’ll see of them.

It’s a very funny feeling, though one that I’m increasingly used to. I’m in a conjoint degree, and that weird scheduling means that even people in individual majors of mine won’t be in my classes consistently, because obviously I’m balancing Business and Psychology across two campuses simultaneously. It’s pretty heavy stuff, and not always conducive to making friends.

Still, it’s weird to say goodbye to people and realise that you’ll probably never see them again. The funny thing is, it seems to be the case every year, every semester, too. If you have any different papers, then that’ll generally be the last that you see of someone. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and see them again from time to time, or maybe you’ll even be super lucky and have a few classes with the same people, but that might be the extent of it.

So, if you’re interested in having friends consistently throughout uni, there’s a few ways to do it.

First of all, you’ve got some club-related options kicking around. There are faculty clubs, so if you want to actually have a scheduled time to meet people in your degree, then you have that available. On top of that, you also have some other clubs kicking around for mutual interests, or you could even create your own if you can get a few people together. Swing by AuSM and get together for that.

The second option is to befriend people outside of your immediate degree. Most of my friends are engineering majors, which is brilliant because understanding that stuff has made me feel like a more well-rounded person by looking up the stuff they’re on about. I mean, it’s all Greek to me (literally, in some cases), but it’s exciting to learn and university is supposed to give you a pretty broad knowledge base (which is why you don’t just pick rubbish electives, ideally). Scheduling conflicts are already a given, so if you can work around that, then it’s fine.

Truth be told, it’s difficult, and in many cases it’s totally undoable. Still, there may well be one chance to see them again, and it’s a moment that I think of quite often.

Someday, you’ll step onto that stage alongside them, to get that lovely piece of paper at the end of this journey, and you’ll probably meet them again and share memories from years ago. In fact, someday we’re all going to step up there and see people we haven’t seen since our first year in the same big class…and I feel like that’s probably going to be an incredibly emotional day.

At least, I think so. Everyone wearing the robes who I’ve met so far is usually dancing down the street bellowing “I CAN SLEEP AGAIN!”

Must be nice.

Take care, everyone!

Making use of student services

2017-10-16

By Tom Vasey

Hey guys, I’ve been hearing a little grumbling lately about unfair grading, or people who feel like they’ve been messed around by their employers. With exams coming up and the last assignment results being submitted soon, there’s a lot to worry about, and the concern that you may be unfairly graded is real. To be fair, a lot of lecturers and tutors are pretty overworked, and it’s usually an innocent mistake to overlook something or mis-mark an assignment. It does happen, but you needn’t suffer for it.

Fortunately, AUT has several avenues you can go down. Obviously, you can appeal directly through Blackboard or meeting the tutor or lecturer directly. Show your assignment off and try to point out exactly where things seem to have gone wrong. Usually, if you’re earnest and polite, you can get a lot done together. Seriously, never underestimate the value of good manners and an honest discussion.

You can ask for someone else to have a crack at marking your assignments, too. This is good because they might pick up on something that your normal marker missed out on, or be able to understand a point that you were trying to make a little more intuitively. It’s worth doing, but please remember that there’s also a chance of the grade dropping because they notice mistakes the original marker missed, too.

If you’ve been dealing with illness – especially something chronic – there’s also no shame in applying for extensions before the due date, and making sure that you have the appropriate medical documentation for it. You can look up at the Special Consideration tab up at the top right on your Blackboard page to give that a look.

If all else fails, I thoroughly recommend AuSM’s advocacy services, because the people working there do great work and can help plead your case in events where you’re suspected of academic integrity violations, or you need an arbiter for your employer or your markers. It’s well worth it, though for total disclosure I should admit that I’ve made use of those services multiple times myself, and I swear by them.

If you need to use the advocacy service, you need to start by checking their website at ausm.org.nz, or visiting one of the offices on North, City or South Campus. It’s worth mentioning that this is one of the more practical services that AuSM offers, and is probably the best use of the money that goes into them (I would’ve also said the same of Debate until reading some of the issues this year). Though of course there is a plethora of complementary services and goodies that you can get from the office, but advocacy is probably the most practical.

The last little bit of info I’d like to impart today is that some papers will have end of semester “tests”. Just because they don’t explicitly call it an exam doesn’t mean it’s something to be taken lightly. Remember, if it looks like an exam, has conditions like an exam and makes people cry like an exam, it’s probably an exam.

Take care of yourselves, everyone. Hopefully this has been helpful in letting you know what services are available to you during a difficult part of the semester. Good luck this week!

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