The things no one tells you about finishing uni

When it’s 1am and you’ve had too many coffees, too many toasties from Panizi and you’re tapping away at your politics essay, graduation feels like a distant dream. Slowly but surely, every presentation, essay, report and participation mark add up and you’ve finally completed your degree. But there’s a few things that no one tells you about that magical moment you’ve been dreaming of. As someone who’s finished two degrees and is still trying to figure it all out, here are the things that no one tells you about finishing uni.

There’s no minions hiding in your laptop ready to celebrate the moment you hit submit on your final assignment

I remember submitting my last every essay. I was sitting in one of the computer labs in building 17. I pressed submit, took a deep breath, then looked around. Where were the balloons, sparklers and celebrations? I thought the day I submitted my Honours thesis, people around me would break into song and dance. Yet you’re sharply reminded that life goes on, people will continue to nap in South Wing, and sadly, it’s just another day (but for your – a really successful day).

Meeting new people becomes a lot more difficult

I never would have thought that those people I did a group assignment with in my first year would turn out to be my best friends, even now. And I never would have thought I’d still be in touch with the French exchange students I met through the French society. Whilst I like to consider myself a social person, it’s pretty difficult to meet new people once you’ve finished uni. In the professional world, there’s no lunch time uni bar sessions, no starting at 11 after a night out at the Illa, no awkward ice breakers with 25 other students in your class. But one thing uni taught me, is that new friends come from very unexpected places, you just have to make the effort.

What do you call yourself now?

After several years of putting ‘student’ on forms and applications under ‘career,’ you’re now a bit stuck. The most unique species of uni graduate are those who know exactly what they’re doing. This usually applied to those who studied teaching, nursing or engineering, they’re going to be a teacher, nurse or engineer. But what do you become when you study Communications and Media? International Studies? Arts? The beauty, and also the curse, is that there’s no one career for you, and no single career you can put on that form. The best thing about becoming a ‘communicationist’ or ‘international studies person’ is that you can be whatever you want to be.

Comparison-itis is not useful at all

When you finish uni and move in to the real world, and you don’t really know what you’re doing, you will find yourself looking around at your peers and freaking out a little. One of them has a grad position at a big corporation, one’s moving to Spain to teach English, one’s doing a Master’s degree, one’s moving to Melbourne and one’s getting married and starting their own business. Yep, there’s a lot of talented people graduating from UOW. And you’re one of them, even if you don’t have a plan or have it quite figured out, it’s important to stop comparing yourself to others and know that you’re on your own path. Chances are, your peers are looking at your achievements and questioning their own as well.

Fake it til you make it

After several years of being a student, adjusting to life without timetables, tutorials, research projects and Friday afternoons at the unibar, it’s pretty normal to be feeling a bit lost. At the end of the day, people everywhere are faking it til they make it. I’m lucky I’m working in a role that I enjoy, with people who are kind, supportive and inspiring. Am I in my dream job? Not yet. Am I changing the world? Not quite. But am I enjoying the ride? Absolutely! It’s scary and overwhelming finishing uni, always second guessing whether you’re ready, capable or if it’s right for you, but as the saying goes, fake it til you make it!

The thing no one tells you about uni, is that uni is truly a special time in people’s lives. If you belong to the UOW alumni group, we’re some of the lucky people in this world, to obtain a tertiary education at one of Australia’s finest institutions, and privileged to pursue further education. So when you get to wear that royal blue cap and gown, know that you’re leaving something amazing, but you’re more than prepared and capable of moving into the big wide world. Because one day, you won’t have to fake it anymore!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY

My my my… May has been FULL ON! Thinking back on the month that has been, I can’t believe how much I’ve managed to squeeze into 31 days! And it’s crazy to think that in *whispers* 25 days… I’m jetting off on my epic adventure. Whilst I’m currently trying to reframe from ripping my hair out (I’ve got 3 x 40% assignments due in the next few days), I’m also getting ridiculously excited for my trip. It’s served as a great motivational tool to get me through these past few weeks of intense uni work. So… it’s that time again when I recap on my favourite things for this month!

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Testing out the new GOPRO

I bought a GOPRO

The time came and I finally bought a GOPRO! And OMG I’m in LOVE! Now I’m sure you can read a million reviews about GOPROS online but honestly – I just absolutely love it! It’s small, takes amazing quality photos and videos and motivates you to get out there and take some awesome footage! You can check out a little edit I’ve thrown together about my roadtrip.

ROADTRIP!

Speaking of roadtrip (and if you check out the video above) you can see that I had a pretty good time! I work as a student rep at uni and I was lucky enough to be sent away for a week to represent the uni at various careers markets. Whilst a lot of hard work goes in to these trips, it’s always great when you get a chance to unwind at the beach, go for an adventure or explore a new place after a long day at work.

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Showing off at Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle

Lunch with my Grandparents and Family

Because I live about 5hours away from home, I don’t make it home as often as I’d like. And when I do it’s only for such a short amount of time. So I was absolutely ecstatic when my Grandparents called me saying they would be in Wollongong and wanted to have lunch with me. I always love catching up with my family. I’m constantly inspired and reminded of how lucky I am to have such a supportive family who loves and encourages me.

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Lunch with my beautiful grandparents

Uni Work

I know this is ridiculously nerdy, but I’ve really been engaged with a lot of my coursework for the past few weeks. I recently wrote an essay about gender inequality in the work force which I was ridiculously passionate about. At the moment I’m half way through making a short video about empowerment and nudity, again, another topic I find really engaging and important. That’s one of the best things about my degree, it’s not just ‘you have to learn this’ but it’s ‘I want to know more about this…’ 

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 Tunes

I think I’ve been driving my housemates absolutely crazy with how much I’ve played this song lately! I have no idea how I came across this amazing tune but I’m definitely not letting it go anytime soon!

Flume you’ve done it again! Providing the goods to pump us up and sing our little hearts out! This song was the soundtrack to my roadtrip, so every time I hear it, I just think adventure!

And just as an added bonus, this is another fave of mine from May. Again, I somehow stumbled across this one on a late night prowl through Youtube and dayum I’m grateful. This song is perfect when you’re winding down after a long day at work and you’ve got a cup of tea in hand!

Films

I don’t usually include films in my ‘favourites’ list – partly because I usually don’t have enough time to watch them but Oh My God this movie is such a laugh! I’m not sure if it’s because it’s too relatable, laugh out loud worthy or the combination of amazing actors but dayum, this is an absolute MUST for anyone trying to figure out how to be single. 

Quote

A quote I’ve totally been trying to live by this month is the following.. ‘may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears’ – Nelson Mandela. With all of my adventures just around the corner, I’ve been making some awesome plans and I’m soooooo damn excited. Hopes don’t come without fears, and of course it’s only natural to be nervous, but that’s what life is built on!

Choices-hopes-and-fears-quote

Well, June, you’re probably going to disappear way too quickly, so I’m looking forward to smashing out uni and enjoying the time I have left here in Australia before I jet off! I hope your month has been just as wonderful and that June welcomes you kindly.

 

 

 

Hide and Seek: Media Research

“Chercher” the French word meaning ‘to seek’ or better well known by all university students across the globe as… research. That thing you do when you’re wanting to buy a new iPhone 6 only to find out that they bend. Or trying to plan your mid session break to Melbourne enticed by art and coffee to discover that there’s no cheap flights during that time. Or even trying to find out what sort of things your crush is into so you can casually bring them up in conversation. Whether it’s asking your friends or Google questions, if you’re trying to ‘find out more information’ (Berger, 2014) about something chances are you’re researching.

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sourced from: http://meetville.com/images/quotes/Quotation-Zora-Neale-Hurston-curiosity-research-Meetville-Quotes-95733.jpg

However, asking if your crush likes watching Walking Dead’ isn’t at all scholarly research.  Scholarly research is a very ‘systematic and objective’ type of poking and prying, which revolves around correctness and truthfulness’ (Berger, 2014). Ultimately uncovering the truth. Something we can hope to obtain through media research, which is all of the above, applied to aspects of the media, covering mass media, social media, print media, radio, cinema, comics etc, and research into these areas can help us identify links between media, culture, society and individuals.

As identified by Strasburger, there is currently not enough media research, meaning that the problem is ‘important enough to bother with’ (Berger, 2014) and with the ‘effects of the media on children and adolescents’ (Strasburger, 2013) more or less unknown, it provides a space where media research can help fill in the blanks and hopefully minimise risk to those who are vulnerable targets of the media.

Sourced from: http://www.uow.edu.au/research/priorities/index.html
Universities like the University of Wollongong put a lot of emphasis on research. Sourced from: http://www.uow.edu.au/research/priorities/index.html

Trying to decide on what area of media research I’d like to participate in is more difficult than deciding which Johnny Depp film is the best… basically impossible. The media broadcasts an amplitude of messages through diverse mediums, from individuals to multinational companies, reaching people and places across the globe and are uniquely interpreted.

I’m increasingly fascinated by social media and its power and influence on individuals. An area in which I’d like to explore further is the role of the media influencing personal relationships, for example meeting people on Tinder and the medium’s effect on the audience’s view of hook-up culture.

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Sourced from: http://www.glasbergen.com/wp-content/gallery/marriage/mar82.gif

Something else that I am passionate about is equality and feminism. With the Emma Watson speech on feminism last year, it’s a hot topic which has swept the media and I would be interested exploring various aspects of how it’s influenced people. I believe that all of these fields have the potential to be explored on a deeper level because they are increasingly relevant to our society.

As you can see, I’m constantly engaged and interested by many aspects of the media, society, cultures and people. But before I can decide on a topic of interest, I must first do a hell of a lot of research.

xxx A

References

Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’, in Media and communication research methods : an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd ed., SAGE, Los Angeles, pp. 13-32

Strasburger, V.C. 2013, “Spinal Column: Why Isn’t There More Media Research?”, Clinical Pediatrics, vol. 52, no. 7, pp. 587-588

A Girl in Many Worlds

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Sourced from http://images.toywizard.net/0001/barbie-R9912-basic-asst.jpg

Transmedia Storytelling is the communication of a story across various platforms such as movies, social media, comics, video games and books, each of which explore a unique part of the story. When all different stories from all different platforms are combined, we have a more detailed and thorough understanding of the text as a whole. (, 2011).

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Mattel’s Barbie Franchise, is an example of transmedia storytelling due to the many unique platforms, ideas and concepts generated. The original form was a doll, designed for children to dress and roleplay. Generated from the Barbie doll was a whole world. There are various characters (Ken, Skipper), which live in different worlds (Fairytopia, Under the Sea) which are developed by various technology platforms (website, movies). Where people are used to consuming multiple aspects on a daily basis. (Jenkins, 2003) They are all interconnected and tell different parts of a worldwide story, relying on collective intelligence to produce a world in which everyone can immerse themselves.

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Sourced from http://img.wonderhowto.com/img/33/70/63493530208432

Because of the restricted nature and current hype of Tinder, it would be difficult to generate storytelling transmediality. However, using some imagination, there is definitely potential to create an encyclopaedic aspect of Tinder. Perhaps a movie of what occurs after someone is matched? Or a television series of different characters and their interaction with others because of Tinder? Perhaps the ‘swipe’ action could be adapted into other media technologies like Facebook or on television. There are already various Youtube videos which outline people’s unique interaction with others and many memes have been generated.

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Sourced from http://smashmoose.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/3tufz6.jpg

Transmedia storytelling “is a fantastic spine around which to build a more intensive interactive experience” (gauravonomics, 2013), in which it is expected more company’s and individuals will need to embrace in order to maximise audience engagement and participation. Personally, I am drawn to things which contain Transmedic Narratives because I feel apart of the action and accepted within a wider community with similar interests and values. It allows me to immerse myself in another world which I can access anyway I want, anywhere I want, which in today’s consumeristic society, is the expectations. 

References

Future of Engagement #7 : Transmedia Storytelling, People’s Insights Annual Report, MSL group, http://gauravonomics.com/transmedia-storytelling/,  written 11/03/2013, accessed 15/04/14

Henry Jenkins, Transmedia Storytelling, MT Technology Review, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/401760/transmedia-storytelling/, written 15/01/03, accessed 18/04/14

The Power is in Your Hands

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” – John F. Kennedy 

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Sourced from xaxor.com

In the interconnected world of ‘collective intelligence,’ everyone has unique knowledge, ideas and concepts which they can use to develop an individual idea or improve another. “Once you start contributing and sharing and connecting with the work of those who connect with yours, you’re engaging in something called produsage (Stewart, 2012). Produsage is encompassed by a larger concept – Citizen Journalism.

Citizen Journalism is where any individual, regardless of training, knowledge, background or education can contribute towards the media. (Bruns, 2007) The positive aspect of this new wave of journalism, is that it allows individuals in the midst of the action to instantaneously document and broadcast crucial information from their mobile phones, tablets or cameras (Hogg, 2009). The role of  this participatory culture is exemplified through technology’s role in the Arab Spring, where Twitter and Facebook are acknowledged for their unparalleled advances in disseminating information” (Duffy, 2011). However, critics say that Citizen Journalism is biased and shows little understanding of the bigger picture. (Hogg, 2009)

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Sourced from http://www.tamaleaver.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/produsage.jpg

Because Tinder is a closed source technology, there are limited opportunities for people to contribute to the collective intelligence and produsage. However, Tinder embraces the characteristics of produsage of ‘organisational shift’ and ‘unfinished’ (Bruns, 2007). The organisational shift encompasses the shift from technological professionals running the app, to a wider population able to make positive contributions. Users and critics are able to criticise, make suggestions and complaints, and although the user cannot amend it themselves, all feedback is taken into consideration. Because of this ‘organisational shift’ Tinder is in a way, ‘unfinished.’ Significant improvements to security have already been conducted as a result of people’s contribution and Tinder will continue to evolve, improve and modify its components to give its audience what they desire.

Produsage may not greatly affect Tinder, however, it has many effects on other components of our lives which influence our decisions and attitudes towards using apps like Tinder in the first place.

References

Bonnie Stewart, What Produsage is and why it Matters, http://theory.cribchronicles.com/2012/07/03/what-produsage-is-and-why-it-matters/,  July 2012, accessed 11/03/14

Matt J. Duffy, Smartphones in the Arab Spring, International Press Institute 2011 Report, http://www.academia.edu/1911044/Smartphones_in_the_Arab_Spring, 2011, accessed 13/04/14

Axel Bruns, Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation, page 4, http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6623/1/6623.pdf, 2007, accessed 11/04/14

Chris Hogg, Is There Creditability in Citizen Journalism? Digital Journal, http://digitaljournal.com/article/271657, May 2009, accessed 11/04/14