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Self-reflection, planning & habit building to conquer your 2022 goals

It's never too late to set (or adjust) your objectives and make a strategy, no matter where you are right now. ...

My favourite time of year is the beginning of the new year. I get that it has a poor reputation for being an arbitrary time of year to “transform your life,” and that New Years’ resolutions are notorious for failing by February. Maybe 2021 was a really good year for you, and you’re on a roll. Or perhaps you’ve had a particularly rough year and are feeling trapped and uninspired. It’s never too late to set (or adjust) your objectives and make a strategy, no matter where you are right now.

 

Success is never a by-product of chance; it is the outcome of deliberate preparation and concentrated work. You must plan for 2022 if you want it to be better than the previous year. For years, I’ve utilised a monthly system of self-reflection and planning, and it’s been crucial in helping me become a more thoughtful, focused, and happier person.

 

 

 

Look Back Before You Look Ahead

As we welcome the year 2022, I’ve put up a list of questions you should ask yourself to help you create realistic goals:

 

  • What can you do better in 2022?
  • What went horribly wrong in 2021, and how can you avoid it?
  • What limiting behavioural patterns did I repeat this year?
  • What contributed to your growth (even if it was just a little bit) in 2021?
  • Who boosted my energy levels most? Who drained my energy levels most?
  • What types of goals do you want to fulfil in 2022 (e.g. career, lifestyle, family, mental health)?
  • Which habits had the most positive impact on my life?
  • Which habits had the most negative impact on my life?
  • What’s the biggest realisation you’ve had in 2021?
  • What worked and didn’t work in 2021 and what needs to change to achieve success?

 

3 Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals in 2022

 

 

  1. Write down what you want to achieve

 

Do you plan on writing a book this year? Do you want to eat more healthily? Do you want to start meditating? Imagine having unlimited access to whatever you desire and only having to choose from a menu.

 

 

  1. Write down your next steps

 

After you’ve worked out what you want, write down what you’ll need to do next to get there. Start by asking yourself these questions:

 

  • What are my restrictive behavioural patterns and what can I do to fix them?
  • How can I do more of the things that have had a positive impact on my life?
  • How can I do less of the things that have had a negative impact on my life?

 

If you’re starting a new book, for example, the following stage may be to come up with some book ideas or write a page. Keep it brief and straightforward so that your next step is something you can do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

 

Don’t overcomplicate things; getting started is the key to achieving ambitious goals.

 

 

  1. Take action — starting today

 

It’s time to get started now that you know what you want and have your next steps mapped out. What five goals would you set for yourself if you had just one year to accomplish them? After you’ve selected your five goals for the year, prioritise them so you know where to focus your energy.

 

Here’s a pro tip: when something is truly important to you, go after it now – today.

Examine your to-do list and choose one item that you can start today. You’ll be astonished at how much progress you can achieve this year if you follow this approach consistently. Additionally, consider using a spreadsheet or Notion template to monitor your goals.

It doesn’t have to be grand; just do something to get you closer to your goals and resolutions for 2022. Want to exercise more in 2022? Do a 10-minute workout today. Want to write more for W’SUP next year? Write a 500-word article today. Want to read more books? Read for 15 minutes today.

Studies have shown that group study sessions can increase productivity. Photo: Tulane Public Relations/Wikimedia Commons, published under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

5 Daily Habits to Become a Learning Machine in 2022

Learning does not end when you acquire your formal degree; rather, it begins at that moment. “Wisdom is not a product of learning, but of a lifetime endeavour to acquire it,” Albert Einstein observed. I’ve discovered that the more I study, the sharper my thinking gets, the more opportunities I create, and the more meaningful my life becomes. This is why, in order to acquire as much wisdom as possible, I’ve set a few reading and study routines.

  1. Curate Your Online Media

Instead of serving as a source of inspiration and learning, most people’s social media feed serves as a source of entertainment and gossip. What if, instead of meaningless entertainment, you were met with inspiring accounts that taught you new things when you opened Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube? The average Australian spends about 1h 46m a day on social media. With so much time spent on social media each day, it’s a good idea to focus on self-improvement while curating your digital feed.

  1. Make Self-Education a Top Priority

I’m not here to criticise the tertiary education system; rather, I’m here to encourage self-education. Learning does not end when you graduate from TAFE or college or university; rather, it begins. You can acquire any skill at any time of day because of the internet’s abundance of knowledge. There’s a wealth of knowledge available at your fingertips, whether it’s through YouTube videos, blog articles, online courses, SkillShare classes, books, email newsletters, or podcasts. There are no excuses.

  1. 1 Hour of Entertainment → 1 Hour of Learning

I’m not suggesting that you eliminate all forms of entertainment from your life. You know you don’t have to live like a Spartan. That isn’t much fun in life. Do you, on the other hand, require 5+ hours of entertainment every day? What if you swapped an hour of Netflix or social media for an hour of reading, listening to a podcast, taking a course (on Skillshare or Coursera), or something else? This one modification in your daily routine will have a significant impact on your personal and professional growth. To put it another way, one hour of daily reading equates to 45–55 novels each year.

  1. Broaden Your Horizons and Stop Judging People

Everyone, in my opinion, can teach us something. Every individual, whether a janitor or a highly successful CEO, a criminal or a monk, has something to teach us. The majority of individuals, on the other hand, allow their egos, beliefs, and judgments to come in the way of keeping an open mind and learning from others. A spiritual person is labelled as a freak. A successful entrepreneur is labelled as a workaholic. They consider a wealthy investor to be a jerk. A closed mind is characterised by rapid judgement. Fixed beliefs are indicated by a closed mentality. They are an indication of someone who refuses to learn. What if you put aside your judgement and replaced it with curiosity? What if you began inquiring about other people’s opinions, habits, and day-to-day activities? This does not imply that you must agree with everyone, but it does imply that you must retain an open mind. Overall, let go of your ego, judgments, and beliefs so that you may broaden your horizons and learn from others.

While books have been slowly translating over to digital media platforms such as Kindle, nothing beats that antique book smell. Photo: Julia Spranger/Wikimedia Commons, published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.
  1. Read Books. Seriously.

Reading books is the biggest life hack there is. To no one’s surprise, the average millionaire reads more than 24 novels every year. Books have taught me more about entrepreneurship, marketing, and investing than my university degree ever did. Here’s what I recommend if you want to make reading a stronger daily habit: Make it a part of your morning or evening routine by scheduling it in your calendar app or productivity planner. Sign up for a free trial of an audiobook service to read on the move and most importantly, turn your ‘dead time’ into learning time (e.g., a daily 1-hour commute can be used to listen to audiobooks).

Also, if you haven’t read James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, I strongly advise you to do so. Here are a few inspirational phrases that have remained with me and will get you pumped for 2022:

 

  • “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
  • “You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”
  • “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”
  • “Success is the product of daily habits — not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
  • “When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different.”
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Uni tips and tricks: for all of you first years

Ah, autumn. The season of change, with your cool weather, jumpers for days and the reminder that Easter is right around the corner. And a new year of ...

Ah, autumn. The season of change, with your cool weather, jumpers for days and the reminder that Easter is right around the corner. And a new year of university to be kicked off.

Students can finally sign our campus names on the WSU rants page rather than ‘Zoom Campus’. But if you enjoyed the forced online learning, you do you. Those who have a cat or needy pets understand the pain, and therefore, online does not work for us.

But back to the topic at hand – the point of this article is to welcome the first-years or students who have transferred from other schools to Western Sydney. And what better way to welcome them than to teach them how to cheat the system?

Yes, that is right! You can cheat, although not academically, at uni.

But how, you might ask? This article will guide the new children into saving what little money they have (cause let us face it, we’re ALL poor), and making the most out of their new academic life.

Campus Life: Photo taken by Tileah Dobson

Free breakfast

The student council offers free breakfast for students throughout the semester on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You can grab some toast, cereal or cheese toasties between 08:30 am – 10:30 am. However, their locations differ for each campus.

Hawkesbury campus

Chatwells L2 Café (Building L2)
Piccolo me – Building K4 (Stable Square)

Kingswood campus
Piccolo Me – Building T, Campus Library
Three Cows – Building O, Food Hub

Campbelltown campus

Jamaica Blue (Building 2)

Bankstown campus
Chartwells Coffee Shop – Building 1
Oliver Brown – Building 1

Parramatta South
Chartwells Bakehouse (Building ER)
Chartwells Boilerhouse (Building EKB)
Oliver Brown (Building EG)
Piccolo Me (Building EA)

Liverpool
Academic Café (Ground floor of the campus)

Parramatta City
Chambers Coffee Shop (1PSQ)
Piccolo me (1PSQ)

If you have any questions regarding this freebie, you can contact the student experience officer, Larissa Baker through her email.
Note: Free breakfast is not available during mid semester break (April 27-29)

Student Parking

For those who prefer to drive to school, there is student parking available. They run from the 1st December each year and are available to be purchased in early January. The prices vary depending on which permit you purchase:

  • Pay and Display one-day parking permit at Parramatta South – $9
  • All other campuses – $7
  • Half Year General Yellow parking permit
    student – $47
  • Annual General Yellow parking permit
    student – $94

Now, if you want to save coins where you can, you’d be better off not purchasing a permit and not driving to campus if you can. Despite paying the permit, you’re not guaranteed a parking spot. This then makes you question why to bother in the first place, then you get mad at yourself, and the uni and life in general.

It’s a sad spiral down to madness. And it’s your first year, and you have the rest of your degree to become madder than the hatter. But fret not, there is another solution:

Shuttle buses/student opal cards

The uni offers free shuttle buses for students who travel via public transport. You can track where the bus schedule is, the route it takes and how long until it arrives through the Shuttle Tracker on the Western Sydney Uni app.

Yes, it may take a little longer to get to school if you take the shuttle bus but think of the money you’ll save! And you can meet new people whilst you wait for the bus to arrive.

Apply for a student concession card and opal card for reduced rates.

However, please note that at the moment, wearing a facemask on shuttle buses is mandatory. Since we can’t exactly maintain social distancing on them, be a pal and cover it up.

Western Sydney Uni App: Photo by Tileah Dobson

Western Sydney University’s App

If you have a smartphone device, download the free Western Sydney Uni app. This little thing can make it easier to find all necessary information. From the shuttle bus, to clubs, directories and even check your student email. It’s convenient and most importantly: free.

Textbooks

In your first year, online textbooks are free. Save your money and don’t buy any of them. After your first year, then you can try and borrow the textbooks from the library or download Adobe Digital, a free software, that enables to you download the textbook for free. Catch is, it’s only available for 24 hours and then gets deleted. But you can download it again afterwards.

Or, if you do want to buy the textbook, by a second hand one from https://studentvip.com.au/wsu/textbooks. They buy textbooks from graduating students or students who don’t need them anymore and sell it cheaper. A great way to commercially support one and another while not letting your wallet cry too much.

WesternLife

A great little hub that offers a variety of services. From checking in on your mental health, joining clubs, assisting online students and updating you on all upcoming events at the university. Take advantage of this service, you won’t be disappointed.

Queer room

A safe place established by the Queer Collective for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or other sex/gender identities. A great place to make friends in this inclusive environment and there is one located on every campus.

Bankstown
1.1.212

Campelltown
4.G.07

Hawkesbury
K4.G.100

Parramatta South
EB.3.16

Parramatta City
1.1.37

Penrith (Kingswood)
N.G.12

Women’s room

The women’s room is maintained by the Women’s Collective, and provides a safe space for all the ladies to use as a study room, breastfeeding, meetings or women’s events. There is a women’s room on every campus. The lovely ladies at the Women’s Collective also engage in events to support those who have experienced violence – sexual, mental, physical or emotional in nature. Also, free pads – because who says no to that kind of freebie?

Bankstown
2.G.08 (via 2.G.12)

Campelltown
2.2.05

Hawkesbury
K4.G.74

Parramatta (South)
EB.G.16

Parramatta (City)
1.1.33

Penrith (Kingswood)
N.G.13

TalkCAMPUS

Another free app for you. University life can be overwhelming and often leave you feeling like you’re drowning or overwhelmed. Especially if you’re moving from being the big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a very large (and often confusing) pond. Never sacrifice your mental health for a grade. Yes, you’re at university to get a degree and open your career path. But at the end of the day, you still need to look out for the most important thing in life: Yourself.

TalkCAMPUS is a 24/7 app that allows students to chat with each under anominity. It’s a great way to vent to someone who’s been in your shoes and support fellow students. It’s even avaible in 25 languages for our international students.

Student Discounts

What comes with the title of a student, are the discounts. Find whatever discount you can and use it. Spotify offers student discounts, UNiDAYS offers exclusive deals for students, as does a variety of food outlets. Don’t be afraid to ask if there is one.

These are all of the tips and tricks that many of us wish we knew in our first year at school. So this is us from 2nd year and above passing down our nuggets of wisdom to you, the fresh batch of students. Welcome to Western Sydney University!

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Something wicked this way comes

Some spooky events that students can attend to this Halloween....

Time to take the skeletons out of your closet for a spooktacular Halloween at one of these freaky events.

October has become the month for all things spooky and groovy, providing a legit excuse for wearing scary-looking costumes, and decorating your home with jack-o-lanterns.

While the ever-growing popularity of Halloween in Australia is most likely due to the influence of American-produced movies and television shows, the event itself is widely believed to originate from ancient Celtic practices. Halloween is said to be the night where spirits visit and mix with humans, and we dress up to disguise and protect ourselves from those ghostly visitors who may wish to do us harm.

Whether you believe in spirits or prefer to drink them, there is plenty to do for those living west of Sydney’s CBD for Halloween this year. Here are our top three choices:

WSU Halloween Cruise

Western Sydney University’s Campus Life is hosting a Halloween cruise on Thursday, 1 November. This event has been extremely popular in previous years, and going by the number of tickets already sold, the event will see several hundred students party the night away.

Tickets are only $60 for both WSU students and non-students. Yes, you read it right, you don’t have to be a WSU student to attend so take your friends. With pizza, unlimited* beer, wine and soft drinks included, it is a night you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to bring your ID as this is a strictly 18+ event.

The hosts will be checking IDs for age and won’t admit those who may be under 18. The duration of the trip is three hours and you can find tickets here or follow the Facebook event right here.
Click here to get tickets or for more information.

Fear-a-phobia

Looking to scream your guts out and the fright of your life? Test your bravery at Fear-a-phobia. From 18-20 October, and then again from 25-27 October, Hawkesbury showground will be transformed into US-style Halloween scare attraction.

This will be the third year in which Fear-a-phobia will take place. With over 100 actors ready to make you scream and run for your life, as well as three new attractions including one that allows you to obtain a death certificate and be “buried alive,” this event is not for the faint-hearted.

There are also prizes for both best and worst dressed, so dress to impress on this night of fright. Only nine minutes away from Hawkesbury Campus, come on down … if you dare.

You can book your tickets at their website  or follow their Facebook page at “Fearaphobia Sydney”. Tickets are $40/$60. Alcohol is not permitted on site for this event and people under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not allowed to enter.

Lithgow Halloween Festival

Lithgow in the Blue Mountains sees an invasion of monsters, ghouls, witches, zombies and the like arrive every year around Halloween. This year the event takes place on 27 October and will see a street parade, live performances, a skull auction, prizes for best dressed and more.

It’s an impressive and unique event as practically the whole town dresses up in Halloween costumes and hangs out on the main street, tasting local foods, going on rides, and finding solace in being a lost soul.

If you have never seen an entire family of Frankensteins before, this is where you’ll find them. This family event is free to attend – just roll up in your costume. To discover more, visit halloween.lithgow.com.

*Responsible service of alcohol guidelines under NSW legislation apply

Story by the W’SUP team

 

Students actively preparing for their exams.