It's a strange feeling of being excited that you're leaving a long period of relaxation into study and work, but that's what I'm feeling. (Mind you, there are plenty of uni students who work hard and earn lots to help them either stay at their residence or continue to pay off the up-front uni fees. There's also another group of uni students--most of us-- who dislike getting back to uni because it means effort. At the same time, it's a convenient socialising venue.) When you've had a few of those incredibly long 3-month holidays given to uni students around the world (some get less--shock! Horror!) you start to get used to it. I'm not sure if that is a good thing. It really depends on how you use it. But I remember feeling a little uneasy during my first 3-month holiday after year 12 and before going on straight into my undergraduate engineering degree. I didn't know what to do! I got a bit of manual work for two weeks, but other than that, I don't know what I did. I think I made an epic list of 'smart' books I wanted to read, but I never got around to it, because that required discipline, and discipline was not my strong point during a 3-monstrous-long-month holiday. For that matter, discipline is not my strong point DURING semester. But at least I'm less bad at it then other times.
It's been a refreshing experience to rub shoulders with eager-eyed first year uni students who are barely out of high-school and have comparatively little world-experience. Many write down every point that the lecturer makes, trying to do everything right. Some will boast proudly that they have bought all their text books on the first day at the Co-op bookstore and that they lugged them home, despite the huge weight. Other first years are just glad to be out of the System and are living this whole experience up. Now that the faculties have been restructed, the Science faculty is very large, embracing Agriculture, Plant and Animal Biology, Sport studies, Psychology, etc. This has meant that a lot of first years pick a variety of 'generic units' which will technically help them to 'diversify their skills and knowledge sets'. What I fear it will lead to is many uni students feeling disorientated and apathetic as they need to plow through non-central units before they focus on their actual specialisation in their masters. It remains to be seen how it goes. But I think many freshers won't really detect the significance of these changes.
I am enjoying immensely the reactions I'm getting when I get asked by a fresher, 'What year are you in?' Oh, I twiddle my thumbs and look absent-mindly around the room, 'Sixth year.' It's usually involves them being shocked and doing a double take. It's a similar sort of story when people ask me how tall I am and then I tell them. I remember when I was a fresher that I viewed a third-year student even as something of a 'uni veteran'. They must be so smart and so worldly-wise. What a disappointment to come to sixth year and realise that we know NOTHING. There is something helpful about that realisation though. You realise you have absolutely nothing to be proud or superior about toward others, based on your knowledge or intellect. It's just plain stupid to boast about NOTHING. Anyway, the little that each of us mere mortals know is a gift, a passing-on of collective knowledge (Unless of course you are a PhD student/ researcher and in that case you may just maybe passing on a tidbit of info that humans hadn't known before. If so, thanks.)
Yesterday, I was taking note of what everyone was wearing. It was like a free, unofficial fashion work. Hey, the models didn't even know they were performing! They hadn't a clue that they had an audience of at least one person that day! 'course, we all know that everyone watches everyone. But let's just pretend that that isn't the case. I was the only spectator! I noticed that for guys it's the light, washed-out look for short shorts that was common as well as jean-shorts and boardies. For the ladies, mini-shorts were featuring a lot with one girl sporting a high-waist minishort. Lots of shirts tucked into the short--surprising how fashion is so fickle,as few years ago this would have been a huge no-no--as well as big shirts folded at the sleaves. Loose, thin-material tops were also very common for both genders. One article of clothing I forgot to observe closely was shoes!
Well, that's it folks. A run down of fashion, freshers and feelings @UWA, 2012, Week 1. Stay tuned...