#TellMeWhatYou’reThinking

Hey, hey, hey! And I’m back again; lucky you!?

So, like every other time, let’s get to it with today’s topic: Facebook.

What’s Facebook? If you don’t know in the infinitesimally small probability that you’re unaware of what ‘this’ is, to sum things up, it is a social networking site, where individuals are able to set up profiles from which they are able to ‘add’ other profiles (and thus individuals) as ‘friends’, ultimately enabling each other to communicate with one another on a personal (via messages) and, on a more prominent, public (status updates as to what you’d like all your ‘friends’ to know, photos you have uploaded, and things you like). It is a highly evident and prominent site, at least in Western culture, where every needs to know when, where, how, who with, and why things are happening.

Like the next person, I myself have a Facebook account, and somewhat sheepishly admit that I do use it daily (in conjunction with emails, YouTube, Wikipedia etc., but to a lesser extent). The problem of the day is not in itself, Facebook, but what I have essentially brought upon myself.

I don’t know about you, but I find that many of us have those few people on our Facebook as our ‘friends’, who are basically people you “know” – by that, I mean you know of them, I suppose; besides their birthdays which Facebook informs you of or their weekend shenanigans, once again posted on Facebook, you know little else about their existence, besides the fact that they have entered your life (regardless of its minimal impact) – but in reality, as mean as it sounds, you have limited care for.

Most of the time, these people don’t bother you; they just live their lives, you live yours, and on the rare occasion, you get an insight into one another’s life thanks to this site. But there’s always a but, isn’t there? There are those fewer people, who frustrate you. Annoy you. Rattle you to the bones. These facts don’t matter, you still have them on Facebook, and being so lazy that you’re unable to simply click a few buttons to ‘un-friend’ these people, you retain them, and get aggravated later on.

How, though; or more or less, why? I’ll tell you why. These people are the ones who over-post. By that, I mean they take advantage of their ability to ‘status update’, but they take that up a notch. Frequent doesn’t even come close in describing how often they post. So, that’s strike one, yeah? The fact that, yes, I have these people on Facebook does mean I am interested in their lives and events. But this is to a certain extent. And the numerous times they post in a day is just too much.

What makes things that much ‘better’ is the content of what they post: utterly useless and questionable. When I say questionable, it’s more so in the context of ‘why? Nobody cares…’. For instance, people who have connect their InstaGram with their Facebook (which is great isn’t it? Enabling these people to share even more than they do now?). It was not until these last few months that I realised that I have a real and immense passion for looking at photography of your lunch. I mean, sometimes, the food does actually look quite nice – I’ll admit that, but besides the possible reason that it was a special occasion and the food is actually something to be gobsmacked about, why share it? This just leads up to people thinking it’s alright to take photos of their McDonalds. There’s no novelty in these photos. Alternatively, there are the few, despite living in the same area as you, think that you are, for some dumbfounded reason, unaware of the weather. For those people, I am fortunate enough that I live in a house with windows; you know those clear, glass panes in the facet of my house – yeah, the way if you don’t have curtains, you can see what’s inside the house? Well, people inside the house can look outside as well. Strike two.

My last ‘little bit’ (mainly because I am exhausted) are the hypochondriacs. You know, those people who are adamant that they have something wrong with themselves, despite being in perfect (or as normal as one can be) physical condition. Or alternatively, those people who are constantly victimising themselves, whether explicitly or implicitly. I mean, if you were to do it on the very rare occasion, so, if you having a complaint or saying something was wrong wasn’t the norm, I think I would be at least slightly sympathetic. But guys… If it’s a daily matter, I’m going to go beyond not giving the slightest of cares. It actually becomes a burden, and sometimes, it even provides me with a good laugh. For one, many of you cannot be sick with the ‘flu’ that often. As far as physical ‘norms’ go, it’s not possible. You’re either exaggerating your situation (sneezing because of a bit of dust does not mean you’re sick), or you’re actually sicker than having the flu, so you need to see a specialist. As for the predominant portion of ‘you’, stop complaining (ironic, I know), especially in ways which obligate those who ‘care’ to ask you “what’s wrong babe?”. Like, for example, saying something along the lines of “I’ve had it. I’m over it. I don’t care anymore.”, or “why do people say so-and-so to people like me, but then completely ignore what others are doing?”. Oh. My. God. You’re probably making these situations up in your mind, because these things cannot occur this frequently to you, and hopefully, society has enough decency to be above what you’re making it out to be. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I’m almost certain that your outlook on your day, let alone your life, truly affects how the events of your life impact you – go into it negatively and self-‘victimisingly’, and you will end up coming out of it the same or even worse. And for those few people who apparently have good intentions by asking what’s wrong with them, in many of these cases, they’re just after attention. Do not feed the animals will be the principle. I mean, if it seems serious, by all means intervene and make sure they’re alright, but most of the time, it’s not. So, don’t comment, and maybe in the delightfully hopeful future, they will one day stop.

That’s all for now, folks; will chat with you soon, I’m sure!

#FirstWorld

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#Shhhhh

Hello to all ‘my peeps’ out there! lol jokes, I’m just talking to myself… Again… Awkward!

Anyhow, new post, new topic! Let’s begin.

So, it is needless to say that we live in a, still fairly new, technological age, where we are all (in at least one form or another) dependent on technology. And one of the benefits and hindrances is the accessibility of information. As far as this post is concerned, I won’t get into the undeniable fact that this accessibility has invasive and frightening affects – I’ll leave that for another time; so, right now, I’m referring to the way we utilise technology in the form of computers, laptops, iPads etc. to access the internet in order to find out more and acquire more knowledge. In that sense, that’s fine – I mean, we all adapt and keep up with the pace of the world.

But with that being said, I am, to a certain extent, slightly traditional in that, I ‘enjoy’ going to the library. I like the fact that it doesn’t hurt my eyes to read what’s in front of me, and the touch and smell that emanate from the pages and ink; I enjoy the peace in which you’re able to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world, and just dive into your thoughts, or get that last bit of work done and dusted to achieve that sense of satisfaction – you know, that feeling when you know you no longer have those few things you need to complete before being able to completely immerse yourself into relaxation mode.

For those who aren’t really familiar with the library, I think they’re subject to negative preconceptions regarding libraries. Yes, we’re in the technological age, but that, by no means, prevents new books from being printed, and therefore, the books contained within the library are not all out of date. If anything, you’re probably more likely to find out of date works on the internet – at least with the books, they tell you who published it and when to qualify its reliability. Also, the library is not all strict, prissy little ladies who hush and reprimand you for every audible sound you utter; on the contrary, I find that the majority are sociable, and somewhat laid back.

But here’s the problem: the library actually isn’t strict enough.

As mentioned earlier, I like the peacefulness of the place. I can get things done – there’s a lack of distractions, and the atmosphere of the place is supposed to motivate you to study and work. This isn’t a social watering hole. On numerous occasions have I been at the library where there have been clusters of students who are supposedly ‘studying’ for their exams… With their friends. Just to let you know, I’m practically certain that what ‘controversial’ events that the other people in your year got up to last Friday night will not be in your upcoming Biology exam. Just call it instinct. And I’m also pretty sure that no one else in the library really cares to hear of it either. No offense, though. Anyhow, if you’re simply here for a social session, why not spend it outside? The sky is blue, the birds are singing – let the outside world enjoy your company, instead of having a hissy when the few people around you give you frustrated glares and exasperated sighs.

On the topic of the above, sure, you obviously have the right to use the computers for your study. But don’t claim to study and then log into Facebook, then go on to talk to each other about what you read. And on top of that, make sure you don’t post status updates on Facebook, whether it be serious or sarcastic, about how productive you are being, because I can assure you, beside the few people who are apparently daft enough to take that bait of yours, no one else really cares, and they are more or less complaining about you.

I’m subject to listening to my iPod more often than not while I study. It just helps me to disconnect from the rest of the library, that’s all – I know that it probably isn’t beneficial as far as studying effectively goes, but it’s just what I do. So with respect to that, I’m fine with other people listening to their iPods or whatever musical device they use; I can’t see why many people would be opposed to that, except for its probable effects on studying. But I’m pretty sure there is a problem when I can most definitely hear what your listening to over what I’m listening to and the general noises within the library. And of course, the frequent perpetrators of this are those who enjoy listening to the loudest and most aggressive of music. People, we’re not in your bedroom; nor did I ask if I could share one of your earphones as to listen to what your favourite song is. Also, I can’t imagine being deaf at the age of 20 is on anybody’s bucket list. So for the love of God, turn your music down!

Ok, even though the post is still an essay and a half like usual, my next point is going to be my last since I should be studying… Awkward, again.

My final point is for those who seem to think bringing in hot or noisy food is all right. Now, don’t get me wrong, I admit that I have brought food into the library before – even, to be a hypocrite, some hot food, but that was when I was younger, and stupid. Oh, so stupid. Anyhow, nowadays, if I do choose to smuggle a few snacks here and there into the library for a much needed energy boost, I make sure that it is something that people cannot hear me eat, and also that they cannot smell my food. I think that’s fair, especially since I’m not touching any of the books in the library or the computers after eating – more often than not, I’d be reading my study notes or typing away on my laptop. But I guess not everyone can be as conscientious as me (lol). For instance, just a few days ago, I was studying away at a desk near the computers, all the other spaces having been taken. First off, there are these few people to my left who are adamant t chat away every so often. Second off, no one in the computer section seemed to have come accustomed with the invention called the earphones, or the mute button on the computers – I swear, each individual was guilty of playing something on YouTube or a site out loud before realising everybody could hear everything, at least once each. But then, one lady walks in. She sits down at a computer – all okay at the moment. But then, she unzips her backpack, then unleashes her paper bag of fast food which she had bought moments before from the shop across the road. For the next fifteen minutes, as I was trying to read my textbook, all I could hear was her crunching her paper bag and paper wrappings as loudly as her fists could manage, and smell the odorous wafts of her food. I don’t know whether she thought she was being cunning and sly as she sat at the computer behind a wall, hiding her from the front desk, but she was, by all means, not subtle at all! And once she had completed her meal, she continues to use the computer.

So, basically, I just find that despite the library having a reputation for being a place to accommodate learning and studying, much of its users are not being respectful for those who intend to use it just for that. It’s rude and inconsiderate, and if so many people are wanting a social hub, then the government should invest in that.

That’s it. Simply.

Thanks guys, got to go now!

#FirstWorldLife

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#ChequeCreditOrSavings

Hello to my rare, yet existent, readers, and sorry that I hadn’t been around as of late – university, work and life in general have been quite hectic. I won’t delay my rant; let’s get right into it, shall we?

So, for the few, whoever they may be, I’m going to reveal (out of obligation in order to understand the context of this rant) another fact about myself: like many of us First-World-students out there, I have a casual time job – I mean, we need to support our youthful lifestyles somehow, don’t we? I mean, it’d be ideal not to have a job but instead have a steady flow of income streaming into your bank account, leaving you to be more than comfortable. But no; of course that isn’t the case.

Anyhow, that wasn’t exactly the fact. The fact is that I work in retail. Do not get me wrong, although this being the topic, I’m grateful for the fact that the first ‘real’ (well, as real as it can get when you’re after a casual time job of decent wage while you’re a student) job I managed to obtain via an interview and retain it for however long it has been (I’d give it maybe 9, maybe even 10 months, so clearly, the term ‘retain’ is used quite loosely here). But that doesn’t stop me from feeling somewhat and somehow victimised.

So, I’m not sure whether you personally have endured the position of a retail assistant, or you know of someone who has, but for those who haven’t, sure, the pay is average (at least, it’s what my age group is supposed to earn, as opposed to the wage of those who work in food services who are paid a smaller amount), but words cannot express the mental and emotional endurance it requires. And this having been my first job, my God, it hit me like a brick wall. Coated in concrete. Then encased inside iron sheets.

Mind you, myself and various other individuals attained a position for the holiday period – at that point, I can’t say I had that much to complain about. I mean, there were the odd things here and there I didn’t understand or did wrong, but I was certainly not alone. And luckily for a few others and yours truly, the manager had decided to keep us on. Hurrah for me, right?

But since then, the holidays have finished – no more relaxing and socialising whenever I’m not earning my pay. Instead, I got to ‘delightfully’ replace those blissful days with university. As mentioned in a prior post, I’m not exactly the happiest of the bunch as far as my tertiary education is concerned; the commute and the contact hours are deadly by itself, let alone the assignments and the obligation to be always socially conscious. Anyhow, what I am trying to say is that, with the new job and university life joining forces, I began to feel that aforementioned brick wall. I didn’t come out of it unconscious, but I have felt delusional and depressed from the stress.

So, the cause of my downfall: the job. Like I had said, I’m grateful, truly. And there are great discount perks as well, and I personally think that having such a person-to-person contact job has helped me to be at least slightly more sociable and outgoing – or as far as my socially inept character has enabled me to grow. But still… At the end of my shift, every time I am amazed at the sloppiness and inconsideration of people. I understand that being the customer, you have the right to, I suppose, utilise the assistance to its fullest – I mean, they’re working in order to come into our store and purchase whatever products, and essentially, that’s what us assistants are doing. Yet, I think everyone has taken this too far. For instance, we have certain clothes folded on tables out the front of the store – obviously, they’re often popular items so that customers are lured inside. I can accept a few of these items being unfolded and tossed around to see what it’s like, et cetera, but I find that, despite each pile having the same item but in different sizes, there are always those people who don’t seem to understand that. By this I mean that even though a whole pile may be of the same style, there is an individual who, for some unknown reason, will go through half the pile and unfold everything to their fullest extent, just to check that they are actually the same. Then leave them there, because she only realised at the end of her expedition that she was no longer interested in it.

Then there are the coat hangers. I personally didn’t realise how difficult people found hanging clothes up to be mind-blowingly excruciating. If I had received even 5 cents for every time someone had put the item back in (obviously) the wrong spot (which causes problems when they carelessly place them on racks labelled for items of reduced prices, when the item is full price), the item was hung up inside out or backwards, the hanger itself was backwards, or they hadn’t even bothered to hang them (instead just left them on the floor), then, no joke, I probably would not need a job to fund the rest of my life.

We also get these customers who ask whether we have anything in the storeroom. People, if we had them, and there was space for them or there was a lack of that item, do you not think that us workers have got the common sense to put them out? I understand that retail may not be deemed as the most ‘academic’ job, but we are not stupid. And many of us are actually trying to do what we can in order to make things easier for you, and ultimately to get you to purchase items, despite being treated like the lowest of servants. Then there was this one time when a lady (with a guy, who was clearly her son) comes in and asks whether we had the jacket that was displayed on the mannequin. I reply with something along the lines of ‘we’ve sold out’ (but phrased much more politely and amicably). To this, in order to satisfy her precious son, who does not seem as into the jacket as she makes it seem, the lady asks if the jacket on the mannequin is for sale, to which I respond that it is not – we’re not allowed by the manager to sell them, as 1) it requires the dismantling of the mannequin 2) there would be nothing to replace the removed jacket with since we’ve sold out, and 3) we’re prohibited from selling those, as the styles on the mannequins are set by the company. To this, she questions as to why we’re advertising clothing which we don’t sell. Now, she didn’t query this in so much as an aggressive manner, but she clearly had an intention to be a smart-arse, as she adds that annoying, ‘cheeky’ smile at the end. To that lady: do you not understand what the term “sold-out” means? I am trying to tell you that we sell them, but we have run out because you were too late. We’re probably going to get more, and when we do, we’re not going to put them all on different mannequins and not sell them. You’re not being smart, so stop trying belittle me, because this is not my fault, and I am not being daft. Go home. Please.

And the change rooms. The state of these change rooms have been on the verge of pushing me into a metal breakdown. I get that you might leave clothes you try on on the floor for you to clean up later on when your heart desires – I mean, I do it too – but this isn’t your home; not even remotely close. And if it was, next time you’re around, feel free to vacuum the place as well. You don’t understand how time consuming it is to grab the twenty-or-so items you have so kindly left behind, turn them back inside-out, hang them up or fold them, then return them to their original location in a store which rearranges itself monthly, while having to focus on customer service, shoplifters, and the cashier. Especially when your selfishness results in us assistants being told off by our bosses, regardless of how hard we have been working.

I know I have been going for ages, but there is still plenty more to come, so if you have not yet figured out that this is an extensive essay and a half on why I am despising my retail job at the top because it is merely adding unwarranted stress on top of my other concerns, I am telling you now that by no means are you obligated to read on (assuming that you have made it this far!)

Customers. Ugh. There are the few that are the sweetest, or the funniest; just those handful of people who don’t have a life goal to ruin your shift. Thank you. Genuinely, bless you. But for the rest of you… Like many other retail stores, we’re required to promote other items while we’re serving customers. I’m not sure if you don’t know this, but we HAVE to ask you whether you wanted to buy this item for this reduced price, or sign up to our mailing list. So with that amazing revelation, do not give us the dirtiest look you can muster because we are doing our jobs, and also do not cut us off rudely or comment condescendingly – we don’t come into your office job, shuffle and tear forms and documents, and shout obscene comments at you about what you’re doing wrong. Also, many of us who work here are not that inept or deceitful: we do not go out of our way to lie to you about our refund and exchange policy, so do not come back a few weeks later being adamant that you were told otherwise regarding your unwanted items; and no, when we ask you whether you want to make a charity donation, we are not pocketing these funds for ourselves. That would be stealing. That is illegal. We are not thieves. Do you get it now? Or would you like a picture? And there is one manager. The rest of us are simply casual workers. So when I imply that I’m just a casual, doing as I am asked, and the manager is not here today, do not persist your concerns. I have clearly addressed them to the best of my ability – I had a customer who, throughout a discussion, repeatedly said “Oh, I couldn’t give a shit etc. etc. it doesn’t affect me etc. etc. But is your manager here?”. If you don’t care, I can’t do anything about your problem, and I have said the manager is not here… Why are you still here? I have found that, even though I have been in retail for under a year, many of the people need to understand that a lot of the problems are not our fault – if they are, they were not done intentionally, and we sincerely apologise, and will do what we can to rectify this. Yes, you might be slightly annoyed, but many people take far too an aggressive and abusive stance – don’t yell at us, because we already feel guilty, and it probably makes us more nervous and panicked, and more likely to make another mistake. Just because you have clearly had a bad day does not, in the slightest way, give you the permission nor the justification to ruin another individual’s day, especially when they’re doing what they can to help you out. Ugh!

I’m fine with you guys bringing food into the store – it’s fair enough: in the shopping complex, buy some food, look and buy some merchandise. Seems reasonable. But do not be a slob. Don’t just leave your empty coffee cups and drink bottles and food wrappers wherever your heart desires. This is not a tip. And even more, don’t leave unfinished food and drink lying about. But on top of this, if you spill something, don’t just walk away and leave it for us to discover, because I’m not sure if you knew this, but we don’t consider that half a cup of juice and unfinished burger that you spilled and left on the ground to be anywhere near the likes of treasure. It’s disgusting. Next time I you’re at your office job, I might accidentally spill 2-minute noodles, a cup of coffee, and a mystery meal over your desk. And do you know what I’ll do? I will deliberately make eye contact with you, before running away. Cheers.

Lastly (I think I’m slowly running out of steam – lucky you!), the inequality within the workplace. I understand that depending on how long people have been working at the store, the manager’s clearly going to place more trust in, or is going to have a better relationship with some than others. But at the same time, if we are all (besides the manger, obviously) placed under the same category of casual time, and we get the same menial tasks to do, a sense of equality needs to be accomplished. But that is not the case, of course. The manager always has the one or few favourites – yes, they might get a talking to if they do something wrong, but clearly no where near the extent to us non-favourites. Lucky me. The one example that has recently frustrated me is this: a few of us worked one day; it was the manager’s day off. The store got shredded apart by customers, and this being our jobs, we naturally do what we can to tidy up the store while still accommodating to our customer’s needs. Come closing, we get half an hour to tidy up and vacuum. Did what we could, in all honesty, by with 30 minutes, there’s only so much you can do regardless of effort input. I’m sure we would have stayed a bit longer tidying up, but we’re actually not allowed without prior permission, since we can’t extend our shift and expect additional pay for that extension. So we leave, thinking that the store was in a better, if not manageable condition for the next day (which none of us were working, but others and the manager were). And we get a lovely text from the manager the next day reprimanding us for the atrocious state of the store and how this was not acceptable. We understand that the store wasn’t great, but in all honestly, we thought he was exaggerating, and is it really fair to base what he is seeing without having an understanding of what the store was like before our tidying? Being the emotional vulnerable wuss that I am, I take this on board but with a heavy heart, which had actually ruined several of my subsequent days, with the words of the text running through my head at a not-so-healthy frequency. But here’s something else: the week before, the manager had closed the store – and naturally, when we leave, he is supposed to check everything is fine, and that the doors are locked for the obvious reasons. Next day when I worked, the person who had opened mentions how half the doors were not locked. But who is going to call the manager out on this? Are we going to tell the head office for him to receive a text message stating his poor behaviour and unsatisfactory actions? Of course not. It does not matter the extent of wrongdoing the top-dog does, because even if we were to notify some high, mighty and superior boss, this will probably backfire onto us. On top of this, last shift, the same group and I (the ‘naughty’ people who left the store messy) are working together again. Get there in the morning, what do we see? The store is horrible, and the workers of the day before had not even vacuumed. Guess who was there working as well, though. Yup, the manager. Because he was there, he can excuse it, since he knows that everyone tried their best. Did he get a text castigating his standards? I guess not. And this just sucks.

So yeah, I think I’m vented out – whether or not there were more points, I’m too knackered to continue on.

This massive post should hopefully make up for the lack of posts lately, enjoy!

#FirstWorldLife

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#StudyingHardOrHardlyStudying

Hey, hey! I’m back again!

So, tonight’s affairs regard education. Broad topic, I know, but what can I do?

Damn it; this broad topic thing makes it hard to decide where to start… I suppose, from primary school? Yeah, that’ll do for now.

Personally, primary school was great for me – I mean, I had friends (which doesn’t seem to mean much since everyone in my year seemed to be friends), and I think that’s all that I really took note of. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t in a superficial way where my life was based on popularity or something (I mean, I’d attended two schools, and at one, I had no friends – spent my breaks reading books in the sun, because that’s how cool I was…), but I didn’t care for much else, in the sense that, I was contained in this little world of mine, and the ‘larger picture’ did not cross my mind, whether it be about who I wanted to become and where I wanted to go etc. I guess I seemed a little non-ambitious. Also during this time, though, my marks weren’t that great; maybe it was because of this little world of mine, or maybe I just was not that apt at absorbing new facts, but for this period, I don’t think I cared too much. But I think this point really affects the future – it sets our whole mind set on learning and goal setting and all that fundamental concepts that you hear self-help speakers advocate (to which many of us scoff at the obviousness); I had a great experience to start me off thanks to the educators. Unfortunately, I sometimes feel like this standard at which I had experienced has diminished slightly; with further research as to what’s the best approach etc. I think some of us have become a little more methodical and mechanical, less flexible, you know? It relies less on that natural instinct to teach which many have inside; and maybe there are more less passionate teachers simply because some people pursue the degree as it has less years, give or take the equal amount, if not more job availabilities, let alone a career path which is not likely to be replaced by machinery in the visible future. I don’t know, but it makes me sad, that’s all.

Then high school. As far as my regular, old public school went, we weren’t divided as thoroughly into the typical Americanised system of junior, sophomore etc. The only distinction was either junior (years 7 to 10) or senior (years 11 and 12). I think this is when I truly blossomed as far as my studies went; I started to absorb information a lot more. But that being said, the downside was that I was never one to crucially question – I would simply make sense of what I was learning, and unless it was completely illogical in my mind, I would no longer question it and memorise the facts (how un-Orwellian of me). So, as far as high school education of memorising facts went, I went well enough, assisted by my fairly reliable memories. I started make close friends as well, and would try different extra curricular activities; everything was enjoyable.

But then the choices came. Despite being an advocator for choices, I am indecisive. By natural ‘talent’, I was competent at a lot of the subjects offered at school, and would often achieve above average marks. No complaints. But when it came to deciding electives for the final years of high school, I simply struggled. I ended up enjoying the subjects I’d chosen, no doubt, but I query whether I would have had as much success in those which I was unable to try out. Then the same thing happened again come choosing the subjects for my HSC (the final secondary school education, from which you obtain a mark depicting a rank – the position of your mark, after scaling/adjusting the marks according to subjects, against the state cohort). After this, I knew I was going to university. It was just what I was going to do – learning was simply what I did. I’d considered a gap year, but simply decided against it. Anyhow, still in my final years of school, I did not know what I wanted to do at university, and subsequently, for the ‘rest of my life’ – I wanted to try a bit of everything, and there were only a handful of things which I said I did not want to do. There are too many options. So, being the controlled individual I am, it frightened me to the bone not knowing what path my future was going to take in the slightest. While many of my friends walked on heavily paved roads to their future, I was off my wits, bush bashing in circles. Nonetheless, I chose a few courses at various universities to apply for, and although I did not obtain the marks to study the course with the highest cut off on my preferences, I got a reasonable mark, and gained university admission.

But here I am now, a university student, and do I have my future sorted? Nope. Not even close; and I’m in my second year at university. Mind you, I started off with a generic degree which accommodated for my lack of decision making talent, but now, for some obscure (well, not that obscure – the outcome is somewhat appealing to me) reason, I transferred to a more specific degree. And to be honest with you, I’m still frightened; not knowing my unwritten future, I mean. There’s no instinctive drive that’s pushing me to one area as a career – I want to try it all, but I don’t want to ‘waste’ time to discover something I may not find. Great. This is what a rut feels like. And not going to lie, more often than I should, I’ve thought about (once finishing my degree, because I just don’t leave things unfinished) simply opening up a cafe/bar in the suburbs not far from the coast; in my mind, I don’t thin that’s totally out of line, I mean, I like accommodating for people’s wants and needs. But that doesn’t mean that everyone will see it that way. Anyhow, talking about being indecisive and not knowing doesn’t help me to be decisive and to know, so let’s keep going.

The main reason I’d started this post was actually to whinge about university (at least my one), so sorry about the detour! The main problem I have (in conjunction to the commuting hours mentioned in my, I think, prior post) is the contact hours. For those who aren’t so familiar with this term, it simply refers to the number of hours you actually spend in class – so this can consist of practicals, tutorials, and of course, lectures. Before starting universities, everyone seemed to promote it; how great it was, especially for its flexibility and how it accommodating for the students. From my experience, that’s been a lie to a certain extent. Sure, it’s flexible as far as transferring goes, and to a certain point, marks. But my university, unfortunately, is not flexible with the times. What do I know, I’ve only been to this one university? Wait a minute, now. I have the majority of my friends attending another university. Their contact hours consist of maybe eight to ten hours, even if it is a double degree. Seems like what people had been talking about – I mean, that many hours per week is ideal; means I’ll have time to work, relax, and to study. But not for me. My contact hours for the week has reached up to 27 hours over five days. That doesn’t seem too bad from a high school perspective, I suppose, but from someone who knows of what my timetable could be like had my course been offered elsewhere, it’s frustrating. And on top of that, I probably spend around three to four hours commuting to and from university each day that I go in. Then, the lecturers and tutors expect us to do maybe three extra hours of independent study on top of pre-class readings, online quizzes, assignments, and studying for other subjects; which then piles on top of (at least for me) work (on the weekend), a social life (despite how pushed for time someone can be, I’m a great believer in moderation – so if you work hard, take a break!), and going to the gym. This life is simply crammed too much! And if you fall behind on a subject in my situation, all hell breaks loose. My friends at the other universities don’t understand – they reason that their lack of contact hours is compensated for the amount of assignments they do. Newsflash people, we get assignments as well – if it’s any less, it’s not that much less than your work load! Yes, maybe it’d be easier if I moved out of home to somewhere closer to university, but then I have to consider the distance to work, let alone being able to afford it. What frustrates me as well about my university is it’s sickening pride. I understand that as a university, you require integrity – you need to show off that you provide the best for your students, domestic and international, with the newest facilities, most experience lecturers, and the near 24/7 commitment of the university in assisting you wherever they can. I do. But it annoys me when you have already deprived us of however many days worth of a social life (which university life should promote) and sleep, you still have the nerve to take away holidays: while other universities take a fortnight off for a mid-semester break, mine takes one; wouldn’t be as bad, if it didn’t overlap the break with public holidays as to ensure that we don’t miss out on that extra day. Poof – there goes our long weekend. And when your friends are still on holidays when you’re back at university, toiling away and struggling to stay awake, you really feel aggravated. To promote how fun university is to attract new students should entail the university actually enabling the students to enjoy the university experience – especially when there are other universities competing with you and with the knowledge that everyone ends up coming out with a piece of paper and the same fundamental skills for the job, you really ought to offer a lot more than excessive, laborious hours of friend and sleeplessness; or at least, if you don’t want to be broke and empty.

The only reason I’m here is because without it, I have nowhere else to be. And for providing a place to be, I thank you, but for making things difficult, well…

Yup, that’s it. Despite having had great education-success in primary and secondary school, because of university, I have managed to epitomise my procrastination ability, so much so that I may fail my first-ever subject and that I have managed to procrastinate sleeping. Thank you…

Thanks for reading, and hope to talk to you soon.

#FirstWorld

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#PonderingTime

So, I’m back! Hurray! Anyhow, let’s get the ball rolling on our peeve of the post!

Unlike many of the youth around my age, I am yet to get my P’s (for those out of Australia, I’m simply referring to the provisional driver’s licence – so, here down-under, an individual can obtain a learner’s permit from the age of 16, then after a given time and amount of hours spent driving, he moves onto his ‘red P’s’, then his ‘green P’s’, then his full licence when he’s, I think, 21, given that he does all of this from the moment he turns 16 and everything goes according to plan). For the topic today, this simply means that on the days that I travel into university, I must take the public transport as I do not own a car, let alone owning a licence.

Many of you city and suburb-dwellers will understand that morning commutes are nowhere near the definition of fun – you have a place to get to by a given time which you had forced yourself out of bed for at an ungodly hour (at which the sun has not yet risen), so the last place you want to be is sitting next to some disease-ridden strangers for half an hour to move 10 metres up the road from where you caught the bus.

Although the peak-hour commute is very much rant-worthy, this is not the motive to which I had started this post.

So, as I’m sure it’s somewhat similar in many other countries, here in Australia, or at least in the city in which I reside it, many of us commuters purchase a ‘pre-paid’ ticket – as the name suggests, you pay and buy a ticket before your desired public transport trip, and depending on what you purchased, you use that one ticket for however many trips for however long (for instance, I currently purchase a ticket which enables me to get on any bus, ferry, or train as many times as I like for one week, given that this ticket covers the distance I wish to travel). Essentially, this is to promote efficiency in public transport, or so I’m guessing, but inhibiting passengers from handing over paper money to the driver, slowing the whole process down; this especially helps during these peak-hours, and in the city.

So, so far, I’m on good terms with this whole process. But wait. Then you insert the massive concept of the passenger (of course, another whinge about people). Let’s say that I have been at university for six to eight ours that day, and I’d already spent probably three or four hours commuting (this is not an exaggeration, I assure you), twenty minutes of that just having passed on the old-style trains which scream as you go through the tunnels, rock precariously on the tracks, have no ventilation, and has a suspicious stain on every seat. When the train finally and gloriously pulls up to your stop, the last thing you want to do is linger. So, you gather your belongings quickly, snatching everything up before you hear the dreaded whistle of the train conductor announcing the train’s departure.

You get off on time, phew. Now, let’s get down those stairs.

Only kidding, because somehow, and for some mystifying reason, every single person who enjoys a nice dawdle and ponder down the stairs happened to want to get off the train first, and cut everyone off, as to slow everyone else down. Sort of like, if you imagine someone pouring sand out of a bottle, but then there’s these shells and rocks which clog up the mouth piece, stopping you from emptying the bottle out. And these rocks always opt for the middle of the passageway, not to the side (sort of like the way when you walk on a narrow pathway and come across this group of friends who are adamant not to walk in a straight file, but instead just barricade the distance ahead off).

Finally, you get to the bottom of the stairs where everyone is free to disperse. Here is the chance for us quicker-paced folks to overtake and race to the ticket gates. Easy enough, right – to take out your ticket, insert it into the mouth of the machine, the gate opens, then you leave. Freedom is merely a few steps away.

Only kidding.

Know why? Because, for one thing, there are those people, being impatient in their queues for their ticket machine, who simply cut you off. Wait. No. Hang on. You can’t do… And he’s gone. Because it wasn’t like I was waiting here like you were, or anything. Thanks, buddy. But what frustrates me on top of this, is when people are unorganised. Maybe that’s not the greatest word for this situation, but I can’t really think of anything else at the moment, so it’ll have to do. Anyhow, like before, there’s a mad dash to the ticket gates. You’re almost there. Yes!

No.

There is that single person. Who is just standing there. About one or two metres from the gate, stopping others from using that gate. All because she is looking for her ticket. Really? Is this of all places the most appropriate place to look for your ticket; in everyone else’s way? Well, thanks lady.

So, I beg of you, everyone, to have you ticket ready before – and if you don’t, don’t stand in the most inconvenient of places to look for it – and I bet you that you probably have two months’ worth of tickets in your wallet, all of which you’re going to have to look through in order to find the valid one. Ugh.

And since I mentioned the commute, I think I’ll touch upon that, too; since I’m here and all, you know?

So, for most parts, it’s fine, I guess. I get on. More often than not, I am that person you see that has fallen asleep because I never manage to get the right number of hours of sleep. But in my defence, I have always managed to wake up before my stop, which I’d like to consider a bit of subconscious talent. I think there are three main things which annoy me most when commuting:

  1. Bus drivers: two things; either the driver being the most brutally angry and rude driver you’ve ever met, or the driver being a non-aggressive type driver annoys me. When you start your day, some crude comment does not make you feel like it’s going to be a good day. At all. Guaranteed. And when the driver’s not an assertive driver, the trip just takes twice as long; there’s another thing relating to this that frustrates me: when my bus pulls up outside a city train station. Naturally, people get on. But in the amount of time that the last person gets on and uses his ticket, another three people have run up to the bus from the train – this goes on for ten minutes, despite the bus being full. And even when the bus doors eventually close, and we’re JUST about to pull out, the bus doors open once more because the driver saw someone running up. Great. Deep breaths.
  2. Talking on phones. I’m not going to lie, I have unfortunately been a culprit of this a few times in the past, but I’m proud to say that I have at times actually declined a call, and texted whoever it was that I was on public transport. I mean, what’s the point of answering the call if you can’t even hear whoever’s called you, right? But whenever there’s that person who is talking on the phone, 95% of the time, it is that single person who has the loudest voice. To all those people, no, I was not interested in your upcoming business conference tactics, or how awesome and intoxicating your not-rememberable Friday night was. I have my own life to entertain, but thank you for your offer, nonetheless.
  3. Lastly, personal space. I’m not a big build, I admit that. So, I don’t tend to take up that much seat space. But guys and girls, that is not a permission for you to compensate for that. Simply imagine that there is a line down the middle of the seat – your half, and mine. If I wanted to rub and rustle elbows with you for the next hour as you maniacally played on you iPad, I would have gone out of my way to ask for it or sit frighteningly close to you. But I didn’t, did I now? So, please, do not provoke me to build a wall between us with my bag, because I don’t want to make you upset simply because you don’t understand the concept of personal space. And this especially applies to school kids. It has occurred to me since I left high school, with shocking force, how loud and touchy students are. I mean, I understand that they’re all hormonal and deranged, but I cannot say that being on a bus with thirty pubescent kids who have just finished playing sports for two hours is not on my favourite’s list.

And naturally, there are minor things like sitting next to strangers with a cold, or the air conditioning being extremely strong, but I think those three are what pushes me over the edge.

So, yeah… That’s my vent for the evening, thanks guys.

I will get back to you soon, I’m sure.

‘night!

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