HOW TO: Get Through the Last Two Weeks of Summer School
Madeline Ward is procrastinating
I signed myself up for two summer school units in December, assuming that it would be an intense,but ultimately rewarding experience. How wrong I was! Summer School is a dystopian hellscape where dreams go to die. I have now spent a third of my summer holidays completing assignments of questionable quality, and have come to realise that, for Summer School students, there are no holidays, only pain. Here’s how to get through it.
Special Consideration is Your New Best Friend, and Simple Extensions are the Next Best Thing
If you’re struggling with your coursework, and it’s due to reasons out of your control, you can apply for special consideration. Be warned: special consideration is an arduous process, and applications can sometimes take a few weeks to process. You’ll also need to apply before (or within 3 days after) the assignment is due, and you’ll need some form of supporting evidence such as a doctor’s certificate or statutory declaration. If you’re comfortable doing so, it’s a good idea to contact your course co-ordinator and let them know you’re struggling: most will be happy to meet with you and work out a plan to help you complete the unit.
Simple extensions will give you an extension of up to two working days on your assessment and can be accessed by asking your course co-ordinator or lecturer. These are very good because you don’t have to navigate the special consideration process to access them, but very bad because they only give you two days.
Without Coffee There is Only Sadness
Is drinking more that four cups of coffee a day really that bad for you? Probably, but this is Summer School, and when you have multiple essays and an exam due in three days you stop caring for such arbitrary things as “health”. Though most outlets on campus have reduced opening hours during the summer holidays, there are plenty of places you can get your caffeine fix in the surrounding suburbs. Corelli’s and Badde Manors are historic institutions of student desperation, and both are open until 12am. If you’re strapped for cash, or for some unholy reason pulling an all nighter, 7-Eleven sells coffee for $1 a cup at all hours. There are at least five 7-Elevens within walking distance of the University of Sydney main campus.
Go to Bed
Don’t pull an all nighter. If you absolutely must pull an all nighter, don’t do it at home. Find yourself a comfortable location in Fisher Library, pack snacks, and log out of all of your social media accounts. It’s important that you make a plan and stick to it, lest you find yourself falling deep into the twitter vortex at 3am.This should be an absolute last resort, though that doesn’t mean I think you need to be getting your full 8 hours a night as you’re attempting to pass Summer School: consider staying up until 2 or 3am instead of a full all nighter, which means that you’ll be getting at least 5 hours sleep.
Seek Help (If You Need It)
The SRC has a free caseworker service that can assist you with academic progression, applying for special consideration, and with applications to Discontinue not Fail. They also provide short term, interest free loans of up to $50. Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available all through the summer, and the University has a medical centre on site. All of these services can be accessed in the Wentworth and Jane Foss Russell Buildings, and you can make an appointment by calling in advance.
Summer School is stressful. Don’t feel bad about needing to take a day or two off, or about needing to access support in any form. Thankfully, it’s also almost over, which means that we are just two short weeks away from freedom and an abundance of cheap Welcome Week booze.