The Postgraduate Student Association hosted the Postgrad Survival Day today. Which can be a tad confusing as although it was only for an afternoon, its purpose was to learn new skills, get creative, and share ideas of how best to more than survive the postgraduate experience. That is, not just for the day.
Janet Renner, UWA Counselling and Psychological Service, started the afternoon off with a workshop on relationships that included effective communication, managing conflict and emotions, and not forgetting about laughter and fun.
Bronwyn Crowe, PSA President, with initial assistance from Janet, led the group through material prepared by Claire Nulsen and UWA with regard to recognising and relieving stress. Some of the material included the pamphlet and booklet from the Stress Less – Where’s your head at? Health Promotion Initiative adapted from the University of Melbourne’s Staying Sane on Campus initiative..
Afternoon tea of ample comfort food was provided including cookies, chips, chocolate and snakes 🙂
Annette Walker, Insight Career Management, started her presentation with one of my favourite pieces of dialogue from Alice Wonderland:
‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here!’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to go’, said the cat.
‘I don’t much care where’, said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go’, said the cat.
Which worked a lot better than the football analogy of putting up the goal posts for the season.
Annette’s session posed lots of difficult questions, which probably would become more awkward the longer you leave them. For example:
- What do you want ?
- What is stopping you ?
- What are you going to do about it ?
The revised definition of career from the ABCD was interesting; “Career is a sequence and variety of occupations (paid & unpaid), which one undertakes throughout a lifetime … career includes life roles, leisure activities, learning and work”.
Sato Juniper followed Annette with more specific ways to ‘phinnish’ your postgrad study, supported by evidence from a number of credible sources. The most important point being to submit your thesis.
People dropped in and out of the afternoon, and because I was being collected could not stay for the last session which was promising to be entertaining stories of survival by Benjamin Jardine and Graeme Doole.
I came away from the workshop thinking that I must go easier on myself.