Uni Life

Pack your bag like a 3rd year – an assignment season survival guide

Brace yourself - assignment season is coming

Congratulations! You now know G39 and G40 are in opposite ends of the campus. Playing GTA5 and Skyrim has helped you master the art of running from the car park to the tute, then to the lecture whilst avoiding construction potholes and trams. You can now proceed to the next level.

Level 2:   8 assignments and 4 presentations unlocked.

Your first year at university could be a confusing one. You have sussed out your classes and know where to get the best coffee. You start thinking to yourself “wow! All these boat cruises and parties are really fun. I love uni. And Yay Game of Thrones season 4 is finally here”. It is then you get hit on the head with an overpriced hardbound textbook called reality. Brace yourself! Assignment season is coming!

Hey it’s not that bad! Hanging out in the library and doing assignments at a slow pace can be really fun! These are some easy tips you can follow to possibly make the coming weeks full of assignments, presentations and group meetings a bit less chaotic.

1. Power board aka multi plug

Double adapter power pointIt’s week 6 at university. Your group unanimously agrees to meet up in the library on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Guess what! So did every other student in the entire university.

Hordes of students are roaming around looking for pods. Next to every power outlet sits a student concentrating really hard, scrolling through the Facebook news feed. You look at your group members in despair because it’s unfair; you have more important work to do.

Avoid all this by carrying one of these babies in your bag. Every discount shop has a wide variety of compact power boards under $10 which would take very little space in your bag! Now you can share the power and procrastinate together!


Billy – “Mr De Alwis! If every boy and girl brings a power board to uni, wouldn’t it cause an electrical circuit overload?”
Kas – “Good question Billy! The average uni student is so disorganised. 90% of students do not own a pen but they all own a notepad. Don’t expect everyone to remember and follow up on this tip”
Livefastordietrollin17 – “didn’t you steal this tip from that meme of that duck?”
Kas– “It’s not called the duck meme. It’s called the “actual advice mallard”. Know your meme before troll!”



2. Carry an assessment plan

This tip is very handy and would help you keep an eye out for those all important dates.

Step 1 – Go to Learning at Griffith > Click the relevant course > Course profile >  Click on the link > Assessment plan. The highlighted section in the below image is the most valuable information you would keep looking up repeatedly throughout the semester.

Step 1: Griffith Portal Course Profile screenshot

Step 2 – Copy the highlighted bits of information to a new Word document.

Step 3 – Repeat as necessary. Go to the assessment plan section again for each of your other subjects, copy the corresponding information and paste it on the Word document as shown below. Try to get all information onto one page.


As seen above, you now have all assessment requirements for you to pass in one handy sheet.

Step 4 – Save and print it to keep it in your wallet or handbag.


westlife4ever85 – “I use my organiser and my blackberry reminds me when my assignments are due. Why do I need this?”
Kas – “umm.. This technique is targeted at the unorganised students who only use the free guild planner when they run out of toilet paper”.
Billy – “Mr De Alwis. The learning objectives part has no use. I like to replace it with a section which states whether the assignments are group or individual assignments.”
Kas –“That is a great tip Billy!”



 3. USB Stick

usb on set of keysNot having a USB stick at university is an unforgivable crime. Free USB drives are practically thrown at you. You may not need it all the time but during assignment season, it will save you a lot of trouble. USB sticks come in all shapes and sizes and they conveniently fit with your car/house keys. Never leave home without one!

Billy – “Mr De Alwis. I use the cloud. Aren’t USB drives redundant?”.
Kas – “When you have 10 minutes to hand in the assignment and there is a queue forming in front of the admin desk, you will have no time to open up a browser and log into Dropbox. You want instant access to your files, click print asap, just to realise the printer is jammed or out of paper”.

3.1 Bonus tip – Dropbox

Dropbox is a free lightweight application that can be installed in your computer and smart phone and comes with 2 GB free space. Life is too short to safely remove your USB. This tends to corrupt your assignments at the worst moment possible, and I assure you, IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU! To avoid such scenarios, after completing your assignment in your PC, copy and paste the file to your Dropbox folder which creates a back up.

Screenshot dropbox folder

Wait for the synchronisation to complete and the little green tick to appear in front of the Dropbox icon on your taskbar (bottom right of the screen where the clock is)

Dropbox in toolbar

Congratulations! Your assignment is now successfully uploaded to the “Cloud”.

The files in the Dropbox folder can be shared with anyone by right clicking the File > Share Dropbox link > Email the link or paste it on your group assignment Facebook page.

Screenshot sharing a dropbox file

The files can be accessed by using your mobile app or going into any computer and logging into your Dropbox account on www.dropbox.com.



4. Phone charger and back up phone

You are at uni from 9 am to 10 pm. Your Smartphone battery is not going to survive such high procrastination levels. You need a spare charger in your bag. You also may be interested in purchasing a cheap back up phone.

Samsung e3300There are many cheap phones in the market. The Samsung Manhattan e3300 is a popular phone among the technologically impaired and is sold by almost all service providers. They are available at your nearest Coles or Woolworths for $30 to $40. DO NOT BE ALARMED when touching the screen doesn’t do anything. This retro device uses a “non virtual” aka physical keypad which was all the rage in the 90’s.

The device also doubles as an mp3 player with a micro SD card slot, has an actual FM radio receiver which won’t chew through your bandwidth, as well as a Facebook and Twitter app which is actually functional.


AnjiWithA_J_21 – OMG I charged this phone 3 days ago! It still got 80% charge left! And yesterday I dropped it on the carpet floor and the screen didn’t crack!
Kasun – “Mobile phones used to be tougher. Legend has it that a defeated Thor the Norse God of Thunder sent down his other indestructible yet not fabled weapon the Nokia 3310 to the Finlandians. Within the cellular communication device/weapon, Jörmungandr the sea serpent who defeated Thor in battle was trapped. The Finnish cell phone developers saw an opportunity to exploit the trapped serpent and mass produced the device. The General public could not pronounce the name of Jörmungandr, so the game was rebranded as Snake. Feeding the growing serpent of Midgard was just as popular in the late 90s as trying to fly a clumsy bird through a pipe maze in 2014”.Nokia 3310



5. Pack a lunch

It’s not week 1. Free sausage and bread is getting scarce. You already paid $6 for parking and more cash to satisfy your caffeine addiction which has by now become a necessity. You should be buying “Up & Go” in bulk. Packing a lunch means you don’t have to get up and leave resulting in you losing your spot in the library. Bananas come in their own casing and are full of Potassi…


Livefastordietrollin17 – “Dude! you are obviously scraping the barrel here..Maybe 4 tips were enough?”
Kas – “ LOL you Got me there troll. Thanks for interrupting! My next tip was going to be – bring a inflatable neck pillow and eye mask so you can power nap in the library like a boss..”



In conclusion, hope these tips are useful…


Livefastordietrollin17 – “This blog is long enough. Just quit while you are ahead. You lost everyone at that baloney Thor story”


– Kasun


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  • Adam
    April 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Mr. de Alwis, my smartphone uses mini sim card, where can I find a legendary 90’s tough phone that uses mini sim card?

  • Mr De Alwis
    April 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Great question Adam. I totally was gonna put that section in but forgot. Thanks for bringing it up. new sims may not work in a 90s phone. the Samsung Manhattan is a 3g phone.Anyways, You have 2 options.
    1. When u get your mini sim, it comes in a card. the mini sim is always fitted inside a “sim adapter” which is basically a plastic bit around the mini sim which makes it as large as a normal sim. If you are like every normal person who does not have this, you can buy a sim adapter on ebay for less than a dollor.
    2. this is for lazy cheapskates like me. All you have to do is slide the mini sim down carefully so that the sim touches the sim reading pins on your samsung e3300. And it works..

  • Amanda
    April 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Wish I had this when I was going to Griffith.. Excellent

  • Rhee
    April 10, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I actually audibly laughed at this.

  • Chris
    April 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Ohhhh I’d probably say, along with an assessment plan for every class, you should also have the marking criteria for every assessment. Just so you know how much work is involved before you decide to procrastinate.

  • Amy
    April 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Genius, and I still prefer Snake over Flappy Bird.