I threw my study paper’s for my open book exam up into the air a week or two ago for two reasons; one, to celebrate the end of another semester, and two, to capture a good ‘boomerang’ image for Instagram. Priorities, right? This semester was particularly harder than the rest because, being the dare devil I am, I decided to take five units when the average for a full-time student is four. I know, off the rails. The difficulty may have also had something to do with the fact that it was the second semester of the year and you’re not being real with me if you say you focus more in the second semester than the first; EVERYONE bludges a little- or a lot if you’re me- in the second semester.

I literally just had zero motivation and I don’t know why. Nothing had changed, I had the same jobs and the same responsibilities as I had the previous semester. I think I just got to a point where I realised the extra workload I had taken on and kind of had a silent mini-mental-meltdown. I was just focusing on getting through each week as emotionally stable as possible.

So for anyone considering taking on more than four units at university I have some words of advice to give to you. Since when do I not have an opinion on something?

Being blatantly honest, it’s difficult, and if you feel like you’re drifting or just making it through four units I whole-heartedly recommend sticking to those four and not taking on any more. The whole reason I did it was so I could graduate at the end of 2017 and if that’s you’re reason behind considering it, then that’s perfectly valid. Thinking about it, I did have a pretty good system at the start of the semester; I was actually killing it. I had drafted this ‘weekly assignment plan’ that was basically a table outlining the due date of every exam and assignment colour-coded. But I burnt out in week six and from there, it got draining.

I didn’t revise or learn any new material after week six; I just focused on getting the assignments finished, and if you’re not learning anything new than what’s the point of even going to university? I hardly attended any lectures or tutorials and I barely had time to breathe. It got to a point where I was waking up at ridiculous hours in the morning, going to work, coming home to sit at a table and half procrastinate/half do assignments, followed by getting really annoyed at myself for half-assing everything, then getting really pissed at everyone who tried to talk to me about my day because I literally wasted most of it; annnnd that was my life from August to October.

There is an upside though! I must have been doing something right because all my grades are better than expected and i’m passing everything. I just finished my last exam and I am now a completely free women. I can already feel myself radiating happiness and it’s the literal greatest feeling ever after being a miserable bitch for the past eight weeks.

In conclusion, if you’re thinking about taking on five units consider these aspects first:

  • What is your intention? Why do you want to do it? If it’s to speed up your degree, great! But if it’s to see how far you can push yourself; don’t.
  • Are you organised enough? You NEED to be a organised person who can effectively manage their time well.
  • How will your attitude and relationships with others be effected? You can’t let it be your life like I did- you need to still be able to make time for others and for yourself.
  • Are you aiming for excellent grades or average grades? If excellent is your answer, you probably won’t achieve that by taking on five units. I was okay with just passing; you need to be too.
  • What methods will you put into action to ensure your success? For example, weekly assignment calendars, daily study plans, planning ahead to be proactive, reducing the amount of working hours you do in a week?


Racquel Hardie
Racquel Hardie

A twenty-something Aussie woman passionate about travel and documenting everything.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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