Speaking in Week Nine of Semester One, Chloe Emmet confided in Woroni that she will be ‘taking it easy’ in Semester Two, having concluded that directing two drama productions, running for student council, interning at Parliament, working as a Senior Resident at Burgmann College and maintaining her part-time job at Lonsdale Street Roasters was ‘probably too much.’
‘Yeah, I really want to prioritise my mental health next semester,’ she confided, while entering a third internship application deadline into her Google Calendar. ‘There’s been such a push towards good mental health practices at uni lately. It’s really resonated with me,’ she said. ‘I found that five minutes of patting a lamb at the College of Law’s petting zoo totally alleviated my stress. I felt so much better when only a few of my hairs fell out, rather than the usual clump.’
She, like many other Law Students, attended the Clerkship Evening later that day. ‘I was chatting to a representative from Clayton Utz,’ reminisces Chloe. ‘She told me she usually works about 80 hours a week. But they have excellent team building programs, so I’m definitely considering their grad program.’
When asked how her commitments have been affecting her assessments, Chloe stated she ‘wasn’t worried,’ glancing down at her iPhone 6 background quote: ‘Diamonds are made under pressure.’ When approached by Woroni reporters, Chloe’s Public Law lecturer explained ‘Chloe is a dedicated student; she’s led to a big spike in the use of Echo360 for my course.’ When asked to elaborate, Dr Kirby said, ‘We usually see a spike from her usage around 3 am. Either that or she watches the whole course the day before the exam.’
Chloe was seen later that week popping caffeine pills and anxiously refreshing Facebook in what her friends described as ‘an attempt to prevent meltdown number five this week.’
‘I just think it’s important take time out to maintain my friendships; a social life is so important for mental health,’ Chloe said, as she commented the third round of fire emojis on her friend Laura’s new DP. The two exchange messages expressing a desire to meet for brunch, and to ‘actually do it this time!’ every couple of weeks. It has been eight months since they last saw each other.
Chloe is planning to spend her break volunteering at a community legal centre in the Northern Territory, whilst doing a winter course at Oxford by correspondence. Her aspiration board includes the goal of getting ‘at least five hours of sleep’ during the holidays.
Chloe’s struggle with mental health and over committing has led her to chair a mental health panel, write a series of contributions to a student-run psychology journal, and volunteer at Headspace.
‘It’s stressful, but worth it in the end.’