Emma: 5 things you need to know about Steele Rudd College

Emma completed a Bachelor of Education (Sport, Health and Physical Education) at USQ in 2016! Emma lived at USQ Residential Colleges for all four years of her degree, and thoroughly enjoyed the uni lifestyle.

When living on-college, you quickly come to know and understand different things about yourself, others and the college community. After living at Steele Rudd for a year, I have come to realise a few things that makes this community what it is and the residents as close as they are. Here are my top 5 things to know about Steele Rudd College!

1. Big Day Out is a must do!

O-Week at college is hands down the biggest week of the year, when you will be faced with a whole heap of new challenges. Whether it be trying not to be seen with your fresher item in public, trying to climb Table Top Mountain without letting on how much of your fitness you have lost since year 12 or simply trying to put on a face to prove you are ready for university, O-Week is full of new experiences, is a great time to develop new friendships and would hands-down be my favourite time of the year.

For Steele Rudd, Big Day Out is the most anticipated day of O-Week. The day is full of activities, with the last few years seeing residents being provided with the opportunity to go rock climbing, experience street self-defence and circus skills, all followed by a college BBQ in the park. Big Day Out is the greatest opportunity for Steele Rudd residents to get to know each other on a closer level and build friendships that become valuable throughout the year.

Image source: Mitchell Lawler Photography

2. Sharing is caring

For those of you who don’t know, Steele Rudd has a communal bathroom , which means all block members share the same set of bathroom facilities. Girls and guys separate of course! This means that when living on Steele Rudd, you quickly come to understand the pros and cons of this arrangement.

Cons: having to put pants on to go to the bathroom as it’s outside your room, and having to face people the morning after a big night when perhaps you’re not feeling so great.

Pros: bathrooms become a social space: you will always have a fashion consultant and can rely on the fact that someone will have eyelash glue; developing a block acapella group becomes so much easier with nightly shower practice sessions; and, finally, it’s a lot more likely that someone will realise if you are missing if they haven’t crossed paths with you on the way to the bathroom for a while.
Whether you focus on the pros or the cons, you won’t be able to avoid getting close with your block-mates and will quickly establish siblings away from home, with the added bonus of these sibling most likely becoming lifelong friends.

Image source: Mitchell Lawler Photography

3. Mum makes cooking look easy… Mi Goreng it is!

With Steele Rudd currently being the only college with self-catering facilities, you quickly come to understand who has cooked before and who can be the most creative with Mi Goreng noodles. For a lot of residents, living on-college is the first time they have had to be independent, especially when it comes to food. The first couple of days of college sees many residents trying to put on a front that gourmet cooking is their thing, and nutrition and healthy meals are the priority in their cooking. By the end of the first week those barriers start to break down and most residents become more comfortable with one another… this is when the Mi Goreng and cans of soup start to surface.

Now, don’t get me wrong; there is nothing shameless about facing the challenge of seeing how many Mi Goreng variations you can create, but after 6 months, it was time to change it up!

The cooking classes came at the perfect time. The Res Colleges chefs came into our kitchen and showed us heaps of great, simple, budget-friendly recipes with price tags under $10. This was a great opportunity for self-cater residents to get together, eat some good food and take any leftovers we could to avoid cooking the following day. Even if we didn’t actually cook what they taught us, it was an opportunity to get someone to cook for us and to eat GOOD food.

4. True champions are made at Davis Cup

I participated in Davis Cup for the first time in my final year of college (as I had just moved to Steele Rudd), and I can confidently say it was one of my favourite experiences after 4 years of living on-college! The Davis Cup is a weekend of fun activities and team challenges held in the middle of the year, and is Steele Rudd tradition. Each day was filled with excitement and strong team rivalry throughout the activities, such as the Impy Olympics and Car Rally, with the vibe around college infectious.

For me, the car rally was an absolute blast, but it was being challenged to a novelty amazing race style competition in ridiculous costumes that really got the adrenaline pumping. The excitement of seeing other college students around the Toowoomba CBD gave me a feeling of pride to be part of a community that provided me with the opportunity to participate in these events and make such good friends—corny I know, but so true.

But the thing I loved most about Davis Cup was how much other Steele Rudd residents valued the experience and the competition. Davis Cup is Steele Rudd’s thing; they do it well, they put everything into it and other college residents respect that. What a privilege to be a part of this team!

5. Steele Rudd has its own bursary. Everyone loves money!

What a lot of people don’t know is that Steele Rudd College actually has a bursary exclusively for Steele Rudd residents—what a perk! The Rachael Fontana Memorial Bursary was establishing in honour of a former Steele Rudd resident who gave so much during her life. The bursary celebrates Rachael’s generosity and compassion to helping those less fortunate, and her vibrant presence in the Steele Rudd community. The award is worth a massive $2000 and is awarded to a resident who demonstrates these values in their contribution to college life. This bursary is a fantastic opportunity for Steele Rudd residents and is testament to the community spirit shared by Steele Rudd residents, past, present and future.

Although I’ve only lived at Steele Rudd for one year, I felt instantly welcomed, accepted and valued by the community. Something you come to appreciate at Steele Rudd is that friendships are valued above all and when you ask for help you can guarantee someone will be there for you. Steele Rudd allows for a great balance between having a sense of family community surrounding you and having the freedom to be independent and challenge yourself as an individual.

I would be lying if I said there were only 5 things you need to know about Steele Rudd College as there are so many more great things about this place!

To find out more about living at Steele Rudd College, check out the website!


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