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Mira Staff

As many of you may know, we ran a competition recently where current and past Open2Study students had a chance to win 1 of 5 single undergraduate unit scholarships with our parent company, Open Universities Australia.

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the competition a success! There were a lot of amazing entries, which made it incredibly difficult to narrow it down. But there could only be five winners.

Huge congratulations to Allan D, Bradley C, Kerin S, Nathan H and Wendy M, who each won a single-unit scholarship! Best of luck with this next chapter of your study journey!

How did we choose the winners?

A panel of judges assessed the responses, with name and other personal details hidden, and selected the winners based on how well they exemplified the entry requirements.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

No matter what you're studying, a long intense session is bound to leave you feeling a little frazzled. But how to unwind? You might be tempted to hit the pub, or reach for a sweet treat of some sort—both of which are great ideas, no one's debating that—but believe it or not there are healthier ways to recharge your weary brain.

1. Go for a walk

A bit of fresh air never hurt anyone, so once you've put down the books why not put on your walking shoes and get out and about. Grab your headphones and take a stroll with no particular agenda in mind.

2. Meditate

That's right, time to get your zen on. The best thing about meditation is you can do it pretty much anywhere. Find a quiet spot in your local park (or any other place that makes you feel good), close your eyes and get busy thinking about nothing at all.

3. Take a power nap

Sleep is obviously a great way to rejuvenate your tired brain, and who doesn't love a good nap? The key is to not sleep for too long, or else you'll just end up feeling extra tired. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and curl up on the couch—you'll wake up feeling rested and reenergised.

stree less by sleeping

4. Eat all the brain foods

Eat to unwind? What a great idea! And when you've drained your brain studying you really do need to feed it afterwards. This doesn't mean inhaling a cheeseburger, but rather reaching for some healthy, tasty brain foods. There are plenty of options when it comes to replenishing your grey matter; get your hands on some avocado, leafy greens, blueberries, eggs, salmon, walnuts, coconut oil, and high quality dark chocolate and you've got the makings of a delicious pick-me-up.

5. Stretch it out

Not your brain, your body. Stretching is an excellent stress-relief, and is really good for general health. You could take a yoga class, or do some simple stretches at home. Just 10-15 minutes of stretching can help to relieve tension, promote blood circulation, and decrease stress levels.

Stress less by stretching

6. Hit the gym

Even if you don't feel like it, once you're there you'll start to feel good. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and gets your blood pumping; a winning combination for busting stress. Plus once you're done exercising you can go home and eat all those brain foods you bought earlier as a reward for your hard work!

7. Keep it clean

Yeah I know, cleaning doesn't really sound like a lot of fun or a way to unwind, but it can actually be quite therapeutic. It's much easier to focus when you're not surrounded by mess or distractions, so taking the time to tidy up your study area is bound to make you feel more relaxed.

8. Take some 'me' time

This one sounds like a free pass, and it is! Take some time out to do something you enjoy, whatever that may be. A long bath, reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music, cooking or baking—the list is endless, and the choice is yours!

9. Write it down

If you're labelling your stress as 'study stress', try writing down what aspects are actually giving you grief. Once you see them on paper they might not actually be as bad as they seemed—but if they ARE, it's time for a to-do list.

Stress less by writing

10. Laugh!

When you feel super stressed it's hard to find things funny, so jump on the phone or visit that one person in your life who can always make you laugh. And if that's not an option, well, there is an abundance of laughs to be had via our good friend YouTube.

Stress less by laughing

And hey, just like that, you're on your way to a stress-free study life with ten simple steps.

Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

When you're looking for work, the one thing you can't do without is a professional and up to date CV. But how do make yours stand out against the competition? When it comes to grabbing the attention of a potential employer, jazzing up your CV with a little creativity to strike a balance between the traditional resume and a more modern style might just be the key to success.

These days, having a one-size-fits-all approach to the job application process isn't going to cut it—you need to ensure your resume is tailored to fit the job description. This means editing and revising the content you're putting out there before you hit send on your application. To save yourself some time, why not develop multiple versions of your CV template for different situations? It might seem like a lot of extra effort, but it might just be the extra effort that lands you your dream job!

So, when it comes to tailoring your resume, what should you consider?

First, you need to know your audience. Think about what type of layout or format will appeal to this particular hiring manager, and also present you as the best fit for the role. For example, if you are working in a creative field, you might think an infographic resume is the best way to present your skills. But before you race off and throw all your experience into a pie chart think about what the prospective employer will want to see. If you're going to be creative, be smart about it and make sure you are still capturing the most relevant skills as required for the job. Pinterest has some great examples of clever infographic designs that, with a bit of luck, won’t land your application in the trash folder. Check them out at the Pinterest infographic resume board.

Sample resume from
Resume from

Next, you need to understand your industry. If you are looking for work in financial services, you'll probably need a more traditional resume to accompany your application. Alternatively, if you are looking for work as a graphic designer, a more creative CV would be appropriate.

Sample resume from
Resume from

Creative CVs can be somewhat controversial, with many employers still preferring a traditional approach. But if done well and delivered to the right audience, a creative resume can help you stand out and hopefully win you an interview. If you're unsure, try a combination of creative and traditional by adding a few design elements to your chronological CV, or use an infographic resume as a complementary supplement to your traditional CV.

If you want to go all-out creative, make sure it still looks professional and showcases your experience in an easy-to-read format. After all, you want to impress, not put off potential employers. Have a play with this interactive resume by Robby Leonardi. Here we can clearly see the effort involved and the skills Robby has when it comes to design and development. It's also fun, interesting, and most importantly, informative.

Robby Leonardi interactive resume
Robby Leonardi's interactive resume.

Now obviously we're not all amazing designers with coding skills to boot, but there are other ways to inject a little creativity into your own CV. Instead of a standard chronological format, try focusing on your career achievements and education, rather than providing a historical tour of your prior responsibilities. You can also experiment with different colours and fonts (without going overboard) to highlight areas that may be of particular interest.

If your education section is lacking, online courses are a great way to quickly upskill and show employers that you mean business, by demonstrating motivation for self-improvement. If you're not sure how to include online courses on your CV, have a read of Open2Study's blog post by Polly Foster, How to explain your MOOC on your CV.

Above all else, remember that no matter what style of resume or CV you choose, the key is to consider your audience and industry, and to focus on experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta BradyPeta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

Not everyone celebrates the religious traditions that surround the Easter holidays, but that doesn't mean you can't get involved in some fun and crafty activities, and enjoy your fair share of chocolate.

This year we've got some cute and fun ideas for you to try, either for yourself or with the kids. So, what are you waiting for? Grab that hot glue gun and let's get started!

First we have a framed Easter button art. I love this idea because once you get the hang of it you can adapt it for any occasion.

For this activity you'll need:

  • 8.5 x 11 piece of white cardstock
  • printable egg pattern
  • various sizes of coloured buttons
  • hot glue
  • old toothbrush
  • 8 x 10 picture or photo frame

For step by step instructions head to

framed Easter button art

Now wait there, how cute are these Easter candy jars?! Even if you don't want to fill them with candy you can just use them for something else—if I was a kid again I'm pretty sure I'd love one of these to store my secret treasures in.

For this activity you'll need:

  • small jars (any size or kind)
  • decoupage
  • paint brush
  • fine glitter
  • craft foam or construction paper in pink, white, and orange
  • candy
  • pompoms
  • googly eyes
  • hot glue

Head to for the tutorial.

Easter candy jars

And finally, these eggshell planters would make a great gift idea or addition to your home—no matter what the time of year.

To create these beauties all you'll need is some eggshells, succulents, moss, flowers—whatever you like really! Raid your garden or hit the local nursery and get those hands dirty.

eggshell planters

For more inspiration head to

So there you have it! I hope you have a great time getting crafty over Easter, and don't forget to tag #iamopen2study if you share your pics on social media!

This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta BradyPeta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at or on Instagram @thewordbird_.

by Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

Finding your study groove isn't always easy, but once you establish a plan you'll be well on your way to kicking all the goals. So, what exactly does a successful study regime look like? We've got a few ideas to help get you started.

1. Study when you feel like it

Studying is one of those things you know you need to do, but often don't feel like doing. And why would you when there are so many other fun things to do? Sure, you could consistently put in lots of effort to achieve your academic goals, but how do you know if it's even worthwhile? If you just allocate a bit of time here and there you'll get the same results anyway. Go out, have fun, study… later.

2. Settle in for the long haul

Most people will tell you that short study sessions with frequent breaks are the way to go, but come on, let's be realistic. What they really mean is cramming as much information into one long session would be a much more productive use of your time. This is particularly relevant around exams, because if you study too early you'll just forget everything anyway! Instead, try to squeeze in a massive revision session the night before, and if you're worried about time just don't eat or sleep!

3. Choose your environment

Choosing the right study environment is very important. Yes, you could seek out a quiet corner filled with light, but what if we told you it's better to set yourself up in the noisiest possible place, with little to no natural lighting? After all, how can you train yourself to focus if all you have to focus on is yourself?

With these tips in mind you're now ready prepare a study plan that works. At first it won't be easy, but I'm pretty sure you've got this.

And on that note, please—whatever you do—don't take any of this terrible advice. It's just another…


'A surprise' by Fireworks888, CC-BY_SA,

Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer

Making your way back into the workforce after an extended break can be a daunting task, but it needn't be that way. After all, you're not out of the market, just a little out of practice. It's natural to feel as though your skills may have deteriorated or are no longer relevant, or to worry about facing rejection as you go through the application process.

These thoughts and emotions are entirely valid, but it's important to remember that you have many viable skills and attributes that potential employers are looking for. The key is to reconnect with your 'work' self, and focus on exercising patience and persistence.

Working on a notebook

Ready for success? Try these top 5 tips:

1. Revive your professional profile

Now is the time to make sure you are as appealing as possible to potential employers. Set up or update your LinkedIn profile with a new photo and summary, and change your status to 'seeking employment opportunities'. If you completed any training courses during your break, add those to your profile as well.

Your CV will also no doubt need some attention. If you've been out of work for a while, it's a good idea to focus on your career achievements, rather than drawing attention to gaps with a chronological format. And don't forget your soft skills—you may have been out of work, but that doesn't mean you have been doing nothing. What about those books you balanced for your sister? Or the contractors you oversaw during a home renovation project? These skills are all relevant and can be included on your CV.

Assorted social media icons

2. Upskill, upskill, upskill

Applying for work can be a slow and tedious process, so why not spend some of your non-job hunting time expanding your skill set? There are a number online sites providing free or low cost training courses that you can do from home, and you'll finish your day with a nice feeling of accomplishment.

You can also approach friends and family for potential work experience opportunities—even if the role is not what you want long term, you may find just getting back into a routine will give your confidence a much-needed boost. Another option is to apply for temp work, which again, although temporary, will help you get back into work mode.

3. Network

When you're out of work for a long time, it's likely you will lose confidence and potentially your ability to interact with others on a professional level. Networking is a great way to get these skills back up to speed, so put yourself out there and attend meet ups, workshops, conferences—basically anything relevant to your desired position. You never know, you just might meet your future employer!

Team meeting

4. Believe in yourself

Because if you don't, how can you expect anyone else to? Think of yourself as a product to be sold, and talk yourself up! You're not "unemployed", you're "in between jobs". Try to put a positive spin on things that may otherwise be viewed as negative.

Woman running in a canyon

5. Be 'interview ready' at all times

If you've been "in between jobs" for some time, it's more than likely that you're not in much of a routine. Try to establish a new routine that gets you up and out of bed early, and allocate time each day for job searching, upskilling, networking, and following up any 'warm' leads.

Brushing up on your interview skills will also build confidence. Research the company you are applying to. Check out the interviewer's LinkedIn profile. Be prepared to answer questions about your career breaks, without dwelling on the gaps in your CV. Instead, redirect your responses to focus on the projects you have been working on while looking for work.

Man in a suit sitting at a desk

Above all, remember you are still the same person you were before your break, with the same skills and attributes—something the right employer will recognise!

This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta BradyPeta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.

Contact Peta at or on Instagram @thewordbird_.