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Motivation that Sticks

Words by Nicolas, 24 QLD Saying yes. Out loud, on paper or just in your head. It’s a simple motto to live by, it reinforces positivity, and generally the “yes” ethos can do wonderful things for you. When you feel a bit bummed about things not going right, you remember to “keep your nose to…

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Living a Double Life – 10 Questions for Shulah

Words by Georgie, 28 VIC Sit down with your beverage of choice, put your phone on flight mode and read this inspiring story. Lauren from the WhyNot team sat down with Shulah – a young transgender woman from Melbourne to talk all things diversity and inclusion, safe spaces and finding the courage to be vulnerable….

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Read The ATAR benefits no-one: reflections of a “high achiever” Blog Article

The ATAR Benefits No-One: Reflections of a ‘High-Achiever’

Words by Mark, 21 VIC, You can read more work from Mark on his blog – www.pocpathways.com Four years ago, I completed the VCE. I spent Year 12 taking the right subjects – maths, chemistry and high-scaling foreign languages – and making all the right sacrifices to get the highest possible score. A second language…

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Read Eating Disorders: The Personal is Political blog article

Eating Disorders: The Personal is Political

This article contains themes of mental health and eating disorders which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. Lifeline – 13 11 14 Words by Melis,…

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I am angry

I Am Angry

This article contains themes about sexual assault mentions, rape mention, casual racism, which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732Lifeline –…

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Mountainous Barriers WhyNot

Mountainous Barriers

Words by Markos, 28 VIC Artist statement: – This is a simple but honest piece that illustrates the challenges of getting a job when you have mental health issues. While it’s difficult to climb those hills and mountains, it’s not impossible. Doubt and stress can be overcome by talking to someone or getting professional help. Just doing…

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Sisyphean Again

Words by Lydia, 18 VIC I have a newfound sympathy for Sisyphus.Every time I near the top of homemade mountains,within grasping distance of gold-star successes,the boulder of my progress slips from my grip,rolls over my foot and races back down to where I started. Everything is mountains and valleys now, peaks and troughs.The numbers rise…

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Homophobia is still an issue… What can we do? | WhyNot

Homophobia is Still an Issue… What Can We Do?

Words by Laneikka, 19 NSW I didn’t come from a homophobic household. And yet I remember crying at Jamberoo because my sister groped a mermaid statute’s boobs with her hands. There was something about same sex couples that left me fearful. I had this undeniable anxiety that even existing near LGBTIQ+ people would ‘turn’ me…

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Good Little Girl

Words by Ella, 22 VIC Be a good little girl, he said. Wear nice clothes for me. Speak up, but don’t be louder than me. Smile, but stop being so nice. People will think you are fake, he said. Be a good little girl, he said.   Eat your food you are too skinny. I…

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Beauty Synonyms Blog Article - my size

Beauty Synonyms

Words by Kyara, 22 VIC “We have other sizes in the back,” the shop assistants say when they see me looking through the racks. I smile and say thanks. Slim young women and athletic young men inhabit the beaches and the bars and the streets. For both locals and foreigners, Bali feels like the place…

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home stigma

The Stigma of Staying After High School

Words by Sol, 19 WA With a population of just under 2 million people, Perth lags behind other Australian cities such as Sydney (5.23 million) and Melbourne (4.94 million). Still, Perth has all the landmarks of a capital city, from a bustling CBD to diverse communities and even an international airport. Yet I never thought…

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Are you okay in a speech bubble

R U OK MY FRIEND?

Words by Praise, 25 NSW The moment you realise you have at least one person who is genuinely interested and wants to listen to your authentic desires, dreams, and stories – mark it as a blessing.  Perhaps, not everyone around you will be able to do this. ”Listening is the most important thing you can…

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2020 as a Sweaty Astronaut LEGO Worker

Words by Steph, 28 VIC I’m supposed to help people. I’m supposed to help fix problems. That’s my job. And this, I absolutely cannot fix. Depending on the day, or moment my thoughts around the pandemic change. I work in a mental health hospital. On any given day, I come across a variety of people…

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Instagram screen shots of barriers to employment

What a Time to be Alive

Digital artwork by Julianna, 26 VIC This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. I  like to use Instagram. I discovered the abilities of sharing quick Instagram stories which act for me like ‘time capsule memories.’ The phone screen becomes like a digital art canvas for my musings, quotes and photography….

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Lady Talking with speech bubble of a cross and exclamation mark about employment

The Top Ten Lies your Careers Counsellor Told You

Words by Brianna, 21 QLD This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. 1. You have three pathways after leaving high school. The first is to go to university.   A degree in anything will earn you millions of dollars. (Please note: this option is only available to students with an ATAR…

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Side Effects May include - Artist Submission

Side Effects May Include

Submission by Julia. 24 VIC This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. Artist Statement: – ‘I created this piece to highlight the impact that mental health can have on maintaining meaningful employment. As a young person who suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as chronic pain, I have a…

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A Young Australian’s Voice

Recording & Words by Imogen, 21 VIC This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. In this audio piece, Imogen responds to the numerous employment barriers young people face today, including what it feels like to be part of the first graduating class to be entering the Australian workforce during a…

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The Interview - WhyNot Blog Article

The Interview

Words by Hardeep, 28 NSW This piece was the Winner of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. The tapping of the receptionist’s acrylic nails is making my nerves jump. I made it twenty minutes early and am now sitting on a navy sofa in my tight pencil skirt, watching people race back and forth like…

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Image of eye with tribal pattern surrounding

The Tattooed Face Woman. Are All Traditions Worth Preserving? Part 2

Words by Núria, 25 VIC Back in the village, Lin Shwe is the first tattooed woman I meet, and the one who makes the strongest impression on me. I don’t know if it’s because of her hypnotic deep voice or the way she smokes her pipe – slowly, without rush. It’s after meeting more Chin…

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The Tattooed Face Woman. Are All Traditions Worth Preserving? Part 1

Words by Núria, 25 VIC Lin Shwe Htang, from the Mun tribe, is at her home with some of her grandsons. It’s their day off school, so they all hang together while their parents are working in the fields. When heavy rain starts to pour, everyone goes inside. As her grandchildren sit down around her,…

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EC Unfiltered: What is your Pandemic World Like Right Now?

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee and friends Simmering Anxiety  My pandemic world – like many – is split between what I can see outside my window and what I hear from the other end of Zoom catch ups and house party nights. I feel a simmering anxiety when I head out of…

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Stealthing: The Silent Sexual Assault

Words by Laura, 25 NSW I want to talk about stealthing, and the fact that it triggers my spellcheck begins to demonstrate why. Stealthing is a type of sexual assault. It occurs when sex has been consented to on the condition that a condom is worn, but the person wearing it then covertly takes the…

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Meandering Mind | WhyNot?

Meandering Mind

Words by Joanita, 24 NSW I always thought I knew what I wanted – but the longer I spend searching the job market, the more I understand how options can be both liberating and confining.  I used to have no patience for ambivalent people. I tapped my foot when a person at the front of…

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Read Your ‘Pro-Choice’ Vaccination Stance Is Privileged Blog article

Your ‘Pro-Choice’ Vaccination Stance Is Privileged

Words by Erin, 24 NSW The anti-vaccination movement seems to be going through a re-launch. It’s thrown off its old connotations, embraced a friendlier message and is now purporting itself as a ‘pro-choice movement’, for those who want to ask critical questions of science or present a different opinion. This new language, while attempting to…

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Read The Pressure of Productivity Blog article

The Pressure of Productivity

Words by Imogen, 26 QLD If you had asked me at the beginning of March what my plans were in the upcoming month, I would have told you that I was gearing up to work at two Comic-Cons (London and Birmingham), possibly accepting a promotion at work and counting down the days until my Dad…

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Baby, It's Coaled Outside - Arts Funding | WhyNot?

Baby, it’s Coaled Outside – An open letter to the Prime Minister

Words by Tamara, 29 NSW Dear Mr. Morrison,  2020 will go down in history as the year of “essentials”. Essential workers, essential services, just the essentials at the supermarket. There’s nothing like a global pandemic to reveal what we really need to pull through. I would like to meet just one person who didn’t need the arts…

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Gender Myths Blog Article by Sachini

The Gender Myths of the Progressive Nation

Words by Sachini, 22 ACT “So, what do you think of Denmark?” I look over at Caroline, sipping my wine.  My boyfriend and his friends are engaged in easy conversation borne from growing up together in Denmark.  “It’s nice,” I say, and then because I can tell she wants more, “it’s beautiful. Everything is so…

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Sibling on the spectrum Blog Article

What it is Like Being the Sibling of Someone on the Spectrum

Words by Miriam, 19 NSW Siblings are the worst, aren’t they? Not my brother. He’s pretty great, but not everyone sees him that way, because he’s different. People don’t like different. Of course, there are times when I find my brother excessively, painstakingly irritating, however, I’ve learnt that when you’re the sibling of someone on…

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Racism is a White People Problem | WhyNot?

Racism is a White People Problem

Words by Lachlan, 25 QLD Why was this the spark that lit the bonfire? Was it the fact that this murder was documented on camera? Was this the proof white people needed to believe what Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) have been saying for years?  The murder of unarmed George Floyd on 25…

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Education & Employment Part 2

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee and friends Virtual hurdles To say my focus on my education has been a challenge is an understatement.  Like the majority of students, my studies have been completely shifted online. As I studied interstate at university, I came back to Sydney since the lockdown as my whole family resides…

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Education & Employment Part 1

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee and friends Money makes me uncomfortable. My family didn’t casually talk about money – having it, needing it, spending it, thinking about spending it – around the dinner table or any other open space. As a kid, if I needed something that required money (so everything!), I…

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Freedom Once isn't Freedom Forever | WhyNot?

Freedom Once isn’t Freedom Forever

Words by Stephanie, 22 NSW COVID-19 is testing not only our health, but also our patience for freedom. History has taught us freedom comes at a great price.  As the COVID-19 pandemic lays waste to the global social and economic landscapes, 2020 is no ordinary time. Politics and human rights aren’t immune to infectious microbes,…

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Iso-Nation: Navigating the World of Isolation

Words by Nicole, 25 VIC Welcome to iso-nation, the adventures of an already-introverted 25-year-old in lockdown. Two and a half weeks into isolation, I began to feel the trepidations of being stuck between four white walls plastered with artsy posters from Frankie and prints from art markets.  The smell of freshly baked orange cake out…

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Travel in the Time of Corona

Words by Connor, 19 NSW I’m one of many young people who have had their travel plans cancelled or postponed by COVID-19. It’s a sad situation, but there will be a next time to travel, right? Sort of. A Reuters report suggests that it could take up to 10 months after the end of the…

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Thoughts During a Pandemic Part 2

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee Low-hanging fruit is the tastiest I’ll admit that I was kind of looking forward to lockdown. I thought I would have ample time to read the copy of Crime & Punishment that has sat beside my bed for nearly eight months; dinner each night would be whipped…

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Connecting From Afar

Words by James, 25 ACT It’s a tough time for a lot of us right now due to COVID-19. People have lost their jobs and others face an increased risk of transmission while we’re all adapting to a new life in social isolation. As young people, we’re more likely to face social or economic uncertainty….

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Thoughts During a Pandemic Part 1

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee Domestic Everest failures I start the day with domestic aspirations that are basically the equivalent of summiting Everest. Re-pot all 47 plants in the yard (I’m the crazy pot lady), bake a sponge cake (nan’s recipe), a slow cooker casserole and use the last of those blackened…

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Need for Facts Arts | Cover Image

The Need for Facts

Words by Markos, 28 VIC I love facts. I grew up reading fact books, I tweet facts, I write fact-based articles and I’ve even worked in fact-checking. Therefore, it sickens me to see the epidemic of lies and propaganda that has gripped the world. Far too many people are shunning trustworthy information sources like reputable…

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Planet or People Part 2

Planet or People Part 2

Words by Angelica 22 QLD Do you really need that plastic straw in your drink? Think about the environment!” As Australia rolls out plastic straw bans across the country, very few people have stopped to consider the negative consequences of a plastic straw ban for people with disabilities. That’s what I’m here to do. This…

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Planet or People Part 1

Planet or People Part 1

Words by Angelica 22 QLD Do you really need that plastic straw in your drink? Think about the environment!” As Australia rolls out plastic straw bans across the country, very few people have stopped to consider the negative consequences of a plastic straw ban for people with disabilities. That’s what I’m here to do. This…

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Take a Breath

Take a breath (during the COVID-19 crisis)

Words by Georgie 28 VIC Never has there been a greater need for hugs, ironically in a time where no hugs are allowed! We have well and truly passed the point of: “shit- this is actually really bad”. ‘Uncertainty’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘panic’, ‘crisis’, ‘a crazy dream’ – are all things we’re reading on a daily basis…

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Redefining my Comfort Zone | WhyNot?

Redefining My Comfort Zone

Words by Kelsey, 20 NSW The girl I was a year ago wouldn’t recognise the girl I am now.  The past year has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve lived in two countries, visited three more, made friends from around the globe, and stepped so far out of my comfort zone I had to redefine it. …

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Driving Through Fear | WhyNot?

Driving through Fear

Words by Anonymous When I heard the words ‘eating disorder’ it felt like a slap in the face.  ‘If you don’t start eating more you will end up in hospital.’ Processing these words shook me to my core.  According to the Butterfly Foundation, 9% of the Australian population will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime,…

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Inner infant

Inner Infant

Illustration by Josh 26 VIC You can find more of his work on Instagram @joshchodziesner I generally use this cone-headed dude – Denk – to outwardly express the things that I need to regularly remind myself. This piece in particular is in response to that insidious voice in your head that tells you “You’re an adult now,…

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Is Finding Your Passion Enough | WhyNot?

Is Finding Your Passion Enough?

Words by Hayley 24 QLD On paper, I had it all.  A high paying job straight out of university with great development opportunities. I was 23 and had achieved all that I thought I was meant to do.  So why did I feel miserable?  — “What do you want to be when you grow up?” …

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Why We Will Always Need Pride | WhyNot?

Why We Will Always Need Pride

Words by Natalie 20 VIC This article mentions historical events and references homophobia, which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732Lifeline…

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Bushfires My Country is burning and I feel Hopeless | WhyNot?

My Country is Burning and I Feel Hopeless

Words by Jahin, 19 NSW “I don’t feel safe leaving my children to this world” Those were the words uttered by my 75-year-old neighbour on the eve of the new year. A time of elation was met with tears streaming down his face, his shaking hand resting in mine on our front porch.  Words don’t…

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Australian Bushfires | WhyNot?

Answer the World’s Smoke Signal

Words by Aileen, 28 VIC Illustration by Aileen, You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc Answer the World’s Smoke Signal/Together We Are illustrations show the impact of the Australian Bushfires across the world. From smoke impacted areas to people/animals who have lost everything – these fires are truly devastating, and it would be irresponsible…

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Quiet in Canberra Tile

Quiet in Canberra

Words by Sarah, 29 VIC Clouds call the dust by name, grass, what’s left of it begging for relief from the dry. We heard it coming, freight train of heat and embers, ready to clear its path, lay the world down. Licked the cattle on the legs, told us to choose it was the house…

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Eco-Anxiety | WhyNot?

Busting Eco-Anxiety – We Can Only Try Our Best

Words by Beth 21 VIC Thoughts of inevitable doom aren’t exactly what should appear in my head when I think of the future. Especially as a student teacher, who is training to be a role model and leader for future generations. Emails titled “TIME TO PANIC” and “THE WORLD IS BURNING” began sinking me to…

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Herpes? Welcome to the Club! | Feature Image

Herpes? Welcome to the Club!

Words by Alysha, 24 QLD Hey, so, you’ve just been diagnosed with herpes. Welcome to the club! Firstly, it isn’t the end of the world, or your sex life, even though I know it feels that way. In Australia alone, 1 in 8 people are living with herpes. This makes it one of the most…

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I Never Knew How Bad the Droughts Were Until I Moved to the Country | WhyNot?

I Never Knew How Bad the Droughts Were Until I Moved to the Country

Words by Madeleine, 20 ACT I grew up with a very sheltered lifestyle in Canberra and have very limited memories of ever witnessing a serious drought. However, in the past year I’ve come to realise just how badly impacted Australia is by the current droughts, and how those living in rural areas are the worst…

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The F Word | YMCA WA

The ‘F’ Word

Words by Jess, 22 NSW When you look in the mirror, I wonder what you see. Why do you breathe in so hard, grab your skin and look displeased? I hear you joke about wanting to be smaller, and that you need to ‘quit the cake’. But it doesn’t seem that funny, to project on…

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Gifted, but Quirky

Gifted, But Quirky

Words by Jess, 23 VIC For me, being diagnosed with autism changed my life in an enormous way. I finally had an answer for all my life’s questions, and the more I looked into the female presentation of autism, the more of my existence made sense. I spent so many years feeling like I was…

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Why it's important to talk about mental health | WhyNot?

Why It’s Important to Talk About Mental Health

Words by Carly, 24 QLD   When I was growing up, my parents were sad. And I was sad too. As I got older, I believed more and more that being unhappy was normal. If my parents experienced life in that way, surely it was the same for everyone else, right? They never told me…

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Same Same but Different | WhyNot?

Same Same but Different

Words by Evelyn, 27 VIC I was so excited by the prospect of my impending hysterectomy that a week out from the surgery I threw a “Farewell-Uterus” Party. I spent a day making a giant papier-mâché uterus piñata, covered it in pink and white frilled tissue paper, and filled it with red lollies: jaffas, raspberries,…

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Right Side of History | WhyNot

Right Side of History

Words by Lydia, 24 VIC “We live in a strange world, where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future” Greta Thunberg, 2019 Many will have heard by now of the 16-year-old Swedish girl changing the world to save it. Every day she is attacked or slandered…

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I Won't Forget | YMCA Global Study | Blog Article

I Won’t Forget

Words by Rachel, 22 QLD 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. The amount of women suffering in silence is unbearable to think about. In 2017 I suffered a loss. I was pregnant. My anxiety was high, hormones flooded my body. It was perfect… until it wasn’t.   We had gone to many ultrasounds. Our…

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The Sliding Scale of Mental Health

The Sliding Scale of Mental Health

Words by Ari, 27 VIC Mental wellness exists on a spectrum, not an all-or-nothing dichotomy of ‘ill’ or ‘healthy’. At the moment I’m floating somewhere in the middle, and that’s my normal. I have anxiety. Using the word ‘have’ is an interesting experience for me, after recently coming to terms with the reality that despite…

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Alabama | WhyNot

Alabama

Words by Nicole, 25 VIC My poem ‘Alabama’ was inspired by the strict abortion laws that have recently been passed in a number of states in the US.  I wrote this poem as a conversational piece for people in the community to reflect on and discuss the current state of pro-choice and gender equality in our…

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(h)e..quality equality

(h)e..quality

Words by Jessica 21, NSW The vicious witches are at it again, Smearing our gender and hating on our Name. And I want to make it clear that ‘I didn’t do it’,   ‘I feel attacked’, ‘And her short skirt was probably to Blame’. Didn’t she know that women can’t walk at night in a park?…

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Mediocrity

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Mediocrity

Words by Anika 25, NSW When I was nine, my primary school careers counsellor told me the world was my oyster. I could read at a high-school level, I was precocious, and adults loved me. “What am I gonna do?!” I asked (demanded), pushing my stringy hair back at the roots, thrilled to discover I…

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Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is Slowly Destroying Our Environment and People’s Lives

Words by Hayley 24, QLD Fast fashion has granted young people greater opportunities to express themselves through their clothing choices. However, this freedom of choice comes with a hidden responsibility. We not only wear the clothes but also the story behind them. We wear the pollution of the Citarum River in Indonesia where over 1,000…

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The Ramsay Centre is infiltrating tertiary education

The Ramsay Centre is Infiltrating Tertiary Education, and that is a Problem for First Nations Australia

Words by Jack 23, NSW The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation has a mission. That mission is to inculcate tertiary study of the humanities with a socially conservative worldview. It wants to do so through its proposed ‘Western Civilisation’ degree. This is a worry on many fronts, perhaps no more so than on the frontier…

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This was fun image

This Was Fun

Words by Sarah, 29 VIC, You can find more of her poetry on Instagram @sharperpoetry One minute, I’m laughing over breakfast, the next, the floor is swallowing me whole. There’s a ringing in my ears that starts as a whisper, calling me somewhere I’ve been before; somewhere that grabs hold of my limbs and doesn’t…

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The Cost | WhyNot

The Cost

Words by Chelsea, 23 VIC He slapped my arse With a cardboard box He thought it was a joke, Of course. Brown cardboard, White skin, My privilege didn’t stop him. Laughing,  Walking across an invisible line                                                            Time stood still. ‘Breathe’… You’re fine.  For the shock of an action Made in a place; No vibration to…

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Why the Industry of Sending Expats Overseas Makes Me Mad | WhyNot

Why the Industry of Sending Expats Overseas Makes Me Mad

Words by Steph, 25 VIC After graduation, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I considered going somewhere in Asia to teach English to speakers of other languages as I was intrigued by photos I saw of happy volunteers posing with their class. I considered going somewhere in Africa, volunteering…

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The Queer Rubik’s Cube | WhyNot

The Queer Rubiks Cube

Words by Zali, 21 NSW Being queer is an endurance test you can’t quit. When I was sixteen, I came out as bisexual for the first time. Over the past five years, I’ve come out what feels like a thousand times. Almost every time, I’ve had to explain/defend (usually defend) my sexuality, so now I…

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Imagined Real Anxiety | WhyNot

Imagined, Real

Words by Lydia, VIC I wrote Imagined, Real during the week before exams to show how my anxiety manifests itself. I wanted to describe the physical symptoms and suffocating feelings it brings and how helpless it can make me feel. It’s so hard to explain to people what it’s like to be anxious and how…

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What it's Really Like Being a Female Medical Student in Australia | WhyNot

What it’s Really Like Being a Female Medical Student in Australia

Words by Madeline, 25 VIC It’s no secret that sexism in medicine is rampant across the globe. Tokyo Medical University recently admitted to manipulating test scores to limit the number of women accepted into medical training. Female doctors in the UK are still paid 23 per cent less than men despite far more women being…

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The Generation Conflict Behind the Election | WhyNot

The Generation Conflict Behind the Election

Words by Connor, 18 NSW The recent election sparked an interesting debate with my grandfather over Australian politics, and in particular around the management of our economy and the best party for that job. I argued that Labor were the better economic managers; he staunchly supported the Coalition. In the eyes of my grandparents, Labor…

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Why you shouldn't do an internship | WhyNot?

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad Turning Down an Internship

Words by Sophie, 22 WA You can find more of her work o You can read more work from Sophie on her website or on Uni Junkee There comes a time when you’ve passed the point of working for free and only getting a letter of recommendation for six months’ hard work. Yes, work experience is valuable, but here’s why…

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Young People are not the problem | WhyNot?

Young People are Not the Problem… We’re the Solution

Words by Luka, 18 NSW While on the campaign trail for the upcoming federal election, Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of The Nationals, said that young people are a “problem” because we don’t know “how good we’ve got it”. But do we really have it that good? As our economy slips into its…

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We won’t stop striking until our climate is protected

We Won’t Stop Striking Until Our Climate is Protected

Words by Sarah, 19 VIC I am one of the students striking from school in order to protest the government inaction on climate change. Our aims are to stop the Adani Carmichael mine, to phase out fossil fuels and to move to 100% renewables by 2030. We’ve learned about global warming in school and the…

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Reflections Next Victim | WhyNot

Reflections Next Victim

Words by Rebecca, 18 VIC I wrote this poem two years ago during my teenage years, before recently coming across it again and refining it. The piece explores my personal feelings towards the world and myself and how I struggled with finding my own identity in a world of stereotypes and prejudices as a 16…

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Identity Identification

Identity Identification

Words and imagery by Jack, 19 VIC I am an outsider. I am a man. I am young. I am an autistic person. It’s important to define what you are. Not in words, or for anyone else to hear. But it’s important to know who you are, where your strengths lie, and most importantly, where…

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The upcoming election’s focus on climate change gives me hope | WhyNot

The Upcoming Election’s Focus on Climate Change gives me Hope

Words by Shannon, 29 VIC Scott Morrison has called the election and it is set for May 18th. And for me, a 29-year-old with crippling eco-anxiety, it gives me hope. Hope not just for a delicious democracy sausage, but for change. Because this election is being dubbed ‘the climate election.’ And finally, the future of…

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Sharks are the Kings of the Ocean | WhyNot

Sharks are Kings of the Ocean

Words by Tim, 24 VIC Sharks are seriously misunderstood creatures. Sharks are one of the only living dinosaurs on the planet. The king of the ocean. There is a real fear behind what we don’t understand, what we can’t control, what we are unable to overpower. Sharks fit into this category. They can harm us…

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When I Die Next

When I Die Next

Words by Natalie, 19 VIC I wonder what photo they will use when I am the next one to die. I wonder what order my name will be in the list of corpses. I wonder how much blood there will be. I wonder what disease strangers will spread about me online. “She should have known…

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Its Okay to not know what you're doing in life

It’s Okay to Not Know What You are Doing

Words by Sophie, 22 WAYou can find more of her work o You can read more work from Sophie on her website or on Uni Junkee Throughout our final years in high school we are asked what we plan to do after graduating. Some will go to university, some will want to travel, and some will have absolutely no idea…

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Not so fantastic excuses, and where to dump them WhyNot

Not so Fantastic Excuses, and Where to Dump Them

Words by Justine, 19 QLD You can find more of her work on her blog www.justineohlrich.wordpress.com You see it a lot: “But they were young!” people say whenever a young person does something stupid. Or even downright wrong. It’s a poor excuse. “Being young” does not lessen the effects of your unwise actions on other people. It does…

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Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable | WhyNot?

Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable

Words by Gemma, 26 QLD Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash We’ve all been presented with an opportunity at some point, when it comes your way, have you made the most of it or let it pass you by? Did you just go with the flow and stay in your comfort zone, or did you grab that opportunity…

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Politician Testing

Politician Testing

Words by Jono, 27 VIC I wrote this article out of sheer frustration when I learned that the NSW Government would refuse to implement pill testing booths at musical festivals across the state. Despite successful pilots at multiple events in the ACT including Spilt Milk and Groovin the Moo, common sense has not prevailed and…

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Sexuality | I Vow to Thee LGBT

I Vow to Thee LGBT

Words by Laura, 25 NSW Photo by Elyssa Fahndrich on Unsplash I wrote this poem as a facetious take on Canberra’s latest ‘religious freedoms’ debate, about whether Christian schools should have the right to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ students and teachers on the basis of their sexuality. As someone who was raised Anglican but is also a (mostly) out-and-proud…

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Removing the tampon tax is just a distraction

Removing the Tampon Tax is Just a Distraction

Words by Bonnie, 24 NSW Illustration by Aileen, You can find more of her work on Instagram @cartoonsforsanity and @aileenetc   Last week 6 women were murdered as a result of domestic violence. This occurred in the same week the removal of the tampon tax was discussed in parliament.  This event seems like a win for women and whilst…

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Self-Care WhyNot

Self-Care in the Workplace – Lessons From the Frontline

Words by Kevin, 26, VIC Self-care is all about ensuring that you remain physically, mentally, and spiritually recharged. Considering the frenetic pace at which the modern day world runs, it is more important than ever. But is self-care just about making time for yourself? As a health professional delivering therapy in the community, there are…

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Self-Help Books Are Anything but Helpful

Words by Justine, 19 QLD Many young people are suffering from mental illness these days, especially anxiety and depression. It’s hard being a young person in a world with so much developing technology and a world where schools are putting more and more pressure on students to succeed at all costs. Whilst borrowing a self-help…

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Dear Brother John | Why Not?

Dear Brother John

Words by Akira, 22 VIC Dear Brother John, This morning I woke up to a Sydney Morning Herald article outlining some alarming suggestions following the religious review commissioned in the wake of last year’s marriage equality victory. The report calls for the federal Sex Discrimination Act to be amended to allow religious schools to discriminate…

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One Year On | WhyNot?

Plebiscite One Year On: We Are Not Done Yet

Words by Bonnie, 24 NSW It feels surreal that the plebiscite was only a year ago. It still feels so raw. I remember how it felt every day during that period of debate. Carrying the weight of uncertainty and feeling more a minority than ever. I remember feeling like I had taken steps back. The…

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Real Me

The Real Me

Words by Dani, NSW At the age of 25, a young woman attends her first Mardi Gras and also does her first drama production “Cosi Fan Tute”. She begins living in stable and safe accommodation. She is finally piecing her life back together, the way it should have been from the beginning. She also starts…

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An Open Letter to Fraser Anning

Words by Aisha, 19 NSW “As a second generation immigrant with a strong Australian identity and more specifically as a Muslim women, the comments by Fraser Anning to enact a Muslim ban pierced deep on the fears of social as well as political exclusion that my family face. This piece is emblematic of my resistance against…

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Subtropics

Subtropics

Word by Thomasz, 27 NSW What do you imagine the next few decades will look like? Do you think we’ll solve the problems of climate change and energy depletion with new technologies and practices, or will it all collapse like a house of cards? Personally, I think we’ll end up somewhere in between, making do…

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Australian Politics is NOT Broken | WhyNot?

Australian Politics is NOT Broken

Word by Angus, NSW Australian politics is broken! Democracy is in chaos! We are an international laughing stock! What about stability?! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Reading the news last week, you may have thought Australia had gone through an anarchic uprising and lizard people had taken control of the Iron Throne. What happened instead, was…

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Good Will or Good Business ? WhyNot?

Goodwill or Good Business?

Words by Bill, 24 Illustration by Alieen, You can find more of her work on Instagram @cartoonsforsanity and @aileenetc In our modern-day economy, businesses have suddenly had to deal with a new kind of pressure to satisfy consumers. Poor politics and ill-advised marketing leads to wholesale boycotts as customers take a stand against laundering dirty money used to…

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Everyone is Better than Me | WhyNot?

I Was Intimidated by Brilliance, Until Now

Words by Cheyenne, NSW I have always been an overachiever. I’ve always loved to involve myself academically and socially, reaping the rewards of hard work and enthusiasm. I graduated high school with an ATAR in the nineties, experience as a School Captain, a plethora of hobbies and extracurriculars, and a set of gleaming eyes that looked…

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Feed My Ego

‘Feed My Ego’

Animation by Aileen   This piece represents the need for validation through social media. It focuses on the theme of greed, the unhealthy use of technology and how it will never truly satisfy us. You can find more of her work on Instagram @cartoonsforsanity and @aileenetc

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Toxic Masculinity

Our Culture is Saturated with Toxic Masculinity

Words by Anonymous, Why do I walk with my keys in my hands at night? Why do I constantly scan my surroundings when I’m walking alone? Why do I text my friends, parents or partner when I get home safe? Because I am a woman, living in a gendered society. The World Health Organization defines…

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NAIDOC Week 2018

What NAIDOC Week Means to Me

Words by Payten, NSW NAIDOC week is widely celebrated during July of each year by all Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of Australia, to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, culture, history and achievements. NAIDOC Week can have different meanings for each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. For me, NAIDOC week is a…

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Young People | Anxiety | Mental Health

Young People Shouldn’t Suffer in Silence Anymore

  Learning that 1 in 4 young people admits to experiencing a mental health condition is horrible to hear.  I believe that there would be many more that either haven’t realised their struggles are due to a mental health condition, or are too scared/ashamed/embarrassed to admit their struggles. How can one ‘not know’ they are…

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Climate Change | WhyNot

Young People have the Power to Change the Climate Change Discourse

Words by Felix The issue of climate change is currently one of the most pressing in the political arena, and it is significant to young people more than anyone else. We, after all, are forced to face the world that a reckless attitude to the climate is creating – a world with 260,000 deaths per…

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