The big wide world of University is a pretty daunting place. Your first day on campus feels like your first day at Kindergarten all over again (except for the fact that you no longer want to cling to your mum’s leg and never let her go…. Because by age 17 you’re in peak “my parents are so embarrassing” phase). To make it a little easier for you (and not so overwhelming), here are a few of our tips and tricks for first semester survival:
- Do go to the Uni Open Day: I know it seems lame. But they are super helpful. And you get a ton of freebies. It’s like a mini educational carnival – learn about society’s, Sports Clubs and your specific faculty(s) (i.e. Business School, Faculty of Arts).
- Get to campus early because you WILL get lost: you think finding things (and by things, I mean massive buildings) is easy don’t you! You follow that little blue dot on Google Maps and viola, you have arrived. Well you can’t do that on campus*. Google Maps doesn’t exist on campus. Nope, not a chance. And everyone gets lost. All the time! (Sense my frustration?)
- Find an alternative to buying new textbooks: textbooks are expensive! See if a friend has taken the subject or search textbook exchange to buy it cheaper (instead of forking out $200 per book). I now use the trusty, old fashioned, library. It is a huge saving at the end of the day.
- Don’t do all the readings for the first week: readings are very helpful but sometimes incredibly time consuming. However, when (and if) you do them, you do see the value. You understand the content in a lot more depth and feel more engaged in the subject. But the first week is a little different – there is a lot of admin and lecturers/tutors will usually tell you their reading expectations. Our advice is to wait for that.
- You can change your timetable: This is a handy little tip that you might already know but I truly wish someone had told me. Log on to your Uni portal and change away. Want Friday’s off? Do it. Only want 2 days of Uni? Possible!
- You can change your subjects in the first few weeks of Uni: You’re in an elective you can’t stand? And thinking how the hell do I get out of this? Firstly, always keep in mind that subjects do get better (the first 2 weeks are sometimes teething problems) and don’t simply get out of it because your friends aren’t there*. But if you realise it’s not for you, you can change out of it. Log on to your Uni portal to find out how.
- Get involved in everything you can: This is the best way to navigate Uni and not miss a thing. So, to get really ahead and make sure you don’t miss anything, learn more about University Opportunities here!
Now (hopefully) when you step onto campus you will feel a little less like a lost giraffe stumbling through the jungle, and more like a gazelle striding through the desert…..***.
Remember, every Uni student has been through #firstsemesterstruggles. So ask questions. And if that fails ASK ENID.
*But boy, I wish you could.
**Use it as a challenge to make new friends!
***Obviously this was the only example I could think of….. And most relevant….