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Uni will sneak up on you before you know it, so it is best to get a head start on the preparations sooner rather then later!

There will be so much happening in the first few weeks of uni, that it is good to get set up and organised before the start of the semester. Setting yourself up and preparing for uni involves a lot of really simple things. They might seem really stupid, but it is always the little things that catch you out!

The first thing that I would say is that you should come in and have a look around the campus and familiarise yourself with the place. It is good to see which way is best to get into uni, and to suss out the buses and where they stop, how long the walk from Redfern is to your first class etc etc. Everyone gets lost at some stage on campus, so getting a head start is a tops idea, and giving directions is a great way to make new friends too! You can have a wander around at O week or before, it is up to you, but it is a really good idea to suss it out.

It might be a good idea when you come onto campus to have a look at the library as well. It is really huge, like really really big, so if you give yourself some time to have a look around and to understand the borrowing system and the like, the transition will be a lot easier there too!!

A good idea is to get a uni bag set up, with pens, notebooks etc etc. For some reason I though I was really old and cool when I started Uni and decided that lunch boxes were for school kids, but after my lunch got squashed on my first day, I realised that my uni bag had to be similar to what I took to school, so I quickly changed my ways. I started out with a huge backpack that could have carried a small person, and I took almost everything with me to uni, like a brolley, 2 litres of water (so I didn’t have to refill too often), a pencil case, sunnies, and generally all my books. Now all I have is a little leather satchel that struggles to fit my notebook and a bottle of water, so I have changed my approach quite significantly!

I bought some new clothes when I started uni too, you know, jeans and comfortable shoes, just because you do tend to walk around a lot at uni. There is no uniform at uni so you need to make sure you have enough clean shirts to last a week, which can be a challenge for those challenged by fashion like myself!

So there are the things that I think you should do. It is all relatively simple, but it will probably save you in the first couple of weeks! The most important thing about preparing for Uni is to get excited! Its going to be great, don’t worry too much about it. If you can get through the HSC then you can pull on a pair of jeans and get to uni!


I have to say that Brendo's advice about checking out the library is pretty good. I spent the first 2 months of my degree avoiding it altogether, and then nearly had conniptions when I realised that I would have to go in there and actually borrow books at some point. Luckily, I discovered that the lovely librarians are all very helpful, and even enjoy being asked for advice on literature searches, directions to Q544.584 123, and instuctions on use of the diabolical photocopiers.

I've just finished my third year and I absolutely agree about getting jeans and comfortable shoes for Uni. You will soon realise that fashion is not the most important thing but comfort!

Your advice is great Brendon!

Hey there.
I'm curious as to how most students organise themselves for classes. Do most students use just a single notepad for all lectures in one day or do they use seperate ones? Also do many students use laptops during lectures?

Hey Gemma, super question that. In first year I bought books for each subjects, but then Ive had one divided book since then. It just easier, you never have the wrong book! It does depend on how many subjects your doing, and how much you write, but I like the one. Lots of people have laptops, I actually think there a great idea. Some lecturers put notes on line, so you can download them and have them on the computer and just add to them during the lecture. I think there tops, I would have gotten one but I spent all my money on cars. Theyre great too as you can work on essays at uni and on the way home and the like. Great question, appreciate it. Keep them coming, good luck!

Hey, Thanks for all these helpful posts. Even the ones about the cars are ammusing. I was just wondering, going off what Gemma asked, when you say "lots" of people bring laptops do you mean like 50%? I dont want to be that nerdy first year and the only one with a laptop. Also i gather that the dress code is pretty relaxed for most students but what is code for the first years? Is everyone trying to be impressive or as daggy as possible? And how difficult is parking? I'm not a morning person at all so needing to get there early to find a park probably won't work very well. Thanks

Hey Liz,
How are you? Hope you're tops! Firstly, I'm sure you're not geeky as you have read the blog! That's grand! You're cool in my books! Well, to answer your questions, 'lots' might have been the wrong word to use to describe how many people bring laptops, but there would be at least 4 or 5 in most lectures, but this has been increasing in my opinion since 1st year. More people are starting to do it, and I think that it is an excellent way to go. I would have done it if I had one, and now my sister has one she is going to take it.

Well, the clothes. I like to think of first week as 'Fashions on the Field' as you're right, lots of the first year girls 'Dress to Impress'. This quickly ends as it is down right uncomfortable I should think (I've seen girls in 1st year wearing heels and mini skirts. they look great but somewhat out of place. One of my friends wore a pink collared shirt with a jumper tied round his neck, a pair of jeans and boat shoes to his first day, that has taken some time to change, but now we are lucky not to see his bottom through rips in his jeans). Lots of people do try and dress down too, but generally not in the first few weeks. The secret is to wear whatever you find comfortable. I know it sounds a bit funny but have a look at some of the photos on the Sydney Uni Website - www.info.usyd.edu.au. These are all students looking 'studenty', so just dress like them. In first week I'll be wearing my thongs, a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt (most of my shirts have holes, but I'll try and wear one that doesnt!!).

With parking, it really does depend what time your classes are in terms of where you can park. What I would do is leave about an hour free on your first day to drive around the back of Newtown and Glebe to find a spot. Lots of cars leave on the hour but it would be good to get an idea of where all the parking areas are. It does take some time to get to know the area, but if you leave some time on your first day, then you should get a head start on that!

Hope this has helped, do tell me how you get on with it all!!


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Everything you ever wanted to know about uni but were too afraid to ask....