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Starting University is a pretty damn exciting time in one’s life. For me it was such a mix of emotions. I cried at enrolment and nearly exploded with excitement at 0-Week. At the time, I had spent a year off from study, travelling and working so I was very ready to learn.

If I could go back and tell 19-year-old me a few things, what would I say?

There were lots of people that I knew at Sydney Uni from High School or sport, but I didn’t want to just hang out with the same people. I really wanted to start new friendships and figure things out for myself. As a result of this overly-confident attitude, I didn’t accept advice from other people and ended up having a horrendous timetable, was frequently lost, late and flustered.

So if I could go back and tell 19-year-old me a few things, this is what I’d say:

1. Timetables can be changed very easily, the online timetabling unit allows you to select times you don’t want to have class. Utilise that. You don’t need to come in 2 hours everyday of the week for an Arts degree. Failing that, go see a staff member and get them to help you during Week 1 in link lab 222, Engineering Link building (J13).

2. Find where your classes will be before you get to Uni. Once you find the building, you’re halfway there. Room numbers are usually three digits.The first number is the level number, and the second and third numbers are the room numbers. When in doubt, ask someone. Everyone remembers what it’s like to be a lost first-year.

3. Figure out how you're going to take notes and be consistent. Don’t change from handwritten in a folder, to scraps of paper to typing. Come exam time you will have no idea what you’ve written down. I recommend using the notebook function in word (everyone seems to use this) or Evernote, a super handy app that means you can access your notes on whatever device you remember to bring to class with you.

4. Buy books from the SRC or the Co-op online and get them delivered. Same goes for readers, order them online from the Copy Centre and skip to the front of the line for pickup. Don’t wait in line like a chump.

5. Get an Access card, join societies and get discounted food, drinks and movies.

6. Get the Sydney Uni App: maps, library, Blackboard and more in your pocket

7. Meet people, learn you lecturers, tutors and classmates names. Who knows, you might just make a friend!

For more info, check this out.

Do you have any extra tips for first years? Share them in the comments section below.


Hello, as a first year I have to say these tips are super helpful.

The only thing I would add is that you need to figure out where your nearest coffee shop is and work out their less busy times because showing up late with a coffee in your hand looks bad.

Remembering back to my first year, some more helpful advice would be:

In your free time, just take a casual stroll around the campus, ducking in between buildings and through doorways/archways just to see where you end up. Who knows, you may just find a short cut to a class that you only have five minutes to get to, and you don't want to have to run there. (I know that this helped me a lot, because now I have discovered quite a few short cuts.)

Let's be honest, no one wants to show up to class late and everyone turns around to look at you, and you look exhausted and dishevelled like you have just run a marathon to be there. It's not a great look.

What I am think about is
the university set you lot of, lot of free,
where you have to find all the information from the internet! And I always feel a bit lost because not many lecturers would you the things you have to do, and you have to do all the things by my hand.

The thing I wanna remind everyone is always check your Myuni e-mail box and always go to the blackboard and see any resource you can use.

I am not a confident student while every time saying which assessment I am going to do, I always need to confirm it again and again because I am afraid I did a wrong one. But in this year I would try my best to be independent girl :)

I actually cried when I found out I got into first year Architecture. I've waited 18 years to study this, and to date the course, facilities and staff have more than met my expectations. Totally loving it!

(btw waiting 18yrs was not from birth, I'm a mature age student, with a few degrees under my belt to date; however this is a dream come true)

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