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.