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Uni versus High School

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Normally university education and fortune-telling don’t go together, but if you’re interested in finding out what studying at Sydney Uni will be like, then you should definitely be coming to Open Day!

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Dear Sydney University,

I would like to receive a scholarship because it has always been my dream to attend Hogwarts. After being terribly disappointed in not receiving my Hogwarts acceptance letter when I was 11 years old (I’m sure they made a mistake!), I have now decided that my next best option is to attend Sydney University. This is a why I deserve a scholarship.

I hope I can bring my owl to class.*

(* My sources inform me that this letter may or may not be an actual scholarship application received by the university.)

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My sources inform me that the scholarship money may or may not be secretly guarded by dragons in a vault beneath the Bank Building.

What type of ships are worth a total of $65 million, don't not sail on water but will help you immensely to navigate through the high seas of higher education?

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It has been a while since I was in Year 10, but something I'll never forget was how stressful it was deciding what subjects I'd pick for the impending HSC. Not only was it time to actually start thinking about what I wanted to do with myself*, but it seemed like there was a new language to become fluent in too. Words like “ATAR” and “scaling” were casually tossed around, yet seemed key to being able to do what I wanted. All of a sudden I had to start making some big steps, but was scared to step anywhere for fear of jeopardising it all. So what should you do?

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Thinking about studying at Sydney, but not sure if you'll get a high enough ATAR for your chosen course? Come to our Revesby event to find your path to Sydney...

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Yes, it's student election season again. Here are my tips for not being harassed by people in bright t-shirts...

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An interest in science fiction and history – and the influence of some inspirational teachers – put Benjamin Pope on a study path that’s taken him around the world.

Now back at Sydney Uni after completing an exchange year at the University of California, Berkeley, where he conducted research with a Nobel Laureate and travelled to an observatory in Hawaii to work with world leaders in astrophysics, Ben has received a University Medal for his honours thesis and is about to start his PhD. “The example of those who've taught me has cemented the importance of nurturing the individual interests of students and helping them find the right field to kindle their excitement”, says Ben, but he didn’t start out with a career in astrophysics in mind.

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Enrolment for me was a painful experience when it needn’t have been. At the end of 2010 I was offered a place to study Arts at the University of Sydney. It was so exciting to me. After 6 months working as a receptionist after school and saving all my money, and 6 months touring Europe alone spending all my money, I was ready to study and ready to learn.

I opened the Arts Handbook to choose my subjects and the sheer number available overwhelmed me. I was meant to choose eight junior subjects, four for each semester and these junior subjects needed to lead to the major I wanted to do. I felt like then and there, in the summer after a very long holiday and time off studying I had to plan the entire course of my next three years. I was sufficiently whelmed.
I asked my friends for help choosing and they offered the following pearls of wisdom “do one about aliens, or gender stuff,” “do what you want” and my favourite, “follow your dreams.”

In the end I decided to just wing it, to rock up at enrolment, burst through the doors of MacLaurin Hall, and just choose then and there.

However when I got there, I was nowhere near as bold and confident as I had hoped to be. I received my forms, attempted to fill out a few boxes and then when it came time to choose subjects I froze. I couldn’t decide. Should I do Music? French? Biology? English? The possibilities buzzed around in my brain and I suddenly burst into tears. I looked around through tear-filed eyes. Other people had brought their parents. I should have brought my parents. Or my mum at least. Mum would have known what to do. I franticly scribbled that I would do Music, Biblical Studies, Australian Politics and Sociology and shoved it at the enrolment officer before I could change my mind.

I’ve now just finished my second year and see that my enrolment experience could have been entirely different. You can change your subjects very easily until the HECS census date, which is usually a few weeks into semester. And I only needed to nominate some subjects for the second semester, but could change them very easily too! Uni is much more flexible that school, there is greater choice and thanks to the online admin systems you can do a lot of it yourself at home. If you have any questions about enrolling to study at Sydney in 2013, jump on here and have a read.

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AS we dance our merry way into that delightfully disturbing period described as the ‘End of Semester Examinations’, I’d like to devote this delicious diatribe to something, anything that doesn’t involved diastereomerism.

Try as I might, however, the method for turning ethanoic acids into acetic anhydride, the formation of polysaccharides, not to mention the redox reactions of some strangely obscure functional group, all seem to keep coming back to haunt me as I try to sleep at night. ‘OoOoOoO JOHN. We’re the friendly yet somehow threatening nylon (pentamethylene diamine and sebacic acid derivative) Sheep of the Great Chemistry Apocalypse…

Which leads me, as you undoubtedly expected, to the experience of studying Science at Sydney Uni.

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You may hear a term being thrown around during the first few weeks of uni... and it’s actually WebCT.

Not too sure what the CT stands for, but here’s the lowdown nonetheless.

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So. I checked my timetable.

All my starts were at the same time, quite early. Poo.

But then I looked closer...

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Everyone’s disliked a teacher at one stage or another, but in high school there’s usually not much you can do about it. At uni, however...

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There are many reasons I love uni. In fact, the number is infinite. And regularly, as I walk past the quad, or into one of my aging yet glorious classrooms, I sigh contentedly, and ponder just how lucky I am to be here. But, in the past week, I had one of those light-goes-on moments, when I really thought “I’m so glad I’m here”. Here’s how it happened.

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First year is over!

I know, I know, Keren, Lauren and Cath have dibs on “aaaaahgrhagrhagrhg/%^&@($* uni is over!” but I am still quite shocked at how quickly that went by. So I’m making a little comparison of what I’m doing now, and what I was doing this time last year...

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Despite the fact that I’m a serial procrastinator, I always get excited about preparing before each academic year by buying and covering books, getting my pencil case ready and organising my pens, notes, textbooks. In fact all this may be a cleverly disguised form of procrastination in itself.

The only problem this year was that I didn’t know what to bring to uni! So here’s what I’ve found to be the best options for the newbies.

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Getting ethics approval for your Honours thesis is serious business. So is finding a solution to procrastinating...

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Phew, I survived my first week! Here is my newbie’s run down of the differences between Uni and High School life, though I’m sure there is still PLENTY more to discover.

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