Surviving First Year Uni - A Practical Guide

student with book over face at desk

It could be the best time of your life, but it will also be jam-packed with brave new freak-outs that will begin to shape you into the person you want to be.

It was the best of times, it was the blurst worst of times… that well-known Dickens quote pretty much sums up your first year at university. It could be the best time of your life, but it will also be jam-packed with brave new freak-outs that will begin to shape you into the person you want to be. Hang in there, because it will be the best of times in the end.

You aren’t in High School any more, Toto

Whoever you were in high school - the cool one, the smart one, the hot one, the bad-ass - it doesn’t mean anything after you finish Year 12 (sorry). You might be able to use your charisma/looks/athleticism/daring/intelligence to your advantage, but no one else knows who you are.

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O-Week

O-Week is about orienting yourself around campus, meeting other first year students and learning about the experience you can have through further study. This is really important if you have moved from another city as it’s a great way to meet people. Sometimes O-Week is a big party, sometimes it’s just a chance to prolong your holidays.

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Buying Textbooks

This does depend on what and where you study, but look up this word: pandemonium. This is what it’s like buying textbooks for the first two weeks of uni. To beat this, turn up early, order online, or hit-up secondhand bookstores off campus - just stay the hell out of the bookshop as much as possible until things settle down.

freaking out quote

Week 2 Freak-Outs and how to Handle Them

In Week 2, the rest of the student population arrives and they really don’t care who you were in high school. You’ll notice them because they, unlike you, are not showing the slightest bit of freak-out and generally seem to be carrying themselves with a bit of dignity.

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On Becoming Friends with Your Lecturers and Tutors

This will happen. They might even buy you a beer! 

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Living on Campus

You might do this in first year, but you’ll definitely be living in a real house by second year.

 cartoon friends on couch eating sandwich

Achievements

crazy pool party

By the end of the first semester/trimester/year, you should know if you enjoy what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to change courses, majors, career dreams or even take a break. Further education is about preparing yourself to get a job and enjoy it, so try and have fun. 

Think Education may not be a university, but with university-equivalent qualifications, experienced industry professionals as teachers and work integrated learning, it just doesn’t need to be. Get the skills and experience you need to get a career you love straight after graduation.

Speak with a Course and Careers Advisor to see where it could take you.

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