So it’s time to go back to uni (and I’m a bit late putting this post up, but anyway). I thought I might share some tips with you I learned throughout my degree that might be useful for those heading to uni for the first time. Uni is the next big step in your life, responsibilities, deadlines, and a whole lot of fun. Student life has been some of the best years of my life, and I had so much fun and made awesome friends along the way. It might be daunting at the beginning, but it won’t be long until you find your feet and uni will feel like your second home, so to get you started here are some tips to set out on the right foot.
Complete any forms any paperwork
Your uni might require you to complete some paperwork or online forms before you start. Make sure you do this before ahead of time before you go to enrol. There’s nothing worse than stressing about enrolling for the first time only to find out you have half an hour of forms to fill out before you can even start.
Plan your time table
A lot of unis allow you to plan you time table ahead of enrolment date. Look up your courses and plan a time table that suits your needs. Do you study better at uni? Maximise your time there so you have time to spend in the library. Or do you prefer to have uni all done in one day? Try to condense all your classes. Make sure you always have some back up options when planning, just in case the class you want fills up before you enrol!
Get a good backpack
It’s exciting to leave the days of ugly high school back packs behind. Let me tell you though, carrying around a laptop, water, books, lunch, and other miscellaneous items in a handbag all day takes it’s toll. You’ll end up with sore shoulders before you know it. Find a nice backpack, it doesn’t have to be ugly, but it does have to be practical. You’ll thank me later.
Go to O-Week
This is your first taste of uni life. While O-Week might be a bit of a party, it’s also time to meet up with you friends and start to get a feel of what uni life might be like.
Get comfortable with the campus
Get to know the locations of different, especially if your faculty has specific buildings that are used regularly. You don’t want to be that person that rocks up 15 minutes late because they couldn’t find where the class is. But if it makes you feel any better, I still didn’t know that some of the buildings at my uni existed until I had to find them in my final year.
Don’t buy textbooks before you start
Let’s not talk about the amount of money I wasted on textbooks that I opened once in first year. Many courses simply ‘recommend’ a textbook, but it’s not required for the course. Settle into the course for a few weeks, then evaluate if you really need the book. If you’re getting enough information from the notes from your lecturer and tutor it might not be worth the $150. On the other hand, if you have an open book exam, you’d definitely want to be getting one. Don’t forget you can always use the library’s copy, or find a cheap second hand copy from past students.
Make new friends
While starting a course with a whole lot of strangers might be daunting, everyone is doing the same thing. Don’t be afraid to say hi and start up a conversation with the person next to you. It could be the start of an awesome friendship.
Start a study group
While studying might not be super fun, it’s definitely more fun with friends. Make the most of the friends you’ve made in your course and learn from each other. Put aside some time every week to go over notes or smash out an assignment. I only started doing this in my final year and I regret not doing it sooner!
Keep up to date
Skipping class to go to the uni bar might be tempting (and we’ve all done it) but is not worth it when it comes to exam time. Make an effort to go to your classes, especially tutorials where you can participate in group discussions and ask your tutor for help. As for lectures, if you don’t go in person make sure to set aside watch any you missed online every week. Believe me and take my advice so you don’t have 7 weeks of lectures to catch up on the week before exams.
Start assignments early
When you get your assignment you should plan to start it. This way you can put more time and effort into making it good, and have bragging rights over your class mates who are stressing the night before when you finished it a week ago. Uni doesn’t have to be too stressful if you make sure you stay on top of your work load.
Hopefully these things help you get you on your way. Let me know in the comments, what are you looking forward to most about uni?