The end of the year marks the end of my first year at university. With many late nights studying and trying to complete assignments last minute despite the fact that I told myself I’d get more on top of things, I’ve learnt a few things about myself and some tricks to not exactly dying during your first year of uni.
- Lectures aren’t compulsory
Universities usually record their lectures so you’re totally able to watch them from the comfort of your bed in the morning. The only thing you have to be mindful of is as to whether or not your lecturer actually makes it possible to watch lectures online. Some lectures still use projectors so you might find in those situations that watching another lecturer (if possible) is better. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some subjects have a class of sixty and are always compulsory, but for me with lectures of 300+ students sometimes, they’re not. (Thank goodness!) Also, don’t choose a 9am lecture unless you have to, you’ll thank me later.
- Don’t go mad with your new found freedom
Seriously though, don’t. You should for sure watch your lectures on time, do your homework. Despite the fact that close to none of this goes unchecked in your tutorials (again, if you’re in one of those courses where there are like probably over 1000 people), you most definitely do your work. Although this might be a complete “no-brainer”, work in university is hella fast paced so if you miss out say… a week or two… yeah you’re going to have to catch up on a lot of work. A lot.
- Use everything you can
From free tampons and free food to a bounty of study materials, everything you need is pretty much at uni and you should be using this all as much as you can. From homework help classes before exams to finding friends and using them for help, it’s easy to fall behind in uni or not understand what the hell could be going on in your algebra tutorial. Trust me, having a group of friends, watching Khan Academy or even reading through all the exam solutions to try and understand how the heck you answer a question can help you A LOT in the long run.
- Be open to new things
You’re new to uni, everything is bright and fresh, you have a crap tonne of new experiences right under your nose! With clubs for everything you could imagine like an exotic beer society, to photography club to even things like Star Wars based society, there’s something for everyone to go around. Make new friends and build up not only your skill set but your resume at volunteering, join a society to learn more about your career opportunities. Unlike high school where your friends were your competitors, in uni your friends and classmates are potentially your work peers in the future. Make friends and make connections, you don’t know where you could end up.
- Plan your breaks and eat wisely
Don’t be the friend who gets hangry because they have a four to five hour session full of back to back classes. Schedule in your lunches and maybe your recess or snack breaks, if you still eat that. It’s impossible to study on an empty stomach so always remember that food should be one of your best friends. Keep in mind though that the food at uni can burn a hole through your wallet, so try and bring a packed lunch from home. Don’t worry though! There are microwaves around so your lunch can be nice and warm!
In my first year of uni I had five days a week of classes, most of the time I would have around 4 to 5 hours of lectures and you might think “Wow that’s a lot of free time, Yams!” but no. Balancing work, study and some “me” time is difficult and a lot of the “free” time you have ends up going to studying , completing assessments, etc. So make sure you do something useful with your time off.
I hope these tips help you if you’re planning on going to university next year, or these tips can just act as a friendly reminder for those of you who are already in uni!
P.S You will most likely gain a caffeine addiction.