Starting university is so daunting, especially after spending years in a cosy haven filled with familiarity. And after working your butt off in the final two years of high school, you’re suddenly thrown into a cold and foreign place.
As a third year, high school seems like such a long time ago. But I still remember how lost and confused I was when just starting out.
Here are some things I wish I had known during first year, and I hope it’ll make your transition just the bit easier.
Make some friends
This is the most obvious thing to do in a place where you don’t know anybody. But not unlike most people, I had remained in the same high school since year 7 and maintained the same friends all throughout. So by the time I reached uni, I had forgotten how to make new friends. All my close friends had gone to a different uni which left me at lunchtimes without company.
A great way to make friends is by talking to people in tutes, lectures, and attending club activities. That way you can meet with people with the same interests as you. It can be intimidating, but everyone else is in the same boat. A simple “hi” and an introduction will suffice. J
Form study groups
A great way to lessen the workload and get it all under control is to form study groups. It could be among friends, or people from your class. These people are who you can turn when stuck on an assignment, who will remind you when things are due when the lecturers don’t, and perfect for consolidating subject content with.
Sometimes you might find yourself weeks behind and skipping lectures. There’s no easy way of dealing with this but to give yourself time to catch up and the best way to avoid this, is to stay on top of things. Skipping lectures is easy. We’re all guilty of thinking that we’ll catch up them soon. A great way to avoid this is to schedule tutorials, practicals, and workshops on the same day as lectures.
Get in the know
It seems like there’s not much that happens outside of class if you don’t know where to look. However, the uni hosts a plethora of events and workshops, from BBQs and gatherings hosted by clubs, to skill building workshops and information sessions.
Always check emails from your faculty newsletter, subject noticeboards, and careers online. This is where you can find out skill building workshops that focus on job preparation, or simply an aspect of interest, like arranging flowers, for example. As well as great public lectures given by guest speakers, or info sessions about internships or graduate career plans.
Other than that, are emails from UMSU and various clubs that you might have joined. This is primarily where you can find out about social activities like BBQs, plays, and club events. Don’t forget to follow your clubs, UMSU, and UMSU activities on Facebook to never miss out on an event again!