University life is weird…you get to meet new people, pick and choose what you study, and learn how to survive on a budget, but most of all, you come to learn. Even though that may be the case, there are some unspoken of laws of university that most of us tend to appreciate after a semester or two. This is a handy guide of the essential Do’s, and Dont’s of university. Enjoy!
These are some of the best, worst and all-up strangest years of your life. You will go through relationships, break-ups, fails, passes, incredible moments and terrible ones too. Life is like that, but at university it feels heightened and 100x more intense.
Maybe it’s because we are all finding ourselves, or the sudden release of school structure and the pressure of our future performance that gets us all freaking out. The best advice is to let it happen and go with the flow.
These are the few years of your life where people will understand if you can’t make up your mind. Or if you want to try a new style of fashion. Or break away from a school bubble to meet new friends. It’s all part of the experience – finding yourself and where you belong. It’s also the only few years when discounts are easy to get…
A solid lesson university teaches us is who we are. What type of person we become in situations that make us happy, excited, stressed, sad, angry or anything else thrown at us. Once you find your rhythm, your groove, it will all be worth it.
Take the leap of faith, and branch out of your comfort zone. You will find that it becomes easier as each day passes, and don’t worry if your day ends in a horrible feeling and a lack of energy, it’s just one day out of many!
Explore the Grounds
UTS can be a bit of a maze sometimes, and it takes great skill and patience to be able to (a) decipher the hieroglyphics that is your lecture hall or tute room, and then (b) manage to locate said room/building among the many skyscrapers in Ultimo.
Although its difficulty to navigate, UTS does have some pretty cool and incredible spots to hang, chill, meet people or work! There is is a space for every type of student – the study, the sleepy, the party, the chill, the social, the list goes on.
One thing you should do during your time here is spend a bit each day, or during each visit to try something new and go for a stroll around town. You might just find a new local coffee joint, or stumble upon a cool study corner! I’m in my final year and only just found the best coffee on campus.
Nobody wants to head to graduation and not know where it is…Awkward
Take Care of Yo’self
It’s a stressful life, we get it. Finding the balance between social lives, sporting lives, study lives and work lives can be an enormous challenge for almost all of us. It is really important to stop and think; “How am I going?” Let’s be real, this generation is one of the largest sufferers of mental and physical health issues, it’s almost too common.
So make sure you regularly check up with yourself, friends, or anyone you think might be less than alright. UTS has a team of counsellors both in person and on the phone for you to contact at any time if you, or someone else isn’t ok. Along with that, there are helpline such as Lifeline who are always available for a chat at 13 11 14.
It’s not the end of the world if you won’t make it out for beers for the 4th night in a row, grab some much needed rest. There’s always next week. Or if you’re a bit injured and your team really needs that extra player, it’s ok! They will understand.
Don’t overtire and overcommit yourself. You won’t know it’s too late, until it is. So keep a balance, and keep on keeping on.
Bring Up Your ATAR
If you were a year 12 student graduating in 2018, and you went straight into University at UTS. You would have been a free individual on Orientation Day 1, 2019, for at least 100 days. Which is plenty of time to celebrate (or not) your huge effort in year 12 and your resulting ATAR.
However, this is uni now. An entire different race…you, and everyone else at UTS are in the course they wanted to be in and therefore, should not worry what everyone’s ATAR was. Don’t be the kid who goes around asking what everyone got for you to only want to flex your 90+ rank, it’s not really relevant anymore.
People are here to have fun and to follow the pathways of their choice and dreams, they don’t need some nostalgic pest who wants to remind everyone of their success. Sure, if you got a high ATAR, or even the one you wanted, absolutely congratulations, you deserve it! Just don’t feel the need to remind everyone and anyone if they don’t ask.
Be a Ghost
We’ve all been there; you’re at your first tutorial of the sem and the tutor says, “let’s get to know each other”. Great. Another ice-breaker…so as soon as you’re allowed to leave you zoom right outta there and back to the haven of your home.
There’s nothing wrong with dreading something as uncomfortable as an ice-breaker, but that doesn’t mean you should race away straight after every lecture and tute.
The point of university is to learn about the subjects you’re interested in, while gaining experience, knowledge and friends along the way. You have no chance of doing any of the above if your first reaction to “That’s all for today” is to speed walk back to Central and onto the next train home.
Take the time to chat along the way from class to class, or spend some time in the library or social areas of each building. Good things can, and will come, to those who put in the extra effort to socialise and immerse themselves into the university culture.
Bail on Group Projects
This follows on from my last point. Everyone experiences an absolute bombshell experience with group projects, no matter what year or subject. Everyone.
You could interview 100 students about their experiences with group projects and I can almost bet, that the majority will roll their eyes and produce a dread-worthy story of how a student (or more than one) decided the team could carry them like a king/queen to the finish line with a Distinction. Let me tell you, it ain’t the truth.
Reply to group chat messages, do your work, put in the effort to research and participate. If you can’t do that, or are unsure, just ask your team! They would much rather help you complete something than you not do it at all, and leave them in the deep end.
If you lack the care and honesty to put any work into a group project, that is a sign that university is not for you. Group projects act as a tool to prepare you to work with others. They educate people on how to communicate and work regardless of individual strengths and weaknesses, both in personality and intellectual ability.
Not to mention that most subjects now provide peer review at the end of each assessment, and I am almost certain that a group who have dealt with someone that puts in zero effort and doesn’t bother to communicate will be hit like a truck with that peer review zero.
So basically, just don’t be that guy! No one likes that guy.