WHAT TO EXPECT…
For those of you who’ve just finished the HSC (congratulations- party time!), or getting into your senior years, or perhaps you’re just generally interested, here is a quick overview of what to expect in university… the next big step!
Everyone starting university for the very first time are always relaxed and in the mood for a bit of fun (well, they should be)- why? Because they’ve most likely just spent an entire 4 months holidaying and hanging out with friends, which is perfectly expected of them. So this means:
1. There’s no need to panic if you suddenly realise you’ve spent no time during these holidays reading up on subjects related to your course because everyone else is probably in that same category. And there will be plenty of time to go through course notes throughout the Semesters. Although, it IS a good idea to have a rough knowledge of the course outline. But most of the knowledge will come from experience so there’s not much point over preparing before uni even begins.
2. Also, everyone is approachable! Making friends can start from the simple question ‘what did YOU do in the holidays?’ Lecturers and tutors are also a very friendly bunch as well as older students on campus.
Having the right attitude at the start of university is also important. Stress, panic and a lack of confidence, perhaps developed from high school, or fearing university, is definitely NOT useful. You should not be having too many preconceived ideas about the difficulty levels, the workload, or even what making friends at uni will be like. Always remember everyone is in the same situation so just be confident and open minded.
So what is the workload at university like? Well it obviously varies from course to course but the main thing to take note of is getting into the habit of organisation because no matter the workload, as long as you’ve got a good system of completing tasks on time (or ahead of time), you should be fine. Organisation and self discipline are the two most important things to master in order to success in uni. Of course it’s great to have developed such skills in high school, but if you weren’t one of those people then it’s still not too late to start learning how.
There are also many ways you can get involved in campus activities as most of you will find out during orientation days and open days. Just remember that there are always opportunities to express your interests/hobbies with like-minded people (I know at Sydney Uni there’s a Lego Society…yep, sitting around building lego things with a few drinks by your side, pretty awesome). After a few weeks you’re going to have lots of friends that you’ve made from study sessions, tutorials, lectures, social clubs etc. with whom you will not only be learning with, but also having the best time of your life with.
SO, all in all, starting university is not something to be fussed over but something truly exciting to look forward to. You get to have fun, learn independance, gain new skills and knowledge, and make friendships that will last forever. And if you’re scared of losing close high school friends- trust me, Facebook will never let that happen 😉
-Shuang (S4S Coaching)