Your first year of uni can be a bit of a mess. You’re trying to figure out how to enrol, where your classes are and what the best food on campus is. You have to say goodbye to the comfort of high school, and it can be terrifying. Uni is a whole different world to high school and the stats show that 15% of Aussie students don’t continue studying into their second year.

Some of it comes down to the fact that a lot of students realise that some things about uni aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. It’s hard to find friends, your timetable is completely different to your regular school schedule and you’re not used to the independent learning that uni demands. Uni campuses are massive, so it’s easy to get lost (and you will get lost; more than once) and you’ll probably fall a bit behind in lectures and readings because you’re so used to having more contact hours to get your school work done. You might flunk your very first assignment, even if you were great at essays in high school, just because the expectations are so much higher.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like your entire uni experience is going to shit in the first year (or even the first week).

Trust me though, it does get better.

You’ll figure out the weird online system and how to download everything you need for assignments. You’ll get the hang of referencing, and even if you still need to use an online generator, at least you’ll know which subjects use Harvard and which ones use APA.

You’ll start to figure out you way around campus (even if you still keep finding buildings you never knew existed) and will know which local café will give you the cheapest coffee for those days where you struggle to drag yourself to class.

betterEven if you flunk that first uni exam or assignment, you’ll know what to expect for the next one, then the one after that. I’m not saying you’re going to completely get yourself together- there’s still going to be cramming and all-nighters when you’ve left everything to the last minute. Just because you get to your second or third year doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to have everything figured out.

But eventually, you’ll get to a point where you know what you’re doing. You’ll know how long it’ll take you to smash through a weeks worth of readings and how to take notes during a lecture. You’ll realise that while classes in the afternoon let you sleep in, you’d much rather get that crappy lecture over with first thing in the morning. You’ll get more comfortable emailing your tutors for help, and you’ll find people in your classes who felt as lost as you did in their first week. It will get better.

Uni can be a tough time, especially when you’re fresh and new. But give it a chance to get better and for you to figure things- no one is expecting you to know everything straight away. And hey, if you keep slogging through and really think ‘uni isn’t for me’, that’s cool too. Just make sure you give it a solid chance before moving onto something else.