For most of you, you’re reading this to procrastinate studying or writing that essay you really need to start, so I’ll keep this brief. Applying and getting accepted into uni was probably one of the best parts of the shit storm that is getting an ATAR. But, like me, you’ve probably come to realisation that uni isn’t what you thought it would be. To be honest, I don’t know what I thought uni would be like when I headed in on my first day, but it definitely wasn’t what I expected.
For pretty much your whole schooling life, you’ve been sitting in a white-walled classroom with 30 other kids with the teacher and their whiteboard. Now get ready for four bigger, whiter walls with hundreds of other students and the lecturer talking just audibly into a microphone from wayyyyy down there.
Oh hey there, I see you’re trying to take notes there. What’s wrong? Can’t keep up? Am I talking too quiet? Too bad.
Lectures perfectly encapsulate the essence of your time at uni. Basically, you will have information feed to you on a daily basis and it’s up to you to sieve through the dirt to find the golden nuggets that will actually help you in your study. Think that because you’re studying classes that you chose that you’ll actually start to enjoy learning? Nup. You probably won’t get to the best bits of your degree until at least second year.
No, not teachers, tutors. You call them by their first name and they won’t call your parents in for an interview when you’ve been misbehaving or hand in an assignment three months late. Remember when you were in kindergarten and saw Mrs Smith at the supermarket and had a 5-year-old existential crisis? Get ready for that exact same feeling again, except this time you’ll see old mate Keith, who graded your essay two marks short of a pass, getting blind at the campus bar with his fave group of third years. Not ideal.
All throughout school, it’s full time classes, six or seven hours a day, five days a week. But now you’re a big kid who’s responsible for their own learning and you might be only be on campus for 15 hours or so a week. It sounds great but all that really tells you is to be prepared to fill in the rest of your hours with assignments. Uni doesn’t finish when you finally head home.
I spent my first year at uni wondering how to make friends. Seriously, you might be a couple of weeks in right now thinking back to high school and how attaching yourself to another human came relatively quickly and easily. Your best friend was just your best friend, no effort required.
Although you might be going it alone, you’ll find your people eventually. It’s just that everyone has forgotten they have to put effort into finding people they want to be friends with.
Campus parking is a nightmare. There’s never enough spots, parking passes cost almost as much as your actual degree and you’ll hate yourself every time you drive into uni. Just catch the bus or the train- at least you can nap on the way home.
By Bradley McDowell