How to survive first year

The first year of Uni is always a big leap from those long years spent in school or from your gap year. With it comes independence and the need for organisation!

Whether you are doing it online, moving out of home or travelling from abroad, the first year can bring many challenges and it’s always different for everyone. For me, the hardest part was adjusting to a new environment and making new friends in a different state.

I went and asked a few Uni students how they overcame their first-year nerves. Here’s what they suggested:

  1. Check your enrolment. Before anything, make sure you have enrolled correctly in your course and in the right subjects. Then, check that you have everything you need for those subjects, such as textbooks, uniforms and tutorial information.
  2. Orientation. A favourite tip was to make the most of Orientation Week, especially the social activities which broke the ice for many people and opened the way for great friendships! Orientation is also the perfect time to get to know your campus and course.
  3. Online study. If you are studying online always make sure that you have a working device with the software you need for that course. Keep everything updated and backed up!
  4. Get organised. Know when your classes are and jot them into a calendar or timetable. Remember to consider time zone differences if you’re studying in another state, for example studying through Bathurst while living in Queensland.

Once you have ticked off those essentials, follow my list of survival hacks below to ace your first year!

First year survival kit:

  • Experience. Always look for work experience opportunities, they will help you land a job in your industry and get you ahead of the competition.
  • Respect deadlines from day one. This will make you a time management expert and stop assignments from stacking up.
  • Sleep. Get into a routine of going to bed and waking up at a specific time. Stop hitting that snooze button and running late to class. Getting around 8 hours of sleep will allow you to think functionally and improve your health and wellbeing throughout the year. Know when to call it a night!
  • Plan ahead. Have a diary or a journal, somewhere you can put in notes and space to plan your week ahead, including meal planning, budgeting and tracking assignments. Literally, everything and anything, even if it is small write it in!
  • Food. Start a meal plan, create a shopping list, learn to cook and start meal prepping. Also, create a habit of eating in to save big on your dollars.
  • Budget. Do some planning and look out for deals. Many places have student discounts and deals that will all help you save.
  • Basic Skills. Be organised and deal with chores before they become a problem.

Start the year off right with a positive attitude and be yourself. It may seem very daunting, however with organisation and being on top of everything, surviving the first year of Uni should be a breeze. Plus, you are not the only one who is going through this, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.