How to survive your first year of uni in Australia


The time has come for you to officially transition from being a confident, composed and mature high-school senior to a new uni student. Here are some of our hot tips to help you breeze through first year like a champ.

1. Get organised - Mum can't do it for you!

If there is ever a time not to ‘wing it’, this is the year! Get yourself organised a couple of days prior to O-Week with your bag, note taking devices (charged laptop or a good old notepad), Go Card (if you are taking public transport), water bottle and class schedule.

Market Day during O-Week
Market Day during O-Week

2. Arrive at your lectures and tutorials ahead of time

Take us up on this tip! Arrive at your lecture at least 10 minutes before it's due to start. There's nothing worse than turning up late to a lecture and interrupting everyone (including the lecturer) while you try to find a seat among a crowd that could be up to 500 new students. Plan your travel so you can get there early and who knows, you might even make a new friend while you wait to go inside.

3. Get to know your campus

A university campus can sometimes feel like a maze to the new student. At The University of Queensland (UQ) you can download the UQnav app to help you get around. It's an online map that will save you heaps of time, and ensure you avoid looking like the lost first-year student. Please note: even if you do end up looking lost, don't worry – there will be many others just like you and plenty of people who can help. 

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It can feel slightly intimidating with all these new people and new places but remember, we have all been there before. Chances are that others will be feeling the same, so don’t be scared to ask for help. At UQ's Student Centre you can get help with all your administrative queries, while Student Services can help you with study and your general wellbeing. 

5. Use your breaks wisely

It is normal to have some breaks in your class timetable during your first week as tutorials do not start until week two. You can use this time to explore the campus and get familiar with some of your university's great facilities. The UQ St Lucia campus includes: eight libraries, sleeping pods, UQ Union eateries, UQ lakes, coffee shops, and UQ Sport facilities like the pool and gym – just to name a few.

6. Get involved

A very exciting chapter of your life is about to start so put yourself out there and make the most of it. Take the opportunity to talk to others – you don’t know who might end up as your new BFF. There are plenty of student clubs across every topic you could possibly imagine on campus (which you will find out on Market Day during O Week). We encourage you to learn as much as you can, have fun and enjoy the journey towards you dream career.

7. Don't forget transport!

If you're going to drive to campus, make sure you have a parking plan in mind. There are heaps of paid parking options a the St Lucia campus – check out Parking at UQ for further details.

For those who plan on getting public transport make sure you give yourself plenty of time and have your Go Card topped up. As convenient as the routes are into campus, unexpected transport delays do happen. It's best to be early rather than running into class in a hot mess.


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