Tips to succeed at university

Helpful advice for first-year students to get the most out of university life.

O-Week is right around the corner, which means department store shelves are being stripped clean of essential items, white bed sheets are being cut into togas and a bunch of first-years are preparing to begin their university studies.

When I began my university journey three years ago, a lot of what I expected uni life to be like was derived from American college movies. 

Yet, in the absence of frat houses and sororities, I found the reality of university to be far different from what was depicted on the silver screen. 

There are a lot of things I wish I knew before heading off to university.

So, with the wisdom of hindsight I’ve gathered my top tips for getting the most out of your university experience.

Become familiar with your campus

It’s a good idea to attend a campus tour during O-Week so you can get acquainted with your university campus.

Make sure you scope out the main buildings where you will have classes, the library and the food court. 

To save yourself getting lost on your first day, I’d suggest downloading the Lost On Campus app. 

It is a university campus map app that not only tells you where to find a lecture theatre but also includes local campus know-how. 

Time management is key

You will learn very early on that knowing how to effectively manage your time is key to avoiding unnecessary stress. 

Juggling your studies alongside other commitments can be overwhelming at first, but as you begin studying you will discover strategies to best manage your time. 

Some students set specific days where they focus only on getting their uni work done while others swear by to-do lists and daily schedules – figure out what works for you and stick to it.

Get involved in campus culture

It's okay to set the lecture notes aside and take some time to get involved in the fun side of university life.

You can join a club or society, attend a university ball or get among the free on-campus events which run throughout the semester. 

It’s a great way to break out of your degree bubble and meet students from all areas of the university. 

Your institution will have a student union which directs campus culture, so check their website or Facebook page for further info about campus happenings.

Ask for help if you need it

There is a common misconception that you will be left to your own devices at university, however universities offer an abundance of support services to help students succeed. 

You may find yourself needing help with academic referencing, assistance managing your study plan or guidance with your career direction.

Reach out to your lecturers, tutors and other support staff.

Your campus should also have a student support office, where you can access free services including academic assistance, counselling and financial support. 

The help is out there, you just need to put your hand up and ask for it.

Story by Georgia Andersen who is studying a Bachelor of Mass Communication degree at Queensland University of Technology.

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