Over the course of last year, I got to experience a small little taste of what university was like, through the START Program, which had a bunch of pros and cons but was ultimately a really great time. Now that I’m just about to be at the half way point of my first full semester, I’d like to talk more about what it’s really like to be apart of university life and the first year experience (FYE).
Let’s start with O-week; something that came with promise of parties and celebrations, as well as important information on my degree. And it delivered! There was live entertainment, clubs to join and of course, the Toga Party!
There was also a few “compulsory” information sessions (personally I found these very general overviews of the faculty I’m part of) and chances to meet people involved in my degree. These information sessions were pretty uneventful, so I couldn’t wait to move on to the real deal!
The real deal did not disappoint. After my first week of lectures I was so happy that my course was actually exactly what I wanted to be doing, and I was stoked to be around people passionate about the same things I was. Although I did feel a bit out of my depth in one of my units…
… but I was excited about the challenge!
This week I had all my tutorials, workshops and studios on. The real game had begun. Even though this did include a lovely 8am tutorial (just… don’t do it) most of the content covered was really interesting and fresh for me. Of course some of the tutorials were a bit introductory and boring, but that would improve, right?
This week was a bit of a slump. My favourite lecturer quite suddenly left – half way through our lecture is when they broke the news to us. That lecture has never been quite the same. Other lectures’ content seemed straight forward, and one of which felt like it had no relevance at all to my degree, but it turns out that it has highly relevant to my 60% assessment. It’s important to pay attention!. The tutorials still managed to stay lively. There wasn’t any stress at this point, because I had ages do to stuff, and Easter break was in a week’s time!
Same thing different week, then BOOM holidays! Or… not? During that small holiday, it felt more like a “catch up on everything you’ve not done that’s due when you get back.” Suddenly things piled on top of each other.
Week 5 & 6
This is where it really hits folks. Mid-semester assessment. You don’t see it coming. It’s like a lion in the bush and you’re the prey. If you took it easy over the break, well done, you probably needed the break. Unfortunately, this does mean that you’re now behind the 8-ball with upcoming assessment, which can be a source of stress.
So that’s the run down of my first few weeks. It’s way more fun than high school; and the work is rewarding and the lifestyle is much more enjoyable, but there’s still a long way to go.
When you go into your first year, just keep enjoying the ride and the freedom that comes with it. Yes, you’ll stress. But yes, you’ll also reach the end of the semester and you’ll be able to travel or better yet, just relax! Until it all starts again next semester…