On my first day of university, I (a tea drinker), decided I wanted to fit into the coffee crowd. With my chin in the air and a purposeful stride, I walked into the first café I saw and ordered the first coffee on the menu. I attempted to put the lid on it and by some act of Satan, I emptied the entire contents of the cup on my white shirt. On the same day, I walked into an incorrect lecture room and also happened to wave at two different people who as it turns out weren’t waving at me. A typical Thursday, really.
Two years on, I am a coffee addict, I now (usually) know where most of my classes are and I don’t wear white to uni. I still, unfortunately, wave quite a bit at people who aren’t waving at me, but with a degree lasting over five years, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Speaking of long amounts of time spent studying, being a double degree student is not all fun and games. As a dual degree student, there is even more chance of your classes being scattered in rooms at all corners of the campus. So it’s likely that you’re going to get lost… a lot. Take it from someone who stupidly ditched the campus tour, that partaking in orientation and the tours that go with it will make a world of difference.
Then there is the matter of preparing for exams for your two separate degrees with topics that are often completely different. Studying becomes tedious and it is suddenly 3 in the morning. You are six parts sleep deprived and nine parts horrified that you’ll go into your exam knowing less than Jon Snow. Try to remember that your calendar days in the lead up to exams and other assessments are numbered (spot the pun), so use your time wisely.
Factor in time for study breaks and if studying for one subject becomes monotonous, take a break and move onto another. Try to make the burden a bit easier by keeping up to date with readings, tutorial work, weekly revision and make sure you begin all assessments at the earliest possible date. There will be plenty of people to assist with any questions you may have about study plans at orientation.
While at (most) times, doing a dual degree can feel like your brain is being smashed by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large brick- there are benefits. You develop a profound ability to switch from different fields and gain incredible varying perspectives of the world around you. It also means double the number of friends (if you like people), double the amount of job possibilities (hopefully) and most importantly, double the amount of networking event bar tabs.
Be prepared to hate your double degree and then love it and then hate it again. If you aren’t having an existential crisis/mental breakdown at least once a week then you aren’t doing it right. But most of all, try your best. You will eventually find your balance and figure out exactly what works for you.
So while a double degree may be double the trouble, it brings twice the return (so cheesy you could dip a nacho in it).