Hey guys, welcome to QUT!
If you’re a first year, by now, you’re almost done with your first semester and would have settled in somewhat to the ups and downs of uni life. This is the point in time where all your final assessments seem to be due and the monstrous end-of-semester exams are rearing their ugly head around the corner. Avoid tearing out your hair, and learn to love caffeine. It is a student’s best friend.
So how are you going with adapting to university life? One thing I had to adjust to was the independence, and the stronger responsibility. Back in Grade 11 English, you had to submit a draft three weeks early, otherwise you got detention. Here, it’s your responsibility. You have to be much more self-reliant and in charge of your learning, otherwise you’ll fall behind.
There are many things I could say about settling into uni life. I present to you, Richard’s top tips for surviving the first year of university – the lean, mean 5:
v) Show up. A famous man once said that “90 percent of life is just showing up”. Attend all your lectures and tutorials, you’ll gain a LOT of insight into information from class discussions and the like, that you WOULDN’T gain from just reading the lecture notes at home.
iv) Be on time. I can say it is worth the effort to catch the bus half an hour earlier and arrive on time, rather than arriving 20 minutes late and spending the rest of the lecture catching up on what you’ve missed.
iii) Apply for scholarships. Don’t fall into the misconception that scholarships are only for poor people. You might be surprised that 1 in 10 students in QUT have one, and that last year 2000 students got scholarships out of 3700 that applied. Did someone say…FREE CASH?? It’s a free opportunity to get cash to help with your expenses, so there’s no reason not to apply for them. Check them out here.
Q-Step also offers a good program for students from low-income backgrounds, including bursaries and a raise of 3 OP points. If you’re an Indigenous student like me, pop by the Oodgeroo Unit as well. Sonya and Darryl are always open for a yarn. When I come through the door, their eyebrows raise in excitement >_>. But the staff and fellow students here are a genuinely great support network, and you have access to a whole stack of goodies, like free printing, the student lounge, lockers, and a fridge to store your food between class.
ii) Say hi to at least one person in every class. You’re new, you don’t know anyone, and you’re nervous. Guess what? So is everyone else! I can guarantee you guys if you sit next to a person and say “Hi, how’s it going?” 90% of people will respond to you kindly and there’s a solid chance you’ll become good homies by the end of class. In doing this I have made extremely solid friendships with some of the coolest, most fun, down-to-earth people I’ve ever met.
i) Get involved! There’s heaps of exciting things to do both on and off campus. There’s frequent social events set up by the Student Guild like the recent Harmony Day (free food ftw!), karaoke nights at the Guild Bar (warning: do not attempt when smashed), O Week events like the Boat Cruise (it’s a bit steep at $35, but it’s an epic night!), and a whole lot more. I personally recommend popping by the Business Advantage program, extracurricular activities where you can meet awesome people while doing crazy, fun activities. I’ve completed Leadership, Teamwork in Action, Career Planning and Maximising Your Influence, and recommend the last one in particular as great fun.
Bonus tip for the win of it: Turn your phone to silent during class.
There are 3 students who are unanimously voted as the ‘REALLY ANNOYING’ guy.
- The chick eating an apple REALLY NOISLY in the front row
- The dude who rustles his hand around for 30 seconds in a packet of salt and vinegar chips, before crunching on one AGONISINGLY SLOWLY
- ‘That guy’ with the noisy phone that goes off halfway through a lecture.
That was me during my first class. I had mine on general and MGMT’s ‘Electric Feel’ started to fill the room. The lecturer, Jason Sternberg (what an epic guy) turned to me and said “I love ringtones, they’re like a window into peoples’ souls. Is that MGMT?” I gave him a thumbs up and said ‘yeah, I downloaded it last night!’ While that was a marvellous experience, not all staff may be so accommodating.
Above all, uni is a great experience. Don’t just passively attend your classes, be active and experience all it has to offer!
As for building a hot tub time machine, spill a beverage of some sort into said hot tub’s heating system.
(Warning: doing such a thing may cause the fat guy from Sex Drive not to exist)