Throwback Thursday: First Year Edition

It’s 2013, and my first year of university has proven to be a challenge. I’ve met so many great people, but studying for uni is still so new to me.

In high school, I’d always found that if I put the minimum amount of effort in, I could usually get a pretty good grade. At university, I found that minimal effort just doesn’t cut it.


Super cute webcam selfie during one intense assignment writing session. See that face? Sleep was a foreign concept…

Uni wasn’t scary, it just took a lot of time to get used to. Old study habits weren’t applicable, and I needed to rediscover what it meant to study. Hard.

It definitely wasn’t easy. I’ve got one semester left of my undergraduate degree and I’m still figuring it out. But just in case you’re thinking of applying to uni sometime soon, here are a few tips I wish I’d learned prior to my first year at QUT.

Know Your Due Dates!
If you’re anything like me, and you have a (bad) habit of leaving assignments to the last week day, then it’s super important to know exactly when everything is due. This will save the inevitable stress that comes from submitting one assignment two minutes before the deadline only to discover you have another assignment due tomorrow… and you’ve got to pull another all-nighter.

Look After Yourself!
It’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself, but you’re not going to produce your best standard of work if you don’t self-care. Find what works for you, and commit to it. If I’d spent just one day every week listening to music, seeing a show or just taking some time off, I would have eased study-related anxiety much faster. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break – it can work wonders for your studies, but most importantly, it’ll help you stay focused and healthy. If you’re struggling with study, relationships or personal problems, QUT’s Counselling may also help. The services are available to all students, and are free. 

Be Familiar With Staff!
Sometimes, the easiest way to solve problems and avoid any uni-related meltdowns is to know exactly where to find your answers. QUT’s online learning portals – we call them Virtual and Blackboard – should give you all the information you need. Take a few minutes just clicking through the tabs before you start uni! Typically speaking, though, content-related questions should be directed to your tutor (and maybe your lecturer), assessment queries go to either your lecturer or unit-coordinator, and if you need help with your course structure or degree, contact your faculty’s support team.

There you go, friends! Those are the three things that would have made First-Year-Maddie’s life much easier. Hindsight is everything. I hope these little tips help you out, if you’re considering applying or if you’re starting at QUT soon. And just know this: once you settle in, it gets easier. I promise.

And it’s definitely worthwhile.


1 response

Post a comment
  1. Avatar

    Hi Maddie!

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I’m not a university student yet, but I am browsing the web for ideas on what university life is like and how I can prepare for it. Your post is by far the most helpful. I will definitely be using this tips when I get to university!

    Thanks for the help and good luck with the last semester of your undergraduate degree!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *