Wednesday, October 19, 2011

University life

The HSC (final high school exams) for 2011 students started this week. I can't believe a year has already passed and that exactly a year ago I was one of those people who were having constant panic attacks about the HSC. For the record, I wasn't panicking about the actual exams like everyone else (admittedly, I was excited - don't judge) but instead worrying about the fact that I wasn't worrying enough about it. I lost all motivation during the HSC study holiday (spot the oxymoron!) and just wanted to get it over and done with. I didn't do as well as I expected but still managed to get into uni and into my first degree preference. 

Graduation excitement with Tami

That degree was Media and Journalism. You see, I've always wanted to be a writer (hence, le blog) and journalism seemed like the right career path. Additionally, the degree allowed the study of an arts minor which meant that I was able to do film studies. 

I was excited to start. I was finally going to study what I was truly passionate about. The only problem? I found out journalism is not really my passion at all. Studying film studies was worse because even though I had a love affair with cinema, studying the subject within an academic setting was definitely not what I had imagined. It made it seem like a chore and drained all the passion and the excitement right out of it. 

I've already applied for a transfer next year to do a Bachelor of Design because I did design subjects as electives this year and I ended up falling in love with it. The best thing about university is navigating through all these different paths and unexpectedly stumbling into a completely different path from the one you started on.

Now I know many will be starting university next year and here are a couple of tips from me:

1) Read all your syllabuses. Thoroughly. 

Many students get fail grades because they didn't read the assessment instructions properly or they were unaware of particular rules set within that particular course. Different faculties have different rules and rules may even differ between courses. You must know about the rules with things like required attendance, late submission penalties, and extension policies. 

2) Caffeine will be your sidekick.

If you are already a caffeine fiend, skip this one. If not, meet Caffeine. He will get you through all nighters, post-party morning lectures and late night readings. You will find him in two uni staples: coffees and Red Bulls. 

3) Purchase a university jumper

It may seem great never having to wear uniform anymore but you will have one of those days when you have absolutely nothing to wear. It's easier to just grab your jumper, put on some jeans and go.

4) Don't put all your tutorials in one day.

I did this and I regret it. Usually homework will be due on the day of your tutorial so scheduling them all in one day will mean a hectic day beforehand. 

5) Learn how to do academic referencing PROPERLY.

They're extremely particular about this and you can easily lose marks for things like misspelling an author's name right down to something petty like misplacing a comma. Reference as you go, this is not something to be done in the last minute.

6) Don't schedule a class on a Friday.

I don't know about other unis but in mine, parties usually happen on Thursday nights. So placing a 9am tutorial on a Friday may not be a good idea. Schedule classes in the afternoon if you have no other choice. Also, Fridays are quiet days at uni and it's usually almost empty.

Uni Party

7) Eat at Stock Market.

This is for those going to UNSW only. This place has the best salads. No joke.

8) Academic independence is a double-edged sword.

Most of your learning will happen outside the class. Learn how to figure things out yourself and use your resources wisely. It's different to high school in that no one is there to guide, pester or hold your hand. Classes are much larger and most of your lecturers won't even know who you are. Even though there are plenty of avenues to get help with your work, it's better to learn how to work things out yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...