Your guide to starting uni

So, you’re starting uni – congrats! Going from school to uni is a big change, and there’s a lot for you to think about. It’s totally normal to feel nervous, but you can make things a little easier by planning ahead.

This can help if:

  • you're about to start uni

  • you've just finished school

  • you aren't sure what to expect at uni.


Check out the campus

The Sir Lancelot Building is where, exactly? Being thrown into a big new place is pretty full-on. Have a wander around the campus before your first day, to get a general sense of where things are. If you know your timetable, go to the buildings where you’ll have classes and locate the rooms where you’ll be meeting.

Figure out your best study methods

Do you learn best by studying in groups, or are you a solo-learning kinda person? Would having more visuals help, or do you prefer to recite stuff aloud in the shower? Do you find it useful to make summary points at the end of every class? If you’re unsure, try some of these techniques and see what you like. Once you find techniques that work for you, make them a part of your routine.

Find your people

You’ll be meeting many new people at uni, but keep in mind that it might take a little while to find cool mates to hang out with. Talk to other students in your classes, or join clubs that interest you – just get involved with things and stay open to what happens. We’ve got more tips on how to make new friends here.

Take charge of your learning

You’ll have a lot of freedom at uni. It’s pretty great not to have someone always telling you what to do, but it also means you’ll need to take responsibility for yourself. Try managing your time by breaking it down into hourly blocks to work on assignments or to study. Also, write assignment due dates in your calendar as soon as they’re announced!

Prepare a budget

Uni costs can come as a shock. Work out a budget to minimise unexpected costs. You can use a template like this one. There’s a bunch of things you can do to save money, like buying second-hand textbooks (or going to the library), taking advantage of student discounts and planning your grocery shopping. We’ve suggested some ways to save money as a student here.

Research changing courses

Just in case you start Philosophy of Memes 101 and decide you hate it, look into what you’ll have to do to change courses. It’s usually not too difficult, but you’ll need to change before the FEE-HELP deadline passes; otherwise, you’ll have to pay for the course even if you don’t complete it. Your university’s website or a course coordinator will be able to assist, but you can start by reading more here.

What can I do now?

  • Read tips for making the most of O-Week.

  • Learn about adjusting to living out of home.

  • If you're feeling stressed about the changes, read our essential guide to relaxation.


School and study