Ahh, uni. The days of discovery — discovering what you want to do with the rest of your life, discovering how the last-minute study sessions you got used to in high school don’t quite work anymore, discovering the uni bar.
There’s a whole lot ahead, uni newbies. Lucky for you, not only did I GO to university (not even that long ago, I reassure myself as the years go on), but I also ran mentoring sessions about uni life when I was in my last few years of study.
So I’m a self-declared expert of all things, forever and always. Or at the very least, an expert of all things university. But you’re still waiting for your first day! So here’s the relevant stuff you should know before you come Naruto running into the campus.
calm your farms.
1. The hours you spend deciding on the perfect outfit will decline rapidly
I recognise that we’re all about first impressions, but let me assure you that after the first week, nobody will be waking up hours early to prep for their day of lectures. Granted, if you’re the type to do that in your day-to-day, first of all I envy your dedication and second of all please continue.
But if you’re dressing up because you feel like you ought to, just because uni is a big deal, maybe don’t stress yourself out too much about it. You’re gonna be choosing what to wear every single day. No uniforms here, so comfort is key — especially if you’ve got a whole day of sitting in a lecture theatre.
Do not be afraid to rock the trackies.
2. You will spend a LOT of time at the Uni Bar
Even if you’re not much of a drinker (no shame, they always have great snacks there), chances are you’ll spend most of your spare hours at the Uni Bar instead of wandering the campus like a headless chook. It’s a unifying place — seriously, ask any uni student you come across and they will absolutely know where the bar is, even if they don’t know where all their classes are yet.
And it’s hard to blame them when that’s where all the good stuff is. If you go to the University of Adelaide for example, the bar was revitalised and reopened in March, so now you’ve got 75% South Aussie drinks and 25% Aussie craft beverages, plus a massive lineup of live music on the horizon.
3. You do not need to bring every single textbook you own
Textbooks. They’re bulky. They’re full of information to shove into your meme-filled brain. You will attempt to read one cover-to-cover in a flurry of productivity and quickly realise that this is a bad idea. You will question their necessity until you’re knee-deep in exam preparation and find the answer within its pages.
But you absolutely do not need to bring all of your textbooks at once. They generally aren’t necessary for lectures and you can scope out the tutorial requirements online beforehand. So free up your bag space for the important things.
Like a whole bunch of snacks.
4. Nobody else knows where they’re going either
Now, I mean this geographically but also existentially. Point being: you don’t have to have the lay of the land on your first day, and if you get lost that’s totally normal. Universities have huge sprawling campuses and if you’re as *lucky* as I was, all your tutorials and lectures could be spread across multiple campuses. Who’s to say?!
Existentially speaking, if you don’t know what you want to end up doing on your first day, that’s okay too. A lot of people start off studying one thing, only to find that they’re passionate about something entirely different later on. There are also a bunch of support services there to help you figure it out, because it’s very normal and fine not to have your life sorted and planned down to the minute.
Everyone’s a little bit lost anyway, it’s cool.
yes hi I would like to find building 19
5. Nobody cares if you need to wee during a lecture
This is a big one for people coming straight from high school, their bladders brimming with the urge to whack their hand in the air and ask permission to go pee mid-lecture. I cannot stress this enough: you do not have to ask. Nobody cares if you’re mere seconds away from whizzing — simply leave without a fuss and pee freely.
For real though. Lecture theatres have a much bigger amount of people in them than your old classrooms and the lecturer is concentrating on delivering the information to everyone. Derailing the info by asking for permission can get them off track, and hands in the air should be reserved only for questions about content.
So just go pee already.
You’ve got a lot of experiences ahead of you, and once you’re through the first day you’ll realise it’s not as intimidating as you expected. Besides, all the folks you meet during O Week will help you through it — yep, those folks who wanted you to join their club or society are real people (and you should defs join them anyway, they’re a great way to meet people).
If you do decide to go to the University of Adelaide, you can head straight to the CBD after you’ve had your fill of the Uni Bar to socialise some more and share your first day stories with classmates.
You’re all in the same boat, after all.Image: Legally Blonde