The start of the 2019 academic year is just around the corner (or has already arrived) for many Australian students, signalling a return to lectures, assignments and those dreaded ‘About Me’ tutorial introductions. While the start of semester is a great time to reacquaint yourself with your campus, suss out your classes and reconnect with old friends or make new ones, it’s also a good opportunity to get your affairs in order. From ensuring you have the right transport card to getting started on your course content, our uni preparation checklist can set you up for a successful semester!
Sort out the boring stuff
This entails your enrolment information, subjects, timetable, student ID card, public transport concession card…we could go on! There are a lot of administrative details to sort out before you start university, and dealing with them before semester starts will help to make your transition as seamless as possible. It is highly likely that you going to be nervous to begin with, so don’t add to the anxiety by sorting out your concession card on the morning of your first class or creating your timetable the night before semester starts.
Treat yourself (to some shopping)!
Ensuring you are equipped with the right gear, such as a sturdy backpack and comfortable shoes, will go a long way in making you feel prepared for the start of university. A new academic year is a great excuse to indulge in a spot of retail therapy, so hit up the shops beforehand to invest in some essentials. We recommend a good quality backpack that has ample room for your textbooks, shoes that will allow you to walk for miles, and clothes that are comfortable yet stylish enough to go from lecture theatre to the uni bar. Speaking of books, research the required texts for each subject before scouring your university’s book shop. Online second hand bookshops are a great alternative if you’re hoping to save some coin on notoriously expensive textbooks. Last but not least is stationery – you’re going to need to write your lecture notes down somewhere, so stock up on notebooks, pens and folders.
Plan how you’re actually going to get there
Deciding to ‘wing it’ when it comes to getting to university isn’t the best of ideas, especially if some of your classes include compulsory attendance as passing criteria. Take the time to explore and plan how you are going to travel to campus, considering a range of modes and establishing back-up options in case your preferred method of transport is delayed or unavailable. You could even go so far as to travel to university via your selected means of transport before semester starts, so you know exactly where your required stops are.
Conduct your own campus tour
There are plenty of campus tours available during O-Week (which we recommend that you attend), but sometimes it is more useful to explore your university on your own watch. You can walk around campus at your own pace and get a general feel for where everything is, whether that be the library, student services office or food hall. Guiding your own campus tour allows you to suss out where your lectures, tutorials and lab classes will be held, which will be comforting to know when semester starts and thousands of students suddenly appear out of the woodwork.
Get a head start
There seems to be a perception that university is a piece of cake, yet upon starting semester you will find that this is quite far from the truth. University is on a totally different level to high school, and it requires far more discipline and engagement than your previous studies. Between course readings, lectures, assignments and ad hoc tutorial exercises, the workload can get pretty intense. Combine this with the fact that you are in complete charge of your studies, and the whole transition can start to become overwhelming. That is why it’s a good idea to give yourself as much of a head start as possible when it comes to course content. Read over your course outline and start your subject readings before class goes back to ensure you are adequately prepared for the semester ahead. Getting on track early will mean you can spend your time on important tasks, like assignment preparation, rather than catching up on work as the semester progresses.