Tertiary offers have been released, and your hard work throughout high school has been validated with an offer to undertake further study at university. You’ve gone through the acceptance process and have begun (or even completed) your course enrolment. With the start of semester one still nearly two months away, what’s next? Our guide to pre-uni prep can help you get ready for tertiary life before setting foot on campus.
Research university services
Universities provide a wealth of services to its students, and the benefit for you is that some of these are tailored to first-years. Take the time to explore these services, as they can go a long way in helping you settle in. Institutions also run a range of general student support services, covering everything from course advice, academic assistance, counselling, legal support and welfare. Societies, clubs, sports teams and ‘mates’ programs are also offered, so contact your institution’s student enquiries office (have a look on the website for an enquiry email address or phone number) to find out what is available.
Think about living and transport arrangements
It is always a good idea to work out how you will get to and from campus before semester one kicks off, especially if you will be required to travel long distance. Explore all your transport options, weighing up the cost and convenience of each one – you could take the train, tram, bus or ferry, cycle or even walk if you live close enough. If you’d like to drive, research on-campus details or consider joining a carpooling group. For those who are moving away from home to attend university, you have no doubt already given your living arrangements some good thought. If not, take a look at our guide to student accommodation to consider your options. Real estate and share accommodation websites could be of interest if you are looking to rent, or you can contact your institution’s accommodation services branch if you would prefer to live on-campus.
While it is tempting to spend the rest of your holidays in full relaxation mode, you will feel much more prepared come Week 1 if you take some time to organise yourself. Most institutions have subject handbooks available year round with information on key dates, unit descriptions and requirements. Once you’ve worked out the compulsory units required for your course, use the university general timetable to plan your semester study plan before class registration opens (your student services office can help you find it online). You could also start preparing any necessary documents, forms or applications if they have been made available, such as student ID and transport concession card.
Visit your campus
Consider spending half a day wandering around your university before semester starts – it will help you get a feel for the campus without thousands of other students being in the way. Having a rough idea of where everything is can ease your nerves during the first few weeks, when everyone tries (and often fails) to avoid getting terribly lost on campus.
Plan your orientation
Students past and present tend to agree that first-year ‘O-week’ was one of the highlights of their university lives. Institutions offer campus tours with current student guides, opportunities to sign up for societies and clubs, academic advice, refreshments and even the odd freebie. O-week is well-known for its social side, so why not head along to a pub crawl or society party to meet fellow first-years? Your institution will provide orientation details in advance, so consider planning which activities and events you would like to attend.
Keep an eye out for any correspondence
Just because you are still on holidays, it doesn’t mean your emails (and university staff) are. Once you have accepted your offer and enrolled in your course, expect constant contact from your university. You will get vital details on enrolment, course planning, class registration, orientation and other matters that tend to have deadlines, so make a habit of constantly checking the email account that your university correspondence is directed to.