My first weeks at university - part two

Part two of Roving reporter Jess's look at starting uni covers her first lecture and tutorial, and gives five tips for surviving your early days at uni.

In part one of My first weeks at university, we covered Roving reporter Jess's very first day at uni, and her first O-Week experiences. Read on to find out more about her other university firsts.

First lecture

My first weeks at uni - part 2 - First lectureMy first lecture experience came in the form of Creative Writing at 9am on the Monday morning. That was a shock to the system. After months of not waking until at least 9.30, my 6.30 alarm was not welcome to say the least. I was not alone in this predicament. The entire lecture theatre was packed with bleary eyed first-years hating the fact that there was only one allocated lecture time for this subject. Even the lecturer himself was yawning (apparently poets are much the same as uni students - we like our sleep).

I was also extremely nervous at the prospect of entering a lecture theatre full of people I didn't know. All of my friends had chosen to do Commerce instead of my beloved Arts. Luckily for me I managed to meet up with one of the girls in my host group on O-Week as I was attempting to wake myself up with some hardcore caffeine. While this was a great softener to a pretty scary sounding prospect, it's a good idea to remember that most people are feeling just the same as you, and often you can meet some really amazing people by sitting down next to them at a lecture.

The lecture itself wasn't bad, basically just an introduction to the course, and I came out of the theatre feeling fairly confident. I had made it through the first lecture, I hadn't gotten lost and I'd even found someone to sit next to. That was only one lecture though.

My first tute

My first weeks at uni - part 2 - First tutorialI was feeling quite pumped for my first tutorial, as it was something a bit similar to what I was used to. After arriving at uni from one of the smallest schools in Victoria, I had been finding lectures extremely intense and isolating, and I was really looking forward to some greater interaction.

My first tute turned out to be Creative Writing again, and my lecturer turned out to be my tutor as well so my confidence levels were rising. The tute was quite an experience.

We spent the first half hour just taking the role; my tutor had trouble working out why there were 17 people in the room and 18 people on the list. We counted the room over and over, read the role out infinite times, and in the end put it down to the annoying quirks of mathematics.

However my favourite moment came after we had been doing some writing exercises and we decided to do one specifically for a poem. Our tutor asked us to, 'look out the window... reflect on what you see and... if you feel like writing something down then write it.' It was the most entertaining twenty minutes of my life. Our tutor occasionally would comment on something he could see, such as a girl walking at our height level (my classroom was slightly lower then ground level) 'what is that girl doing? Where is she going?' One latecomer arrived to find his fellow classmates all staring out the window. He must have thought he'd hit the jackpot.

My overall thoughts

My first weeks at uni - part 2I've had a ball settling into uni. There are so many fun things going on all the time, and there are so many incredible people that you meet everyday. I did struggle with the size and grandeur of it all at first, and there were some awfully lonely moments where I found myself eating lunch alone because all my friends were in lectures, but overall uni life is just amazing. Completely different from anything I'd experienced before, and so much better then I was expecting! :)

5 tips for starting uni from a complete rookie

  • Allow for delays in getting to uni. Don't expect every train to run on time just so you can get that extra bit of sleep. Public transport will let you down occasionally but don't panic when it does.
  • A good idea to avoid this panic is to find out where the back entrances are for all your lectures theatres so you can slip in the back without disturbing anyone or humiliating yourself.
  • A note particularly for fellow left-handers: there are generally 'swing out desks' for lefties on the left hand end of rows which makes life SO much easier. Alternatively find a seat where there's no one sitting to your left and steal their desk.
  • Join every obscure club that sounds of any interest to you. They may have benefits such as free lunches, movie nights or even trivia nights! Also it just sounds cool to say you're in the Pirates Society. I mean come on now.
  • DON'T FREAK OUT. No matter what happens you will live through it, and you will sort it out. There are plenty of places you can go for help if you need it, just remember to go looking. Don't feel silly asking questions, it's so much better then taking a stab in the dark and failing because of it.

So to all my fellow uni-rookies have fun and good luck! :)


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