A Guide For First Years AKA Everything I Wish I Knew Back Then

Rea Agrawal
February 11, 2019

Hi, I’m Rea, this year’s WIESoc IT Director and I’ve been at UNSW for several years now. I know starting university can be intimidating. Everything is so big and new, it can be really confusing. To make the transition a little easier I’ve put together my top five tips for first year students.

  1. Uni has a completely different atmosphere and teaching style to high school. Definitely make sure that you give yourself the time to settle in and get used to how it works. Sometimes, it may seem like you have lots of free time and flexibility but use this free time wisely. Beware of falling behind because work builds up fast and it’s always very stressful to try and catch up at the end of semester!
  1. While it is important to do well academically, you also need to have some fun. O-week is a great time to find out about all the clubs and societies on campus. They’re great places to meet new people who have similar interests to you. You can also find other people who are passionate about the same interests and causes as you. Check out all the clubs on offer during O-Week – it’s an easy way to find out what’s on offer.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t need to be ashamed of needing help, whether it’s with something academic, social or something else altogether. Fellow students, lecturers, tutors and other university staff are great people to ask. Also, UNSW offers a lot of resources such as counsellors, academic advisors and more. You shouldn’t hesitate to use them.
  1. Your classmates are great people to make friends with. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and talk to new people, especially those in your classes. People with the same courses as you are great study buddies and studying with a friend makes learning the course content a lot easier and way more fun. I made some of my first friends at uni this way and we’re still good friends to this day.
  2. It’s okay to take time off uni or take a lighter load sometimes. Uni can be stressful and a full course load is a lot of work. If you are struggling, it’s alright to take a lighter course load for a while or take a break.