Starting University can be a joyous, exciting and overwhelming experience. That is why the Damsel team took to the UWA Guild Women’s department instagram (@uwastudentguild_womens) to get inside information on advice UWA students wish to share with freshers or things they wish they knew as a first year.
In no particular order we present to you the most popular pieces of advice received.
“Join a club or committee to meet new people”
UWA is renowned for its thriving and dynamic campus culture. UWA has over 140 clubs and societies ranging from FABSOC (a fashion and beauty appreciation society), to QFin (a quantitative finance club), to EMAS (an electronic music appreciation society). For a full list of clubs and societies on campus check out https://uwastudentguild.com/clubs .
There are cultural clubs, academic clubs, social clubs, humanitarian clubs and so much more. You will definitely be able to find a club that is perfect for you. Joining a club is a great way to meet like minded people and bond over common interests. Many university students will tell you that the best friendships they made were through going to club events or getting involved with club committees. So, bring a friend or go by yourself to the next club event that interests you and get involved with campus culture!
“Don’t be afraid to make friends”
Most of the people in your tutorials and lectures will be first years like yourself and often all it takes is a ‘hello, are you a first year as well?’ to strike up a conversation and bond over this crazy time in your life. And voilà you now have someone to sit with in your next class! It’s really useful to have friends in your units as you will probably need someone to message about that weird assignment which you don’t understand and it’s also nice to have someone to study with. I know it can be scary to be the person who puts themselves out there but often you’ll find that the person sitting next to you is grateful that you struck up a conversation first.
“Expect the unexpected”
Starting university for the first time can be a crazy, hectic and eventful time. It is best to be flexible and just go with the unexpected. Some things to prepare for though:
- Allow at least 15 minutes to find your tutorial, especially if it is in the Social Sciences building! If you get lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions because most of the time people will be nice and show you where to go, they might even walk you to your class.
- Expect to be called on in class. Do the readings and tutorial prep! Most won’t but some tutors will just randomly call on you to answer questions, so expect this to happen. To get the most out of your classes it is always good to come prepared.
- It actually does take a long time to walk from the business school to the other end of campus (ie arts). If you have classes straight after each other at opposite ends of campus run or get a bicycle/skateboard/roller-blades if you want to be on time.
“Knowing about all the support services especially student assist, they are lifesavers”
Guild Student Assist are a dedicated team of Social Workers and a Wellbeing Counsellor who are available to help students with any academic, financial or welfare issues. They are available Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm and can be contacted via email or on 6488 2292. They are there to support you so don’t be afraid to utilise the resources available to you on campus. For more information on them go to this website https://ipoint.uwa.edu.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/2692/~/guild-student-assist
“This is your campus now, you’re allowed to spend time there! Go to the library! Sit in hackett!”
You are now a part of this university. Take advantage of all the resources on campus. The university campus is not just a place for older students to hang out, it’s for everyone. Over the years that you spend here, you will find places that you prefer to study, get food or hang out but for now it is all new. So, spend time exploring all of campus!
Your first year at university will go by in a flash and all of a sudden you’ll be a wise second year thinking ‘where do the first years get so much energy?’. So, my advice to you is to make the most of this year because your units will never be as easy as they are now and you only get to experience the wonder of life as a fresher once! Next year when you see freshers on campus, try to remember what it was like for yourself when you started university and be a friendly face on campus.
~ Compiled and Elaborated on by Jade Sauta