How To Survive Your First Year of University

 

Don’t ask me how I accidentally ordered a burrito in the middle of a lecture… and yes, I left the lecture to eat the burrito. Welcome to uni life. 

 

High-school leavers… you’re on that break between finishing the biggest education chapter of your life so far, to start a new daunting and scary one that may or may not determine your future. Or perhaps you’ve had a few years away from the books and you’re wondering what to expect from the whole university experience?

Regardless of what walk of life you’re coming from, I remember wishing that a “First Years Guide to University” existed before I decided to take the plunge… so I decided to make one myself!

I’ve tried to cater for different people by asking friends from different universities to take part and write about their own personal experiences. Whether you’re studying for the first time in a long time or just want to know what to expect, this guide is for you!

 

My Top 5 Tips and Advice

 

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Julia Langton (That’s me!)

Bachelor of Public Relations and Communication (Journalism)

Griffith University, Gold Coast

Click HERE for my Instagram

1) Try and go to all of your lectures

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Sooner or later, it seems that everyone gets into that bad habit of, “I’ll just watch it online, I can’t be bothered going”. Even though it’s rather hypocritical of me, one of my biggest pieces of advice would be to attend as many lectures as physically possible. Watching a lecture online is nowhere near as engaging as actually sitting in and listening, and sometimes the lecture capture doesn’t work properly. No matter how lazy you’re feeling, just remind yourself that you may as well not waste a minimum of $6k a trimester in uni fees by just going.

2) Figure out how you learn best!

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I’ve had a lot of soon-to-be uni student friends ask me the age-old question… “Laptop or book?”. My answer is… why not both? Figuring out how you best learn and absorb information is the key to your best academic performance. I personally learn better by physically writing things down and revising my own notes in a book. Sometimes I find it’s hard to keep up with the lecturer and lecture slides, so I bring my laptop and download the lecture slides so I can jot anything down that I’ve missed. Learning your own learning habits will be a bit of trial and error in the first few weeks, but all worthwhile in the end!

 

3) Take advantage of the university student discounts!

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One of the many perks of being a uni student is all of the discounts you’re entitled to! It’s definitely worth signing up with Unidays to get some very handy discounts on big brands. Make sure to keep your student ID handy to grab discounts on things like movie tickets and other leisurely activities too.

In terms of public transport, I highly recommend calling Translink to update your go card. Once you’re in uni, you must carry an adult go card… but you are entitled to cheaper fares since you are a student**. Call Translink and provide them with your uni and go card information to be granted the new priced fares.

**ALWAYS carry your student ID whilst on public transport. Ticket checkers will scan your go card and ask to see your student ID to confirm your right to these fares.

4) Uni Etiquette vs. High School Etiquette

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High School and University are, naturally, two different ball games. Those coming from High School may especially struggle with this at first because I certainly did.

 

“You don’t need to ask permission to go to the bathroom or to leave the room”

If you want to leave your lecture or tutorial early, you can literally just pack up your stuff and go. I know, it’s wild.

 

“You can call your lecturers and tutors by their first name”

I was pretty cheeky in High School and already called most of my teachers by their first name, so this wasn’t particularly a big thing for me, but I can imagine that it would be strange for others.

 

 “If you’re having an off day, you are not obliged to go to university”

This is arguably my favourite part of going to uni. Some days I struggle heavily with mental health issues and cannot physically get myself out of bed, no matter how badly I want to go to class. The leeway and support that uni offers students definitely tops high school in my books.

 

 

5) Bring your own lunch/snacks to Uni

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I found myself falling into a deep hole of “I’ll just buy food at uni” or “I feel like a coffee/tea” during my first year of uni. So much money was wasted on not meal planning ahead of time and that’s something I really regret. I highly suggest making your own meals at home, perhaps on a Sunday night, and meal prepping for your week (this includes snacks and drinks too!). I don’t care what your mind is telling you, the chances are that you don’t really need that third coffee from your favourite cafe on campus. Make your own coffee in the morning and bring it in a thermos cup to save a bit of extra cash. $3.50 each day really does add up at the end of the week! Everything in moderation.

Continue reading How To Survive Your First Year of University

“Spikes Down My Throat”

 

To cut a long story short, my drink was spiked in a club a few nights ago. I think it’s one of those things that you constantly hear about happening, but yet the full effect of it never really hits until it happens to you.

 

Now, I’m not going to use this platform to complain about all the reasons it shouldn’t have happened to me, and I’m also not going to use this as a way to preach feminism because the truth is that the world isn’t perfect and things like this happen every day. Although it sucks that it happened to me, there’s not much I can do about it now.

Something I do want to touch on, however, is how I have been feeling since it happened. Not so much physically, but emotionally.

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The thought of blacking out and not remembering what happened in the span of half a night utterly frightens me. I’ve had friends tease me about the things I said and did while under the influence of this surprise substance and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. Not having control and memory of my mind and body is quite possibly one of the scariest things to ever happen to me… and no one deserves to feel so helpless.

I was found in quite an alarming state with my skirt inside out. Whilst I am almost certain that I wasn’t sexually abused or taken advantage of in any way, my mind has been full of what if’s and how about’s ever since.

The idea of someone wanting to prey on/take advantage of another person (regardless of their gender) seems so deranged to me. It boggles my mind as to how someone could feel so entitled to need someone’s attention so desperately that drugging them is the only way to get it. No means no in every way, shape and form, and no matter how high and mighty you may think you are, no one is so authorized to overstep that right.

How is something so absolutely messed up so normal these days!?

Why must we teach young males and females to look out for drugs in their drinks when we should be teaching the minority not to do it in the first place?

I have never felt so violated and out of touch with myself in my entire life. In that moment, I felt so unworthy of my own body, as if someone else required it more than me. It was then that the host of my existence didn’t feel to be in my own control, and only then where I felt the most at fear.

I would like to ask the minority to learn to love, respect and treat others the way you would like to be treated; because frankly, there is no reason not to.

Lip Falls Adventure

So after rummaging through some old files on my hard drive, I came across a bunch of footage from a trip to Lip Falls earlier in the year. I couldn’t help but smile as I went through the clips and realised how much I miss (most) of the people I went to high school with.

Dane and I like to organise a little day trip with the school gang every few months to give us all the chance to catch up and discuss our hectic lives out of high school. Although our lifestyles have all changed and headed in different directions, our friendships sure haven’t.

Here’s a little video I put together about our trip down the coast… enjoy!

The Art of Roof Topping – An Interview With @over.taken

 

They’re the modern day Dora The Explorer’s taking over your Instagram feed, and they’re coming to a roof near you…

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DISCLAIMER:

In no way do I advocate or encourage the act of Urban Exploration as it is a highly illegal and potentially dangerous activity. This blog post is for the interest and educational purposes of my readers only. To obtain a standard level of privacy and work hand-in-hand with specific legal guidelines, I will not be disclosing any personal or identifiable details of the interviewee. Do not attempt anything you read about in the following passage.

Thank you – Half Girl, Half Asleep.

Illegal yet intriguing, the Art of Urban Exploration goes against everything your mum and dad told you not to do. Usually requiring a frequent amount of trespassing and unlawful entry onto private property, it is Urbex that we have to thank for the rising numbers of parental anxiety (probably). However, the majority of urban explorers do not intend to vandalise property. One of the cardinal rules of urban exploration is to “Take only photographs and leave only footprints”. Urbex is a movement made by 21st Century youths and has changed the definition of exploration forever.

Instagram user and old friend of mine, @over.taken, was one of the first people to ever introduce me to the newest movement of exploration.

Continue reading The Art of Roof Topping – An Interview With @over.taken

An Open Letter to the Class of 2017

It won’t be all rainbows and butterflies, but it’ll be one of the best years of your life.

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So, I’ve always been meaning to write a little post about what my senior year was really like… but the urge only just hit me when I noticed a large influx of new Year 12’s posting photos of their “Last First Day’s” of High School (and felt a hell of a lot of nostalgia).

Being someone who only JUST graduated from high school made me feel (somewhat) equipped to write a little letter to those who are about to go through the heaven and hell that is your Senior Year. I hope this letter provides a little insight to your year and lets you in on a few life hacks that I wish I had been warned of before starting.

So without further ado, here is my open letter to the class of 2017…

Continue reading An Open Letter to the Class of 2017

A Complete Guide to Surviving Your Year 12 Formal/Prom

Ahh… the grand ‘ol Year 12 Formal. Arguably the most anticipated, over-hyped and stressful date for all aussie school-leavers…

Since I have just graduated from my final year of secondary schooling, I thought that now would be the perfect time to write a post on the reality of the anxiety-increasing, stress-driven ‘night of nights’ that every teenage girl dreams of. I have lived through the heaven and hell that is Year 12 formal so you don’t have to make the mistakes that the rest of us did.

Buckle up, ladies (and gents)… it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Continue reading A Complete Guide to Surviving Your Year 12 Formal/Prom