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10 Things I Learned as a First Year at Swinburne University

10 Things I Learned as a First Year at Swinburne University

First year of university is exciting, but it can also be intimidating adjusting to a new place. Here are 10 tips for first years at Swinburne University.

A new year at university is quickly approaching. First year of university is usually incredibly exciting, but it can also be intimidating adjusting to a new place. Here are 10 tips for first years to ensure a great year at Swinburne University.

1. Accept that you will be referred to as a ‘Jaffy.’

There is nothing more satisfying to a second or third year undergraduate student than to call a person seen walking around in their year 12 jumper from the previous year a jaffy. You’ll understand one day.

2. Don’t walk down the passage that connects the train station to the university buildings while looking down at your phone.

It sounds like common sense, but if I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen people bump into one another because one of them (or sometimes even both!) was looking down at their phones, I’d be rich enough to pay off my HECS debt now.


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3. Take your time to learn your classroom locations.

There is nothing worse than the panic you get when you’re standing outside the door of a classroom and have no idea whether you’ve got the right one or not. The only thing worse than this is probably having no clue where the buildings are, or how to get into them (EW Building: I’m looking at you). So take the time to learn where your buildings are and maybe even take a test run to them all to take the pressure off yourself.

4. Don’t enter into a conversation about who has the best coffee.

If there is anything that Swinburne does well, it’s argue about their coffee. Oscar Mikes is a favourite among crowds but some students swear by Haddons or Café Gomez. If you’re a budding coffee connoisseur take the time to try a brew from all of the coffee shops around campus and find your personal favourite. A Monday morning cup’o joe should be tasty – not just full of caffeine.

5. Don’t be that person who asks a question two minutes before a lecture finishes.

Not all of us enjoy all of our lectures so to be caught behind because someone decided to pop a question multi-faceted to the lecturer a minute before the finish time can put you in the bad books with someone for the rest of the semester. If it’s something you want to chat about for more than second, try and hold on until the lecture is over and catch the lecturer before the leave the room.


6. Be careful walking up the atrium steps during winter.

The last thing anyone wants to happen is to see (or worst case scenario – be that person) someone who trips up or down the steps to the atrium during a wet winters day. Be careful out there, it’s dangerous.

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7. It’s not ‘The Hawthorn Hotel’ it’s ‘The Hawka.’

Once starting your time at Swinburne you will quickly learn that the pub across the road from uni is only ever known affectionately as The Hawka. Anything else and well, you’re just not getting into the school spirit.


8. Student HQ will make you question how much you really want to go to university.

Alright, here’s a disclaimer: Student HQ has always managed to help me, however I hear that some people aren’t so lucky. Regardless, the waiting time for the beginning of each year – and even each semester – can be upwards of two hours. Be prepared and have snacks and Netflix ready to go while you wait for your number to be called.

9. Joining Swinburne Stalkerspace on Facebook is the best and worst decision you will ever make.

On one hand, Swinburne Stalkerspace can be a helpful plethora of information and a viable place to voice questions when Student HQ just isn’t cutting it. On the other, it can be riddled with memes and useless posts at times. Be prepared for what seems like a million posts when there is a fire drill and countless “Girl with long hair outside the atrium today, coffee?” remarks. Click here to go to the page.


10. Relax and take your time to get settled.

All jokes aside, starting university can be scary. Especially if you have to travel far, move out of home or into student housing. Take your time to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and don’t be afraid to reach out for help, for whatever that may be. You’ll settle in in no time.

What are some of your tips for first years at Swinburne? Feel free to comment below and share the article!
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