16 Tips For First Years at QUT
A twenty-year-old Brisbane dweller, Camille is studying a Bachelor of…
A new year at QUT is about to start. Are you ready? Every new year at uni is exciting, but there is nothing like the first year. Here are 16 tips to prepare all first years at QUT.
1. Think about it.
Do you actually want to be at uni? Before you read the rest of these tips for first years at QUT, take a second to think about why you are or will be a first year student. Is this what you want? Are you going to enjoy the course you’ve chosen? Will it get you to where you want to be? Hopefully your answers are yes! But if not, it’s not the end of the world, you can still give it a go and you might up being pleasantly surprised, or you can think about the millions of other options you have. The world is yours, so go out and get what you really want.
2. Optimism is key.
Cheesy yes, but your attitude towards uni can make or break your experience. Going into your first year with your head held high and your mind set on the things you want to achieve can be the difference between a good year and a bad year. So first and foremost start your first year with a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook.
3. Go to O week.
No, O week activities aren’t compulsory, but you should go anyway! Cheap food, free entertainment, and the opportunity to join clubs and go to information sessions about everything and anything. Set yourself up for a great semester by attending some info sessions, and get into the QUT spirit by picking up a bunch of free stuff including a free QUT t-shirt!
4. Join a club.
Or 5! At a uni as large as QUT there are an endless amount of clubs and societies you can become a part of, and what better way to meet people and have fun than doing things that you love with a bunch of other people who love that thing too! From the Quidditch team to the Gluttony Society, there’s sure to be at least one club you’ll want to be a part of.
5. Make friends.
It’s not easy, I know. In my first year I met over 50 people and came out with only about two actual friends, but those two friends made my first year of uni a hell of a lot easier. Peer support will be one of your most valuable tools in uni so take any opportunity to introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Not only will you have someone to get coffee with, but if they’re doing the same degree as you, you’ll have someone to fall back on if you can’t make it to a tutorial one week, or need help studying for the exam, or even just to assure you that you aren’t the only one who doesn’t understand a word the lecturer is saying.
6. Don’t leave assignments to the last minute (I know, you already know this).
Basic advice, but necessary. We’ve all made the mistake of leaving an assignment to the last minute… or leaving every assignment to the last minute, but at uni getting things started early will be the key to staying sane. Frantically writing from 8pm to 12am after spending the previous night at The Grove Bar is only a funny story the first time, and QUT’s policy of awarding 0% after the due date leaves no room for error. So get it together and have assignments started a few weeks early when possible.
7. Save your dollars.
The stereotype that uni students are all broke exists for a reason. Even for the lucky ones who still live with their parents and don’t have to pay rent, money is hard to keep when beer and takeaway food exists, so somehow the majority of us end up with very little to no savings. Having a bit of extra money as a safety net or to spend on a holiday or something you’ll enjoy is well worth it though.
Bonus Tip: I highly recommend having a separate savings account, or even just a change jar, because saving that $10 a week instead of buying McDonalds on a Friday night, will add up to $520 in a year, and $520 will get you tickets to a music festival or fund a pretty epic road trip.
8. Buy second hand textbooks.
I can think of much better ways to spend $1000 than on textbooks for the semester, so finding them second hand has been a lifesaver. Facebook groups such as QUT Textbook exchange and QUT EPIC Textbooks are a great place to go to find cheap second hand textbooks, or even take a look at Gumtree and you might find a bargain.
9. Buy second hand clothing.
Even when you aren’t living off two minute noodles spending $40 on a t-shirt can seem a bit ridiculous, so when you are, clothes shopping can be a bit of a nightmare. This nightmare can be easily avoided by heading to a good op shop and having a look around. The Salvos in Red hill is about a 2.5k walk from Kelvin Grove campus so if you ever have a few hours to kill take a walk and score yourself a few new things to add to your wardrobe without spending big bucks. The op shops in Nundah, Paddington, and the two on Enoggera road are also worth a look in.
10. Find some cheap food.
Buying food in anywhere can be quite expensive, and it’s not much different on campus, so bringing your own lunch can often be the best option. But there are a few not-so-pricey places to get some good food on both campuses. At Kelvin Grove, Danny Boy’s Sandwich Bar does a decent bowl of soup (best soup I’ve had in years) and a piece of bread for $5, and Teppanyaki Time at Gardens Point does a $9 Yakitori meal and drink combo.
11. Use your student discounts.
Contrary to popular belief, your student card isn’t just a piece of plastic that takes up space in your wallet. Many large retail stores in the city do a 10% student discount so always ask at the checkout if the store does a student discount. Also check out UniDays and sign up for student discounts on everything from clothes to Apple products.
12. Go places – get a go card!
If you’ve moved to the city for uni then your first point of call should be to get a GO card and register for concession discounts. It will more than half the cost of public transport and make getting to and from uni a whole lot easier. Also take advantage of the free inter-campus buses running from Kelvin Grove to Gardens Point or vice-versa, running every 10 minutes during the day. Parking on either campus can be a bit of a nightmare and can be quite expensive, so walking or catching public transport will be your best friend.
13. Take advantage of services.
QUT student support is nothing to be sneezed at. Take full advantage of the range of services available to students to make the most of your uni experience. Financial, disability, learning skills, careers, medical, and personal support is all available through QUT’s many services, so hit them up to make things a little easier for yourself and avoid ending the semester as a complete wreck.
14. Find your happy place.
By happy place, I mean study space. Finding a quiet spot to study on campus will likely be one of the most important journeys you undertake as a first year. Home, being a bustling share house, overcrowded student accommodation, or your parent’s house with your rowdy siblings, is not always the most productive environment, so finding somewhere you can go to focus and be productive is a must.
Bonus Tip: If, like me, spending 45 minutes looking for a seat in the library doesn’t interest you, I would recommend finding a seat at a café if you have an hour break during the day, or if you have a few hours to study, find yourself one of the many quiet tables on campus, all it takes is a little exploring!
15. Just be yourself.
Possibly the most important thing I learnt as a first year, is to just be yourself. People will like you a lot more for just being who you are than if you try to be someone you’re not. University isn’t high school, it’s the real world, so let go of your inhibitions and just be free. As that over used, Dr Seuss quote goes, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” So get out there and just be you, I can assure you there’ll be at least one person who’ll love you for it.
16. Have fun!
You’re not going to have a good year if you don’t live a little, so put some time into finding the right uni-life balance for you and the year will fly by with slightly lower stress levels and hopefully a lot more good times!
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Have any other tips for first years at QUT? Feel free to comment below and be sure to share the article!
Featured photo source: wasanabandara.com
A twenty-year-old Brisbane dweller, Camille is studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT, majoring in Creative & Professional Writing, and Film & TV Studies. Camille spends a lot of time tending to her many, many plants, and watching TV shows for 'research' purposes. She is also a champion op-shopper, always in search of 80's denim and unique glass jars.