A new school year is right around the corner. Uni can be both exciting and difficult, especially for those who have never been before! To make uni life just a little bit less scary, here are 20 tips for first years at ACU Melbourne.
1. Go to orientation week.
At ACU, you’ll receive an email about O Week soon after enrollment and will be able to create a personalized planner. Enroll into as many workshops and campus tours as you can, because some university procedures and routines may be foreign to you. It’s better to learn how to navigate them before you start!
2. Be social.
You may know a lot of people who go to ACU, and you may know no one. It doesn’t matter! ACU Melbourne holds a first years cruise at the beginning of the semester and several other events throughout the year, so be sure to check them out via social media!
3. Be safe.
Parties and pub crawls are awesome ways to make new friends and have a fun time, but always watch your drink and never drunk drive. During O Week you’ll be given a key chain flashlight with the ACU logo on it – be sure to keep it handy.
4. Enjoy the diversity.
A lot of students find that their university is far more diverse than their high school was. You will meet people of every race, religion, age and opinion. Even though ACU is a Catholic university, those of all faiths and beliefs are welcome. Embrace these diversities and you’ll find that you’re a stronger, more empathetic person for it.
5. Make a timetable.
Timetables will soon become your best friend. After your first week or so it’s a good idea to make a timetable. Include your work schedule, volunteering placements, lectures, tutorials, social gatherings and study blocks. It’ll make getting into a routine much easier.
6. Don’t get too overwhelmed by the freedom.
You’ll soon realize that there is nobody here to tell you what to do. This is something that trips a lot of first year students up, so make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by your newfound freedom…and actually study.
7. Use the ACU Melbourne facilities.
Need a workout? The gym has got you covered. Need a quiet space to study away from distractions? The library is the perfect place. ACU’s library comprises of three levels, and the bottom one is a strictly quiet space. Other facilities on ACU’s Melbourne campus include a chapel, cafés (be sure to check out the famous Rooftop Café!) and more.
8. Talk to your lecturers and tutors.
It can be a bit daunting at first, however lecturers and tutors are amazing resources to use if you get stuck – or even if you just want to know more about their area of expertise. Tutors and lecturers at ACU Melbourne are really friendly, so don’t dismiss their usefulness!
9. Ask for help if you need it.
Starting university signifies huge changes in your life, and during your years of study you may find yourself going through a rough patch. ACU has many services available to you, such as health services, academic advisors, councillors, the campus ministry and more. These services are usually free or heavily subsidized, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.
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10. Check your emails.
Once you have been issued with a student email address, you will be expected to check your emails frequently. Coordinators, tutors and lecturers will email you with unexpected timetable changes, room changes, important assignment information and more. If you don’t check your emails frequently, you may find that you’ve missed out on vital details pertaining to your assignments and classes.
The average adult needs roughly 8 hours of sleep per night to function properly. It can be hard to fit 8 hours of sleep into your hectic schedule, but it’s so important.
Finding time to have a solid meal is just as difficult as finding time to sleep – have you ever heard about university students living on two minute noodles? Don’t let that be you. Find time for yourself to have a proper meal and try to maintain a balanced diet. Not only are there several cafés on campus, but there are also amazing coffee houses and even a McDonald’s five minutes down the road.
13. Complete your readings.
Almost every unit will have set readings you should complete before class. There is usually no need to read every little detail – if you did this for every class, you would be completely drained before class even began! Skim over your readings and write down key words and points the author is making.
14. Pay attention to referencing.
Referencing is a huge part of university life. However it’s not always easy to know when to reference and in which style (there are many!). You should be able to find referencing guides on LEO once you are enrolled. Look at them often.
15. Don’t leave assignments to the last minute.
There are bound to be times when you will start a 2,000 word essay due in several hours – every student has been there. Don’t let it become a habit, and try to start your assignments several weeks early.
16. Read your feedback.
Whoever marks your essay – usually your tutor – will leave some advice and criticism behind for you. Read over this feedback and use it to improve your next essay. If the feedback is too vague or doesn’t make sense to you, don’t be afraid of asking for clarification.
17. Don’t dismiss low-weighted assessments.
There will be some assessments at ACU Melbourne that are only worth 10% of your entire grade, but this doesn’t mean that you should approach it half-heartedly. It still contributes to your grade and is therefore important.
18. Organization is key!
By the time exams come around, you will be inundated with unit outlines, assessment tasks, readings, handouts and more. Make sure that your laptop and notebooks are organized into neat folders so that information is easy to find.
19. Balance life and study.
It’s easy to drown yourself in study, work, or partying in your first year of uni. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed by any of them and try to have balance between life and study. Tip s #5 and #9 can help you with this.
20. Enjoy the experience!
This might sound a bit tacky, but your years at uni really can be some of the best years of your life. Here you can experiment, find yourself, make new friends and of course gain a degree. Enjoy university for what it’s worth.
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Have any other tips for first year students at ACU Melbourne? Feel free to comment below and share the article!
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Chloe Bullow is a Melbourne gal studying Arts at ACU. In her free time, Chloe works on a variety of writing projects and reads an unhealthy amount of YA fiction.