I am going to be honest with you, I had this weird preconceived idea that university was going to be like what I used to watch in those American Movies. Then I remembered I study at La Trobe, a location where there are more angry birds lurking around than public displays of affection and to be honest I don’t know if we got the good or the bad end of the straw. It was far from what Pitch Perfect taught me. I have just gotten used to the culture of it all, the volume levels one is required to obtain on certain levels of the library and which cafe on campus makes the best coffee for that early morning fix. So let me help YOU future Latrobians, let me give you some advice on how to survive the kafuffle of Uni, keep reading for 20 things no one tells you during first year at La Trobe University!
1. Trust no one… in group assignments.
Its starts off like anything else, people being friendly and promising things you know will surly break. Someone becomes a John Doe and before you know it you are doing half the incomplete assignments the night before it is due. So keep yourself prepared, even if it means doing their part just in case they don’t bring anything to the table. Try and find people who are in the same mind set as you when selecting who you want to work with for the next 12 or so weeks.
2. It is everyone for themselves during the election period.
The election time at Latrobe is absolutely insane, there are candidates from every party lurking around the school and will pounce at anyone who seems like easy prey. You might even miss your class because of it. It’s a jungle out there and although I’m not promoting violence against animals you must always have your trusty weapons to ward them off. All you need are a good set of head phones and your trusty resting bitch face. Easy.
3. Everyone is older than you so checking someone out isn’t creepy.
Unless you are waiting outside someone’s car until they finish class or have memorised their timetable and everyday schedule, it is ok to check out that hunky dory across the hall and crush on people around campus. I used to get so weirded out whenever I was in high-school. Whenever I was in uniform I would come across a cute guy walking past and I couldn’t enjoy it, I had no idea what grade he was in, and I didn’t want to know how to feel about it. So being a first year at La Trobe University gives you all privileges of not feeling like a pervert. YOU ARE WELCOME.
4. The Agora is code for food.
And everyone knows it.
5. Lecturers don’t care about you.
In all seriousness, lecturers are willing to help you if need be, they don’t just throw you in the deep end to fend for yourself, well most of the time. But they are nothing like the teachers you are used to in high-school, where you were spoon-fed and every question you had could be answered at whenever time you felt necessary.
Lecturers have appointment times and if you need anything after class that is the only hour you get with them, alongside another 150 students. No one is going to follow you up and be lenient if you fail and exam or an assignment, get your work done and everything will work out fine.
6. You will make friends, it just takes time.
Throughout all of first year I tried to befriend many people, but a lot of us drifted apart. Making friends at uni takes time, classes change and classrooms are always going to show new faces as old ones disappear, you just be as friendly and as awesome as you are and you will soon find a group of like minded people. I promise.
7. It is ok of you look ugly, everyone else does.
It is ok to wear the same top two days in a row. No body will judge you. University is a place to study and learn and yeah we get it its tricky to wake up every morning and pick out a new outfit and have your face and hair all done up everyday. We are uni students. And we are broke.
8. Ducks are evil.
Do not be fooled by the little creatures that waddle around campus, they may seem cute and fluffy but La Trobe Ducks have a mind of their own. They fly to the tops of buildings and will hurt anyone who gets in their way.
9. There is construction going on all the time. Dust is in the air.
Aside from the hot tradies walking around campus, there is dust everywhere from all the new buildings that are being done up around school. Hey it basically means the Uni is growing which is a good thing.
10. If you befriend a smart person, keep them. That is gold!
They are great to be around, they are dedicated to their studies and will help you try your hardest alongside them. They are even great help when you need them for exam periods and assignments. Just don’t be a leach. No one likes those.
11. If you want to be famous on the Latrobe Stalkerspace, park like a wanker.
Seriously the lines are there for a reason. Think of them as your guide to a happy university life. No one likes people who can’t park between the lines.
12. Headphones are a MUST.
Headphones are technological devices created from the heavens for your perusal. They aren’t just great things to block out unwanted noises as you try to study in the library, but they can also ward of people you wish to avoid around campus. You are not rude you just can’t hear them over the music escaping the buds in your ears.
13. Don’t stress about lectures you miss, you are not going to fail, they have slides.
We have this thing called LMS (I don’t know what it stands for) but it basically has everything you missed from class plus more. Missing lectures are not the end of the world and you can easily keep up. Key work ‘IF’.
14. Uni isn’t cheap. So don’t mistake astronomy with astrology.
On average a class cost around $1,500, so pick subjects that you enjoy and will help you further your studies at uni, you don’t want to be out of school with a $70,000 HECS debt and no degree out of it.
15. Everyone has an opinion, and it is loud. Don’t get too overwhelmed.
People are vocal at university, its only normal. Protests about unjust treatment and other methods of expression to release student angst is everywhere. Like them, you too can voice your opinion, just be diplomatic and keep your cool.
16. A lot of people drop out. So get used to seeing new faces.
People come and people go it is only normal. Throughout my first year I had seen 7 people I had become friends with defer from classes and it had only forced me to see new faces and befriend new personalities. (it also teaches you independence and resilience).
17. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Whether its that new special menu at your favourite restaurant or that underground gig that you are dying to attend. University and especially your first year at La Trobe University, is a time for you to explore the world and to explore yourself so try and remove yourself as much as you can out of your comfort zone before you are forced into the ‘real world’.
18. Its cool to be different (music, clothes, methods of transport).
Some of the coolest people I knew at uni were not afraid to be different. So ride your scooter and skateboard around campus. Wear pom poms on your shirt, listen and be proud of that awesome indie band that is pumping out of your headphones. Be that amazing sight in a sea full of ordinary.
19. They are right, things get better after high school!
20. Because I promised 20, I will give you the most important rule of thumb.
Think for yourself, it is ok to make mistakes, it is ok to fall just know that every trial and problem you face will one day be an amazing anecdote you will share at dinner parties. It will all work out in the end, TRUST ME.
Peace out Latrobians and remember you got this!