20 January 2017

First Year Survival Guide

If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that coming to uni for the first time can be pretty daunting. We've reflected on our first year at the Business School and come up with a few pointers we think might help you get started.

Get involved
University is a lot more than just studying and exams. There is so much to do on campus that the possibilities and opportunities are endless. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people, make friends and to gain experiences that will not only add to your résumé but will change your whole university experience. With over 200 clubs and societies across campus and many that are business-specific such as the Sydney University Business Society (SUBS), Sydney Marketing Society (SMS) and the Financial Management Association of Australia (FMAA); we're sure you'll be able to find one that interests you.

Stay on top of your work
Uni is like that needy girlfriend that constantly craves your time and attention, and when you don’t put in the hard yard, she bites your head off. This doesn’t mean your head has to be in the books 24/7, it just means you shouldn’t be out partying every weekend. However, don’t fret too much over missing a few things here and there. 

Blackboard can either be your friend or enemy. Use it correctly and it will help you stay on top of course material, assessments and announcements from academics. Neglect it and you might find yourself buried under a mountain of assignments, homework, and stress you never knew existed.

Organise your time well and you will fly through uni with minimal hiccups. Be prepared for a lot of independent work and content heavy units. Don’t feel overwhelmed when exam and assignment periods come looming in. Top tip: save a few hours on Sunday to make sure you are up to date with your units for the upcoming week. 

Don't let this be you. 

Know your way around
Despite most business units being timetabled in the new Abercrombie Building, chances are that your classes and lectures will be spread across more than just one building. Give yourself some time to get to know your way around campus and you’ll soon realise that you’ll save much more time than having to last-minute scramble your way around. Still don’t know where to go? No worries, there’s an app for that!

Have a good balance
It's easy to get carried away during your first year with all the social events, opportunities and new people that you'll meet. With all the flexibility and freedom you have, it can be quite overwhelming that every single decision and choice you make is up to you. It is important to remember to find that good work/life/study balance as it would certainly reap the benefits for you as you progress in your study. So think about what you might have due or your other commitments and responsibilities before you decide to go on an impromptu night out.

Photo credit: Trevor Mein

Don't be afraid
Uni can be daunting with the fact that you’re in a completely new environment, there’s pressure to make new friends and you have to adjust to a different learning and teaching style. But don’t be afraid! The Business School has loads of support and resources from Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) to a Careers and Employability Office that will guide you into the right rhythm of uni. And your academics are always there to lend a helping hand. 

The Business School creates the perfect environment to cultivate your creativity, learning and innovativeness as you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who are or have experienced the same feelings you currently possess. So don’t be afraid as help is always around the corner. 

Don't be too hard on yourself
It’s okay to be unsure of what you want from your uni degree, what majors you’re interested in or what you want to do in life. Don’t feel pressured to start uni with your degree and career goals set in stone. Uni is a learning curve that exposes you to many different things that will change your perspective. It’s okay to change your mind halfway through your degree, Sydney provides various pathways, options and resources for you to attain what you desire.

Just remember to enjoy your uni experience because they will be the best years of your life!
By Vince Lam and Cindy Ngo, current students at the University of Sydney Business School

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