Five hot tips for first-year uni students - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Five hot tips for first-year uni students

18 Feb 2019

Making the choice to go to uni is kind of like taking the first step off a high diving board: It takes a while to climb to the top and, after the climb, reaching the platform greets you with tingling butterflies in your stomach at the thought of what’s next.

That first step is charged with exhilaration, excitement, fun, freedom and a fast dive towards your end goal. But alongside this exhilaration can come the terror of the unknown and fear of completely stuffing it up… like landing your dive in one big belly flop.

When I look back at my first step, there are a few things I know now that I wish I knew back then.

Here they are:

Emily Steckelbruck

USC Laws student

1. Cheap textbooks

There is a closed Facebook group called 'USC Buy Swap and Sell' where you can buy secondhand textbooks from current students. It is actually the greatest thing that ever was! Find it, request to join it, meet awesome humans, save money, thank me later.

2. Cash splash

Money doesn’t have to be tight. Part of being a student at USC is having the opportunity to apply for the multitude of bursaries and scholarships available. It’s one form, it takes up to an hour to fill out and the possible payouts range from $500-$20,000, depending on eligibility and situation. Give it a crack – what have you got to lose?

3. Know thy teacher

The lecturers and tutors are all super friendly. They want you to succeed and do the best you can. Get to know them, ask them questions. They are one of your biggest resources while studying – use them!

4. Park it

For USC Sunshine Coast students, the on-site parking is paid. Hot tip: before you start – jump online and buy your ticket for the semester so you don’t get stung with parking fines. Don’t want to pay for parking? Well, there is free parking available a short walk from campus – however, if you've got the time, you will need to arrive early to snag a spot. Enjoy a leisurely stroll to campus and still have time to grab a coffee and review your notes before class starts...If you're in a hurry, why not pack your skateboard to get you to campus faster! You can thank me for this gem later.

5. Skills for the thrills

There are SO MANY free resources available at USC. Don’t freak out about how to write an essay or study your textbooks effectively; learn how to do it with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. They work in Academic Skills – available online and on campus and it is free. You heard me, FREE! Free access to incredible brains whose sole purpose is to help you succeed. Sign up to the workshops when you first start and learn what skills work for you. Then, when you need a refresher or an extra hand throughout the semester, drop-ins are scheduled weekly! Seriously, this is the best service and I can’t recommend it enough. Do the Academic Skills, reap the rewards.

Final word

The final piece of intel that I wish I knew and that needs to be passed onto you: You’re going to be fine, you’ve got this, you are supported and you’re ok.

I’ve been to a few universities in my time, and USC is an all-encompassing, all-inclusive uni that literally wants you to be the best version of yourself and rise to your full potential. Use the services that are purpose built to help you and enjoy uni life – because the freedom, fun and purpose you feel here is second to none.

Make sure you say hi to Emily if you see her walking around the USC Sunshine Coast campus. You'll have to keep an eye on her hair colour, though - it changes almost every other week!