Starting uni is a life change that is exciting and challenging. The next 12 months (and each year after) will bring a range of new experiences, both social and academic.
You'll learn new things and make new friends, become more flexible and critical in your thinking, and be more independent in your study. This can seem overwhelming at times, but remember, the vast majority of students make this transition successfully.
This is the UNSW Learning Centre's 'First Steps' website, a resource designed to help you make a successful transition to university. Here you'll find information about most aspects of university life as a first year undergraduate.
School leavers can discover the differences between school and uni study.
We also have resources and advice for Non-school leavers (traditionally referred to as mature age students). Returning to study has some special challenges, so to find helpful tips, look for this icon
Research into higher education has indicated that there is often a wide gap between students' expectations of university life and the reality.
Students often have inaccurate expectations about the workload, marks, assessment difficulty of their course content, the nature of their chosen programme, and the need for indenpendence.
Your expectations of university can have a huge impact on the success of your first year of study. Starting out with the wrong expectations can make it difficult for you to adapt to the realities of uni life. You may be unaware of something that is really important to know. On the other hand, you might also be worrying, needlessly, about something that is not going to happen.
Have you thought about life at university? What will it be like? Are you looking forward to it? Are you worrying about it?
Do you think it will be like school, or will it be different? Will some things be the same, or will everything change? The following links will help you think about your experience of learning in a University environment.
Starting uni is the beginning of a long journey. Before you realise what's going on, your first day at uni will become your first week, first month, first semester and first year. As with most journeys, a little preparation before you start repays itself many times over.
Becoming familiar with university, your faculty and your program before you actually start attending classes will help decrease the stress associated with this hectic period in your life. Some forward planning on your part can make the change from school to university easier and, therefore, much more enjoyable and, in the long term, more successful.