The do’s and don’ts of your first year at uni
If you’re starting university soon, you’re probably feeling excited and maybe a little apprehensive or even a bit intimidated. Try not to worry! Your uni years can be some of the best of your life – you’ll be learning new things, investing in the future of your career, pursing your interests and making new friends. Start off on the right foot with these top tips for making the most of your first year.
Don’t starve and study
If you think you won’t have time to eat healthy – think again! You should aim to make time. The food you put into your body will fuel you (and your brain) through days of study and being hungry will only make you less productive, so it pays to prioritise regular and nourishing meals. Remember to plan ahead by packing a healthy lunch, so you’ll have more money in your back pocket.
Do participate in Orientation
Orientation is an opportunity to get to know your environment and ask questions before you get started on your study journey. Find out about the clubs and associations you can join to meet like-minded people. (And make sure you pick up some of the many free giveaways and food!)
Don’t be unorganised
Use all the coloured highlighters, pens and sticky notes you can get your hands on! Seriously though, you’re going to need to be organised so check your emails, don’t stay up late when you've got work to do (because sleep deprivation could ruin a good day of study) and keep a diary. Set yourself up with a desk planner and block out time to study. Set alarms in your phone for important deadlines and dates. You can even download apps that help you stay organised. Planning ahead will save you so much stress and keep you focused on doing your best, rather than feeling flustered and rushing important assessments at the last minute.
Tip to make the most of study days: write your to-do list and organise your study materials the night before.
Do get to know the Library
For many students, the library will be like your second home – or if you study online, your most-visited website. Get to know the services available; the CDU library has heaps of resources and helpful online workshops to help familiarise yourself with uni life. You can even register for free online courses through the library at CDU.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
There really is no such thing as a silly question! Lecturers, classmates and support staff are all great points of contact to get the answers you need. During a lecture, it can seem daunting to ask a question in front of so many people, but try to remind yourself that you’re not the only one who needs assistance and there are probably other students wondering about the same thing.
Knowing your incomings and outgoings will not only hold you accountable, but reduce stress when you know what expenses are expected and when. There are heaps of free resources available to CDU students that can teach you how to manage your finances (and more). Our recommendation is Lynda, a free learning tool and a free tutor service that every CDU student has access to, read more here >
Don’t worry, be happy
It’s easy to let the pressure get to you – you’re only human and you’re definitely not alone. Every student goes through the same struggle at some point. Be kind to yourself and maintain a positive mindset. Remember, your lecturers want you to succeed and you can always turn to student support for assistance – that’s what they’re there for.
Feeling like you’re included in a community is a big part of your university experience. You can download the CDU App, connect on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, or if you're studying on campus, join one of CDU’s many groups or social clubs. Plus, CDU students are encouraged to get to know their fellow classmates by participating in online discussion boards as part of your units of study, so it’s easy to make friends with people with the same study interests and career aspirations as you.