How Not to Die in your First Year of Uni

I know what you’re thinking, uni isn’t that bad right? Well you’re correct. Uni is easy! It’s like riding a bike. And the bike is on fire. And the ground is on fire. And you’re on fire. And everything is on fire because you’re in hell.

Just kidding…

But really, uni isn’t exactly the cruisy, “party-all-day-every-day” lifestyle that everyone makes it out to be. Surprising right!?

Rewind to my first day of uni. Spanish lecture at 12.30 on a Monday. I was so terrified of not being able to find the lecture hall that I actually arrived at uni at 10 o’clock and walked around like an idiot for 2 and a half hours. Yet I still managed to be one of the last students to actually arrive to the lecture. Good one, Sophie.

The main point of my little recount is that uni is actually pretty damn stressful. Think of having four 1500-word essays, a 15 minute speech, 85 pages of reading, 24 take-home-quiz questions, a group presentation and a research report all due in the same week, and that basically sums up your entire time at uni!

Okay maybe I exaggerated a little. but you probably will feel like you’re about to die at 27 different points through-out each semester. So I’ve decided to offer you a little bit of advice to ensure you don’t drop dead and leave nothing but your hex debt for your family (I know we all secretly wish the latter of the two would actually happen).

Advice time!

  1. Your subject outline is actually a life saver

The learning style at uni is completely self-driven. It’s not like high-school where teachers remind you of homework and assignments and make sure you’re up-to-date on your classwork. At uni, you’re expected to know what’s due without anybody telling you. And this is why your subject outline will become your new best friend. It literally tells you every task that you are required to do through-out the semester. It’s basically the university version of a high-school teacher, except with less nagging and more paper and staples. If you follow your subject outline, I guarantee you won’t miss a single task (I hope).

2. Use your breaks wisely!

In my first semester of uni I used my breaks for catching up with friends and going shopping at the mall. Don’t do this. It’s not smart. I found myself struggling to catch up on lectures and staying up to 3am just to finish homework questions for my next tutorial. If you are smart, unlike I was (don’t worry, I’m wiser now), you’ll use your breaks as study blocks to catch up on notes and work on assignments. That way you may be able to avoid the 3am cram sessions (no promises on that one).



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3. Go to O-week

Aside from all the study and stress, the social side of uni is also something you’ll be experiencing a lot. I’m not encouraging you go out every weekend and party, but the university social life is something you probably won’t want to miss out on. I do recommend going to o-week, and not just for the free stuff at the market stalls. Orientation week is actually a really good way to meet friends, get involved in campus life and learn your way around the uni, as well as getting free food and partying of course, because what uni student doesn’t love that!

4. Don’t forget to eat!

This probably seems stupid, and I probably sound like your mum, but eating properly at uni is actually super important, and it’s something I learnt the hard way. Apparently living off a bread and m&m’s isn’t a sufficient diet (although it is a great way to ruin your immune system!). But really, I learnt that eating properly is not only important for your heath and well-being but also assists in helping you stay awake in lectures. Concentration is so important at uni, and eating a healthy diet and getting a good night sleep will allow you to achieve that. You need energy to study, and eating proper food is a much better idea than taking half a packet of NoDoz, trust me.

So there you have it, my 4 pieces of advice for staying alive during your first year of uni* (*based on personal experience, results may vary from person to person). Take it or leave it, but university is definitely one of the most stressful and most enjoyable times of your young adult life, so just remember to have fun and make the most of it while you can.

Until next time,



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