Your first four weeks
Welcome to your first semester at university! Below we've put together a quick guide to help you find your way around in the first four weeks. Use the menu below to jump to the right week:
Welcome to your first week! During this week you should do the following:
- Attend your first lecture
You will meet your lecturer, fellow students, and receive an introduction to your subjects. If you haven’t got your timetable, log on to the personal timetables unit and find the location of your classes on the venues site or on campus maps.
- Get your Unit of Study outlines
Receive your Unit of Study outlines for each subject. These will let you know what textbooks or course readers you need, how and when you can contact your lecturers and tutors, when your assessments are due, your subject requirements and schedule, and the all-important policies and procedures for special consideration and assignment submission. If you have not received your outlines, check your e-Learning site or speak to your lecturer or tutor.
- Familiarise yourself with student administration
Get familiar with your administration offices as this is where you will need to submit hard copies of forms or your assignments. Check out the ‘current students’ section of your faculty or school’s website, as it will have more important information about faculty policies and procedures including changing subjects or withdrawing, plagiarism and special consideration submission.
- Check your emails and eLearning
Start checking your emails and eLearning on a regular basis – this is how the University will communicate with you and where you can find up-to-date information and announcements about your subjects.
- Explore the library
Check out the library’s first year roadmap and face-to-face classes – this will help you get a jump start on how to research for your assignments and will save you precious time later on.
- Try an SUSF short course
Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) run 'Come and Try Free' short course classes, giving you the perfect opportunity to try a range of dance, recreation and sports courses for free and make some new friends along the way.
Week one conquered! During this week you should do the following:
- Say ‘Hello!’
Tutorials usually begin this week. Tutorials are smaller class sizes than your lectures where you can deepen your learning from the lectures, ask questions and challenge and discuss content. It’s the best opportunity to start making friends in your classes.
- Start studying
You will need to start your readings and be prepared to attend your tutorials. Required reading and preparation will be detailed in your unit of study outlines. Even if you don’t understand the work yet, you will find that you will get more out of your tutorials by being familiar with the content.
- Look out for Student News
Look out for Student News, the weekly student newsletter, in your email inbox. This will let you know what’s happening in your new University community and provides relevant news and information.
- Connect on Facebook and Twitter
Connect with your fellow students by joining the University’s Facebook group, or following us on Twitter. You can get daily updates about fun activities around campus and things you need to know about the upcoming week. You should also ask around in your classes to see if there is an online group for your unit of study or degree, or start a thread on your eLearning discussion board to get talking with your classmates.
- Bookmark important webpages
Visit and bookmark the Current Students and Student Support Services websites – they provide an overview of the services and support available to you. If you can’t find something, this is the best place to start looking!
- Read the student organisation publications
Check out SUSF's ROAR magazine for all your fitness and sporting club news. Pick up the first editions of Honi Soit and The Bull as these will highlight on-campus activities and welcome events for new students wishing to try new clubs or societies.
- Sign up for workshops
Drop into the Learning Centre and find out about their workshops, which help you build and develop the skills you, need for research and study at university. You can register for workshops this week, and workshops begin next week.
New friends, new classes, new styles of learning. Getting busy? During this week we encourage you to do the following:
- More workshops!
By this week, you may be preparing for your first assignment. Unsure of how to reference? Struggling with your writing style? You can still register for a Learning Centre workshop - they begin this week. If you miss out on a place, take a look at the online resources or drop into the Learning Centre to discuss your study needs and find out about the next workshop timetable.
- Maintain your well-being
Have a look into the CAPS workshops and online resources. They provide information, tools and resources to support you across a range of academic, personal, emotional and social well-being concerns.
- Brush up on your maths (if you need to)
Check out the Mathematics Learning Centre. They can help you with any mathematics you might come across in your subjects with free tutorials and group sessions.
- Explore the Careers Centre
Explore the Careers Centre workshops and attend their Careers Fairs. They can help you gain skills to boost your profile with employers and have an online jobs database for all work types.
- Develop your research skills
Develop those information and research skills using the Library's online resources. These will give you the advantage in completing your first assessment.
Congratulations! You should now be in the rhythm of uni life. To help you during this week, you need to:
- Make a plan
Start putting your assessment due dates in your diary and scheduling time to work on your upcoming assignments.
- Be conscious of your study and work commitments
Many students tend to dedicate more time to work than study and this can really affect your academic success. If you haven’t already, you might want to explore the option of receiving Centrelink benefits instead of working. The Scholarships and Financial Support Service also offers bursaries and interest-free loans for students in financial need to help pay for essential course and study costs, and if you are receiving a Centrelink benefit, you could be eligible for the Robert Maple Brown bursary worth $2000.
- Balance study and leisure
University is about the experience. Both the academic and social aspects contribute to your success here. There are many ways to get involved and make the most out of your time by enjoying activities and entertainment outside the classroom. Check out the Student Life website for great ideas, see USU hub to connect with others and the USU website for upcoming activities on campus. Check out SUSF facilities and clubs for a range of ways to make friends while staying active.
- Concerned about continuing?
If things really haven’t worked out this semester, speak to someone if you are considering dropping a subject or two, or even taking this semester off. The HECS census date (for Semester 1, 2014, the HECS census date is 31 March) is your last chance to withdraw from your subjects without financial penalty. We encourage you to talk to your first-year adviser or course coordinator to explore your options, or you may want to speak with a careers adviser for assistance with your career options.