Your first four weeks
You will attend your first lecture, meet many people and be introduced to University procedures and terminology. During this week you should:
- 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.
- get familiar with your administration offices if you don’t know where they are yet, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tutorials usually begin this week and it's the best opportunity to start making friends in your classes by saying ‘hello’ to people in your tute groups! Your tutorial is an opportunity to deepen your learning from the lectures, and provides a smaller group setting to ask questions and challenge the content. This week you will find the content in your classes starts to go into more depth, required reading begins, and it will seem like there are less activities happening around campus. During this week, it’s a great idea to:
- do your required reading or preparation for your tutorials – 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, 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.
- start connecting 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 a Facebook group for your unit of study or degree, or start a thread on your eLearning discussion board to get talking with your classmates.
- visit and bookmark the Current Students and Student Support Services websites – they provide an overview of the services and support available to students. If you can’t find something, this is the best place to start looking!
- 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.
- 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.
By now you should be familiar with your timetable, where your classes are located, know a few people and have a pretty good idea of what university life is like. You might be preparing for your first test or assignment and feel like you could use an extra boost to help you succeed. It is not unusual to still feel a bit like a fish out of water, as your classes may move, you may need to go to a new part of the library to search for a text, or navigate your way across campus to meet up with a club or new friends.
During this week, we encourage you to:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 workshops and attend the 25th Annual Careers Fair - they can help you gain skills to boost your profile with employers and have an online jobs database for all work types.
- 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’re almost through your first month at uni and you are probably settling into the rhythm of the uni workload. It’s around this time the assignments start piling up and you might be thinking about your future at the University of Sydney. 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.
- consider your schedule – we know 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 Financial Assistance 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 first-year bursary worth $2000.
- remember to keep balance – 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 and see USU hub to connect with others and the USU website for upcoming activities on campus.
- speak to someone if you think you may not be ready for university just yet. The HECS census date (usually 31 March, but please check with your faculty) 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.