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What to expect

Prepare for the next chapter of your education

You’ve earned the grades, accepted your offer and enrolled. But you may still not be sure what to expect from university or what it will expect from you. Here are some basics you need to know.

The pressure leading up to receiving an offer to university may have felt immense, but once you’re in the door, the only prerequisite to success is a natural curiosity and motivation to learn.

Possibly for the first time in your life, you’re no longer studying because it’s compulsory. You’re here of your own free will, and it’s up to you what your student experience will look like.

Independent learning

We encourage our students to learn independently through self-guided study. A full-time course load equates to approximately 35-45 hours of study per week, but only a portion of those hours will be spent in class.

Between lectures, laboratories, tutorials and seminars is your time to complete readings, assignments and essays, and prepare for exams.

Ace your classes

Many units of study contain assessments throughout semester, such as class presentations, tests, reports or essays; followed by a formal exam at the end of semester. Your faculty handbook will give a general indication of the assessment types included in your unit, but you won’t know exactly what they are until your first lecture.

Be sure to carefully manage your workload, as assignments tend to be due around the same time in semester. Keep a diary and record due dates a week before they really need to be submitted.

Make new friends

There’s a good chance you’ll share some common ground with the student next to you in the same lecture theatre. Making an effort in the first few weeks of semester could make all the difference to university life. Friendships made during your studies can see you through those stressful exam periods and may last well beyond graduation.

Maintain work-life balance

University isn’t just about studying. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the vast social curriculum on offer. You could join a sports team, arrange to meet your new classmates for dinner or drinks, volunteer with the student union, or connect with like-minded students through our clubs and societies program. Whether you’re into sports, arts, politics or culture, there’s bound to be a group to suit you.

Your first semester roadmap

How to navigate the first few weeks of university life.
Take a library tour. Our expert librarians can assist you with all aspects of research and learning.
Visit the library online now
Visit the Co-op Bookstore. Become a member for lifetime benefits, including up to 20 percent off all your textbooks.
Shop online now
Book a workshop. The Learning Centre offers three-hour seminars on a range of skills, including academic writing, how to research and plan an essay, and how to take better notes in class.
Check out this semester’s program of workshops
Get active with Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness. You don’t need to splurge on a gym membership to get moving. Try a short course in dancing, sport or recreation or swim laps in the pool.
Check out SUSF’s short courses now