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Your first year at the University of Sydney

2 March 2018
Advice from our current Engineering and IT undergraduate students
Starting university can be a daunting experience for many. Here’s our top 5 tips for surviving and thriving in your first year.

1. Remember, everyone is in the same boat.

Girls in engineering lecture theatre

"Asking a question in a lecture theatre of 500 students can be a daunting experience. During my first year though I discovered that you won’t be judged for not knowing something and most likely half the class will have the same question as you. University is about learning and growing, not about being confused.”

Scarlett Armstrong
Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

2. Find your own space on campus

Students on campus


“After exploring a few spaces on campus, my friends and I eventually found a quiet and hidden spot that we went to almost every day. Since the University has such a large campus and so many places to study, with some exploration you can always find somewhere you really like – whether it’s tucked away in the IT building or outside in the sun at Cadigal Green.”

Hamish Ivison
Bachelor of Information Technology/Bachelor of Arts

3. Join clubs, sign-up to societies and attend events (but don’t go overboard!)

Students socialising in a university club

“In my first year I joined a few societies and attended their events which was a lot of fun as it helped me make friends outside the lecture theatre. Just remember that you don’t have to go to every event – studying is important too.”

Pamela Kahwajy
Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil)/ Bachelor of Project Management.

4. Complete group assignments by yourself and individual assignments in groups

“I discovered that when completing group work if everyone takes responsibility for the assignment as if it was their own, instead of waiting to fall back on others, the work is [of a] higher quality and there’s more collaboration. Likewise, completing individual assignments in a group can help when checking for mistakes.”

Zhili (Lily) Guo

Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil)/Bachelor of Project Management

5. Show up to tutorials and don’t be afraid to ask for help

Students in a tutorial


“The tutors are extraordinary teachers and are always happy to help you if you’re experiencing difficulties with the coursework. As well as being beneficial for your learning, tutorials are a great way to meet new people.”

Madeleine Wagner
Bachelor of Information Technology/Bachelor of Arts