Here’s what to expect in your first few weeks of uni

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Stress, insomnia, random bouts of procrastination, horrible eating habits, being broke, lots of crying and afternoon naps.

Just kidding, that’s second semester and onwards.

Welcome to university!

But really, here’s what you actually have to look forward to in your very first weeks of uni.

Lectures and tutorials

Generally, lectures mean finding yourself a comfy seat, sussing out your lecturer and listening as they teach you twelve weeks’ worth of content. You can ask questions and take notes to your heart’s content… until someone tells you the slides will be online and the lecture’s being recorded.

Tutes on the other hand, are the ones you have to go to if you want to avoid losing marks over attendance.

The “first year” speech

Many of your lecturers and tutors will try and intimidate you with drop-out statistics, warning you about how unforgiving your subject will be if you don’t study and do those weekly readings. You’ll cop the “This isn’t high school anymore, it’s time to be independent” speech at least three times and the speech in its entirety will take up most of your first ever tutorial.

Being babied just a little bit

You’ll still be taken care of though, because after all, it’s first year. Tutors will pass out actual physical copies of assignment instructions, guide you through the student portal and dedicate a section of the tute to teaching you how to reference.

Referencing and cover sheets

Unfortunately, whenever you cite or even make the slightest reference to something, you’re going to have to properly reference it according to the preferred style. It isn’t particularly hard or easy but it’s incredibly draining. It might seem like utter bullshit to you, but it can surprisingly be the difference between a distinction and a high distinction.

Unlike referencing, a cover sheet is just the page you attach to your assignment before you submit it. You fill in your details, course code and confirm your work hasn’t been plagiarised. DO NOT forget the cover sheet, your lecturers won’t be happy.

Introducing yourself repeatedly

In the first few weeks you’ll be playing name games and taking part in “Getting to know the student next to you” in your tutes. #YAY

Making friends

Because of the constant introductions, you’re bound to make a friend or even just a friendly acquaintance. But if you’re worried about making friends, never fear because O-Week is will mean lots of first-year activities to get those social juices flowing.

But also, there will be lots of alone time

Uni can also be a lonely place. Sometimes all your friends will have class and you’ll be left to get lunch by yourself or head to the library for a solo study sesh. It’s nothing to feel shitty about though. You’ll even start to appreciate the me-time when things start to get intense.

Being haggled

There is a 100 per cent chance you will be approached by an overly excited person in a club shirt offering you free samples of something and asking you to join them for fun times and even more free stuff.

Take the free stuff and run.

Goodie bags

The best part of O-Week is all the free stuff, so don’t be surprised if you see older looking students grabbing a goodie bag. Inside you’ll find an array of things ranging from stationary to food to condoms – enjoy!

Succumbing to laptops

No matter how old school you may think you are, you will turn to the dark side and switch from the ol’ pen and paper to the super convenient option of the laptop.


You don’t have to go to lectures, you can sacrifice tutorials if you don’t feel like going, you can leave whenever you want and you can even rock up halfway through a tute – it’s all up to you now.

Steffanie Tan

Steffanie is studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Monash University and is horrible at bios and that is all that needs to be said. 

Image: Francisco Osorio, Flickr Creative Commons license