What no one tells you when you start uni… you’re welcome

by Feb 19, 2021

We all know that before you start university, you’re told about so many tips and tricks, but some things are just learnt on the job. And this is exactly what I’m here to tell you — all my hard-won knowledge from the best food spots and free services, to bringing your charger to university.  

So, here we go!  


Food Edition 

Arguably one of the most important aspects of the university, determining which food spots suit your preference in first year is always a fun experience. I mean…what better to have by your side during long library days than a fresh mocha or toasted sandwich from the food court? And yes, that is indeed my order. Consistently.  

If you’re looking for a way to prep food or beverages yourself when fuelling your smarticle particles, the UTS Central (Building 2) food court connects to a kitchen area that I only discovered when a friend showed me on their quest for caffeine. In this space, you can heat up your food or brew that sweet cup of tea before you settle down and do your week’s readings. With this in mind, bringing reusable drinkware might be a good idea.  

Lucky for you, UTS is also surrounded by incredible food spots to fuel-up in between classes and get to know the city more. Happy food-hunting!   


Careers Edition 

I’m being honest here when I say that your career starts the day your degree does.  

One of the most helpful things that you can learn when you first start university is the importance of the careers service, in this case UTS Careers. It’s completely free (yes, FREE), and offers a range of services that can help you right up until two years after you graduate. CareerHub is the place to go to  branch out to a bunch of other resources and appointments. I’m talking resumes, interviews, job search and applications — nice!  

But, I also simply cannot overlook the importance of extra-curriculars for your professional development. Not only are they great for your mental health, socialisation and university experience, but they can also be brilliant in boosting your career development and skills. Things like being on committees, clubs and societies, competitions and networking events are the foundation for your career journey, and definitely something that should be welcomed as you start university. Feeling like Harvey Specter during a witness examination competition is always a plus as well… 

Basically, try and get involved early! 


Study Edition  

This one’s important, so grab a coffee or tea and listen up. Or should I say…speak up? One thing I honestly believe should be emphasised more when you start university is the importance of using your voice with pride, and accessing help when you feel you need it. It took me so long to realise this and it completely changes your experience to just ask that question in class or send that email. Yes, it can be awkward to be the first person to talk in a tute but it helps to make you much more engaged, remember things more effectively and finally figure out what section of the Constitution you talked about 3 weeks ago. 

On a more logistical note, a top tip is to track your assessments and put them into a calendar at the beginning of the semester. You might want to set reminders well before the due date to prompt some progress as well. And please, so you don’t have to learn the hard way, set aside some time to do your references…properly. 


Social Edition  

Sure, studying can be one of the most important parts of university, but I guess you could say the other half is socialising. Whilst this is difficult in the current climate, clubs and societies have been working super hard to find new and innovative ways to help you connect with your peers.  

Taking a moment for your mental health outside of studying can sometimes be the most important thing of all, and if you only take one thing from my little monologue today, take some time for yourself, nothing else works if you don’t work on yourself first. 

And if Zoom pub quizzes or yoga classes aren’t your thing, you’ll be sure to find a range of networking, professional development and industry-related events to socialise with the cool kids in your industry. A good place to start is the events page on CareerHub or the social media page of your preferred club or society


Convenient Tips Edition 

Look, I know we all love a freebie, why else would you attend orientation? UTS provides a range of services, many of which are free for the UTS community. This includes careers, counselling, a medical centre and legal services. Most of these are incredibly under-used, and UTS is here to help you in any way they can.  

On a more informal (but equally as practical) note, please bring your charger. Please. You’d be surprised how quickly your laptop’s battery can run out when you’re frantically watching a lecture on double speed before your tutorial, and you don’t want to be the one asking for a charger. Besides, it’s a little confidence boost knowing you don’t have to stress about it. Spend your energy on more important things!  


So, there you have it! Was the content a bit sporadic and unrelated to one another? Yes. But is it all incredibly useful tips that nobody tells you before you start university? Absolutely.  

At the end of the day, you’ve got this, take it one step at a time, and make sure to enjoy the process. And please, please remember to be yourself, it’s one of the best things you can do. Good luck!   


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Melanie Najdovski

Melanie Najdovski

Careers Intern

Melanie is an Intern at UTS Careers and currently studies Business (Economics)/Laws at UTS. With a passion for words combined with the power of humorous wit, she aims to bring fresh eyes to the traditional conceptions of the legal profession in tertiary education. Away from the textbooks or work meetings, she is an enthusiastic NSW DoE Adjudicator and absolute theatre production enthusiast. Melanie is determined to break down the stigma associated with the legal profession, and genuinely equip the student community with the confidence and practical skills to thrive.