You have finally made it to tertiary education.
Free at last from the hard rules of high school.
Make the most of your student experience and enjoy every minute because this time will not come again.
Here are a few tips from Student Challenge website that could help you adjust to tertiary level especially if you are looking forward to travel overseas for this.
Party hard at O-week - O-Week, or Orientation Week, means free beer, free food and a variety of silly entertainment (like jumping castles, mechanical bulls and sumo suits) designed to get rid of first-year inhibitions and help you make new friends fast. Say yes to any of the camps, tours and mentor programs run by second- and third-year students - they'll give you the inside scoop on campus life.
Talk to everyone you see - Students in your year, the person sitting next to you in your lecture, the lost looking girl in the cafeteria. Be open and remember that most people don't know anyone else either and would probably appreciate you making the first move.
Get involved with clubs and societies - Where else will you have the chance to try jousting, making your own homebrew or an obscure martial art for free or cheaply? Joining a club is a great way to make new friends and keep busy during those long breaks between classes.
Do an industry placement or internship if you can - Work experience helps you figure out whether or not you want to work in a certain field and shows future employers you're capable and passionate about the industry. If there's nothing available try volunteering your skills. Working for free now will build connections that will pay off after graduation. For more information on internship.
Make friends with your lecturers - Not only are they mostly cool people who'll be able to tell you heaps about life in your field, they also have the best connections on campus. Many lecturers are on the look-out for keen students to hook up with part-time jobs in the industry or postgraduate opportunities.
Consider an overseas exchange - Studying abroad gives you a chance to see the world without taking time out from your degree. You'll learn a lot about another culture and the self-reliance you develop will be an asset long after you've returned home. See 'Study abroad or student exchange' for more information.
Maintain a healthy study/life balance - It's easier said than done, but try not to let work, study or socialising take over your life. Get some healthy food into your diet between the free pizza and BBQs and make time for sleep, exercise and relaxation.
What the graduates say to Student Challenge
Student Challenge asked a group of tertiary education survivors what they wished someone had told them in first year. These were their tips:
'Don't make the mistake of thinking that you're the only one confused by university bureaucracy and terminology - don't be afraid to ask questions!' - Alice
'Seek out on-campus opportunities for practical experience. Editing your student newspaper or participating in a business incubator beats working in a supermarket any day.' - Chloe