Five things you think you’ll need when you start uni (but never use)
Turning up to your first day of uni well-equipped and ready for an on-the-ball year is a great way to start. But once you’ve settled into the semester, you’re likely to throw out some ideas in favour of saving your precious time and effort.
A new wardrobe
After 12 years of wearing a school uniform, no dress code means either raiding your wardrobe for everything you couldn’t show off at high school, or going on a shopping spree to find yourself a whole new ‘uni essential’ wardrobe. You want to make an impression and wearing the same t-shirt twice is not part of it.
The reality is that no one remembers the exact items of clothing you’re wearing, and even if they do, there’s a good chance that you’ve noticed that they’ve also been wearing the same outfit the entire week. Give it a year and you’ll probably turn up to class in trackies.
You tell yourself that every bit of homework will go straight into your student diary, as well as discussion points, books, materials, reminders and anything else study-related. You will cherish your diary as you do your Student ID card (wait, where is that by the way?).
You’ll use it diligently for the first month before you finally discover what that extra heavy weight has been in your bag the whole year. You realise there are more efficient ways to keep track of things, like in your phone or laptop, on your hand, or scribbled with your class notes.
Individual notebooks for each class
After your final year 12 exams, you’re ready for a fresh academic start. You’ll want to channel this with a new pencil case, new stationary and individual notebooks for each class to keep everything in its rightful place.
The routine of switching the notebooks in your bag every evening becomes tedious and doesn’t stick, and you’ll end up using whichever notebook was left in your bag at the time for every subject. You eventually switch to typing half-assed notes on your laptop that you tell yourself you’ll fix up and revise later, but never do.
Your class’s recommended reading lists
Recommended reading lists are great if you have heaps of time – but you’ll soon discover that you don’t have much of that when you’re at uni. You think you’ll need to read every single recommendation for an expert understanding of the core readings before semester starts, but you’re gonna have required texts and before-class readings, and sometimes they are really long.
Before you know it, it's nearing the end of the year, and you’ve scrounged most of your extra research from the web, class discussions, or the one recommended reading book you skimmed to half-way.
The list of student clubs you signed up for during O-Week
Orientation Week is like a rite of passage for first-time uni students. It’s a way to get involved with student life and find out what your university has to offer. Everyone’s targeting you with flyers and sign-up sheets, and together with the summer sun, free food and smiling students, you’ve signed your name to anything that seems remotely interesting.
After the excitement of O week, you realise you’ve never liked soccer, you don’t watch anime, and the Ultimate Frisbee Club clashes with the Breakdancing Club which clashes with your actual uni class – and you’ve got way too much homework to devote to the cheerleading club.
Nikki is a freelance writer and an RMIT Professional Writing and Editing graduate. She has gone on to study the BA of Photography at RMIT University. Find her on twitter @nikkimarieee.