The first year’s guide to nailing uni etiquette

March 06, 2017
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Campus life can be one giant awkward situation, so we’ve teamed up with SPRITE to help you stay cool, calm and cut through the heat.


In your first few weeks of uni, there’ll be a heap of awkward moments as you figure out a new campus and new schedule. But if you’re a fresh-faced first year, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about looking like a newbie though – we reckon you should embrace it.

There are five main commandments on how to nail that #unilyf. Most importantly, students should never judge another student with a hangover, who is sleep deprived, or who has a mandatory 9am stats lecture.

From coffee acceptance to how to act in a lecture, here’s how to perfect the uni student lifestyle and bond with your fellow students.

Being a noob on Moodle/Blackboard/Learnonline

Students can smell a first year a mile away. How? They’re usually the ones posting lengthy questions that have already been answered on the online forum. The type of pointless questions that could’ve been avoided if they took a minute to read through their course outline or check the online forum. But they didn’t and here we are, our inboxes flooding with the same 50 questions and our lecturers, understandably, are a bit annoyed.

So what do you do if you post the same question as someone else and only realise afterwards? Laugh about how bloody awkward you are as a human and vow to do better next time, that’s what.

You won’t be able to get away with being #awkies in your second-year, so enjoy it while it lasts.

You’re too poor to buy lunch

“Let’s get lunch,” says your new mate who you just met in your lecture. You want to say yes and continue the bonding sesh, but realise that you’ve got only shrapnel in your wallet.

Fear not, timid first year, this sitch isn’t as awkward as you think it is. The broke uni student stereotype is a real epidemic, sweeping the nation.

The solution? Scout for free food being offered around campus or the next best thing, a $2 sausage sizzle.

The ibis experience

When you’re sitting on campus eating lunch with your new mates from class, you’ll finally feel like a proper student. That is until you let your guard down and an ibis bird swipes your lunch from out of your hands. Everyone saw your lunch fail and now you’re sitting awkwardly trying to reverse the situation to make it look like you offered your lunch instead.

You hear someone mutter “first year” under their breath, but before you let yourself get embarrassed take heed; having your lunch stolen is a rite of passage.

Own it.

Student campaigners getting up in your grill

Student campaigners are the absolute worst and if you’re not prepared, you can get stuck in a 10-minute conversation, awkwardly trying to find an exit.

If you get caught up in one of the convos, ramping up the #awkward factor can be a helpful strategy to depart from the convo. Being a strange human being will mean that no one will bother approaching you.

Alternatively, headphones and your eyes fixed on the ground will be your tools to avoid the SRC, Socialist Alliance and a number of people asking you to donate or attend their revue.

Other ideas include trying to sell them something in an equally obnoxious way, or mouthing the word “coffee” and making your escape. You’re a uni student, they won’t question it.

Turning up to an exam on a caffeine high

So you’ve spent the night cramming for an exam and you’ve turned up totally buzzed from all the caffeine. You’re speaking so fast you could compete with the Gilmore Girls for the amount of words spoken per minutes.

But don’t worry, uni students are the most understanding group when it comes to sleep deprivation.

Trust us, there’s going to be times when the beast that is uni wears you down. You’ll need your fair share of caffeinated drinks and late nights, and there’s absolutely no shame in that.

So when it comes to (the lack of) hours slept and (high) amounts of caffeinated drinks consumed, we as students practice a ‘no-judgey’ rule.

Now that you’re free from the shackles of high school, you’re free to enjoy uni. Being a student means you have a valid excuse to remain unemployed and live with your parents for a few more years.

So make the most of the awkward moments, they’ll be some of your best stories when looking back.

Y’all #needasprite to stay refreshed after being on your best behaviour all semester, so click here to let us help and you could win 1 of 10 x $1,000 cash cards.


Eden Gillespie

Eden is an International Studies/Media student at UNSW with a love for breakfast bagels and Louis Theroux.

Image: Giphy