The hidden perks of uni you might not know about
Despite all the financial burdens, heaping responsibilities and general existential dread, being a student can be pretty sweet. You’ve got discounts galore, a decade-long excuse to mess up and the option to sleep in when you can’t bring yourself to adult. What’s often overlooked though, is just how much universities have to offer its students – and it goes beyond career counselling. Uni is nothing less than a gold mine of hidden services, all condensed into one place.
Feel like you’re coming down with something? Why not kill two birds with one stone by going to class and getting checked out at the campus medical centre? Every uni’s got one and can provide everything from medical certificates (for those well needed extensions), vaccinations or just general check-ups. Plus, so long as you have a valid Medicare card or overseas health insurance card, it’s 100 per cent free! It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for convenient medical treatment, or if you just want an alternative to your GP.
As well as doctors, every uni comes with free counsellors that you can access via appointment. No problem is too big or too small. If the stress of uni is getting the better of you, they can help you work through, as well as refer you to other specialists if you may need more long-term help. While they may not be a permanent solution, it’s a great starting point if you start to feel that something’s off.
You never know when you need to lawyer up. Luckily, universities provide free legal advice in matters including fines, tenancy and minor criminal matters. Like the counsellors, it may not provide a lasting solution to more serious conflicts, but it’s a good starting point, especially since it’s free. The law is a tricky, and often expensive, mistress.
Free movies and TV shows
If a Netflix subscription is off the cards, a great free and legal avenue is your uni library. Unis love to study contemporary media, so there’s a good chance that that TV show or movie you’re dying to see is on the library database.
Women’s room/LGBT room
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by campus, or just want to be alone, the women’s room or LGBT room on campus can be a great refuge. It not only creates a safe space for you to get away from it all, they often come stocked with sex-ed information, feminist literature and comfy couches.
Finding a place to live can suck, especially if you’re a poor uni student. As luck would have it, unis can help you if you suddenly find yourself homeless. While living on res is expensive and selective, the university housing registry allows users to post their own vacancies, which tend to be in the university’s area. It’s literally filled with people in your situation, so it’s a good place to start if you’re new to home hunting.
Say what you will about uni, but it really does have everything a student would need. Whether you’ve had a run in with the law, or just looking for a good movie to watch, it’s worth checking out what your uni has to offer.
Kim is and Arts (Journalism)/Law student at Deakin, who has transplanted her life to Shanghai, China for the year. She deals primarily in memes, teas and blogging.