20 things I wish someone told me about uni.

You actually have to go to class

I used to dream about going to uni. For some reason I always fantasised about being a student at Sydney university. Walking through those pristine sandstone hallways and laying leisurely by the jacaranda tree. It all seemed so romantic and lucious and grown-up. I dreamed of coming and going as I pleased. Waltzing into whatever classes I pleased, a coffee in hand, just being a boss at life.

Uni is not about strong lattes and leisurely strolls. It’s hard work. You actually have to go to class or you don’t pass. If you don’t pass you do the subject again. You pay for that too.

Campus goals. Image via @universityofsydney Instagram.

Full time really does mean full time

Your timetable only says you have to come in three days. “Score,” you think in your blissful pre-uni state. “I’ll have time to work, socialise and go to uni.”

The days on your timetable don’t reflect the hours. Uni doesn’t abide by contact hours. It’s a seven-days-a-week type of commitment.

It’s like the HSC. In a semester.

Remember when you were in year 12 and you thought that nothing could possibly be harder/worse/more intense? If you’re planning to go to uni, be prepared for an HSC workload every semester for the duration of your course.

It’s alot like school

Walking out of my highschool gates for the last time was one of the best days of my life. Finally, I was free. “Uni will be nothing like school,” I fantasised. “There will be people enthrolled in their CRAFT, lying under an oak tree giggling about life.”

On my first day of uni my tutor marked the roll and a part of me died inside. They mark the roll here? Yes. Yes they do.

Uni’s alot like school. Attendence is compulsory. Your teacher marks the roll. You have to submit your work or you fail. You have to contribute in class. But there are no bells. Thank God there are no bells.

PLZ HALP. Image via @UNSWAustralia Instagram.

If you don’t do your work you won’t have a clue what’s going on

If you don’t do your readings or go to your lectures you’re probably sitting in your tutorial hoping your tutor doesn’t catch your eye and ask you a question.  If you’re quiet the entire tute your tutor will pick you out. They smell fear.

It’s not that hard to make friends

You probably haven’t had to make new friends since year 7. This will send you into an unprecedented freakout about your lack of social skills. The “what if I don’t meet anyone/what if noone likes me/what if noone talks to me?” panic ensues.

Relax. It’s actually really easy to make friends at uni. Just like in year 7, your tutors will ask you to introduce yourselves.  The initial awkwardness soon turns into bonding over university stress.

There will be about a million and one parties to go to

You will never be invited to so many things in your life. Every society hosts something. Usually you’ll get free drinks. People are likely to get slightly tipsy wasted which makes it easy to make friends.

Assignments and exams are actually a thing

Assignments and exams continue after highschool. They will deprive you of your sanity and sleep. They will find you and haunt your dreams.

UTS page
Image via @UTSengage Instagram.

You will get lost. Many times.

UTS numbers their buildings in the most obsurd way possible. Building 6 is opposite Building 4. Building 5 is three streets away from building 4. Building 11 is next to Building 2.

For the first three weeks you’ll probably walk into the wrong lecture theatre and learn about health promotion when you should be learning about civic participation. Not saying this ever happened to me. Obvs.

There’s free food and alcohol if you know where to look

Societies love giving you free stuff. Why? I don’t know. If you’re savvy, you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner for free. You can also get drunk without having to cough up a cent. #budgetlife

Free food plz. Image via @UTSengage Instagram.

There’s always one person who asks a billion questions

*Cough* Mature aged student *Cough*

The coffee is expensive and tastes like dirt water

For some reason the cafes at universities want to charge $4 for a burnt, underfrothed cappuccino. It’s likely your budget for the week will be spent on overpriced coffee and dry blueberry muffins.

Referencing is death

Remember the days when you just left a bibliography at the end of your assignment more as an afterthought than a necessity?  At uni that’s no longer a thing. Everything has to be referenced. Every quote and every phrase. Even someone’s IDEA.

People aren’t like they were in highschool. Social politics becomes irrelevant

People are generally bitchy and nasty in highschool. Hormones are going nuts, you’re getting pimples in places you didn’t know existed and you’re surrounded by clicks and gossip. That pretty much stops after highschool.

At uni you surround yourself with people you like rather than people you think you should like.


More free food…Image via @macquarieuni Instagram.

Your tutors actually don’t care about your problems

Your tutor doesn’t have time to worry about your *insert issue here*. They are not paid to care about your personal life. They don’t have time to answer all your questions and hear about your problems. You’re an adult now. You have to figure it out.

You will feel like you’re drowning in responsibility

So. Many. Responsibilities.

Are “I can’t do this shit” breakdowns every fortnight normal? #askingforafriend

You will probs be poor for the duration of your degree

After filling up your opal card, buying textbooks, drinking coffee and telling your boss you can’t work ever again, it’s likely your bank balance will be hurting.

You get epic holidays

You’re not at . This leaves you time to go on an epic holiday to Europe awesome camping trip down South, undertake 1000 internships and find a casual job.

Vending machines are beautiful things

Chips, chocolate bars and flavoured milk. What more could an overly tired student ask for? The subtle tearing of the Boost bar wrapper is actual heaven.

Some goose will ask about your ATAR

You thought you escaped that old chestnut didn’t you. Think again. Some goose is likely to bring up highschool and not so subtly ask what you got for your ATAR. This person should not be your friend after this moment.





One thought on “20 things I wish someone told me about uni.

  1. Perhaps it’s more that studying LAW at university sucks, rather than uni in general. I had a very different experience at uni. Certainly most things were not compulsory in my degree, and there was no role marking!


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