By Jessica Lim
Having just graduated with a degree in International Relations, I am qualified to do absolutely nothing except to give you 15 tips about uni:
1. Your GPA counts. Gone are the days when just having a degree was all that mattered. Your GPA is critical for everything – scholarships, exchanges, graduate program offers and even finding a job.
2. Be realistic about your degree. Media students, unless Daddy pays for everything or you are happy to work at McDonalds for the rest of your life, you may want to consider a double degree. Also, make sure you love what you’re studying. Motivation is hard to find if you hate your own course.
3. Make friends. Talk to the people in your tutorials, and join clubs and societies (UniLife offers heaps: surfing, cosplay and flash mobs to name just a few).
4. This isn’t high school. Don’t brag about how you had 20 Pulses at HQ on Saturday (this has actually happened in my presence).
5. Join Global Experience; it’s one of the best things about UniSA. The program helps you stand out when you finally have to enter the dark and scary ‘real world’. They encourage exchanges (which you should totally do) and generally make your time at uni more enjoyable.
6. No one cares about your blog.
7. Or your indie band.
8. Do internships/work experience. Even if they’re not a part of your course, do them anyway. They will make your CV look amazing, and you’ll have a much better idea of your ideal career and workplace upon graduation.
9. Don’t sign up for the 9am class on a Monday. You won’t go and you’ll fail.
10. You’re not the first person to go to university. Everything you do/say/think has been done/said/ thought before. Uni will be far easier if you remember you are not the first or only person to go through this.
11. Don’t ask your law student friend how uni is going. Without fail, they will rant about how hard their life is, blathering on about torts, contracts and other stuff. Yawn.
12. Summer school is the best thing ever. They offer some great classes (I highly recommend Public Relations 1 and Issues in South East Asia), and it means you can take fewer classes during your normal study period (or in some cases even graduate early – yay!). Thanks to summer school, I only had to be at uni for 2 hours a week in my final semester.
13. Find the right balance between uni, work and your social life. I’ve seen people fail because they’ve partied too much, and I’ve seen people become completely miserable because all they do is study and work.
14. If you’re studying to be a glorified babysitter, can you please be quiet? The whole campus doesn’t need to hear your conversations.
15. Enjoy it. If things aren’t working out, find out why and fix it. It should be fun; remember, #YOLO. I loved my time at university and I will look back at it as one of the best experiences of my life. I had many ups and downs (thankfully more ups) and I learned a lot about myself in the process. I hope you all have just as great of an experience, and when you come and join me in the real world, may the odds be ever in your favour.
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