Blog & Insights
How do I… find my way around at Uni?
The first installment of our “How Do I…” Series: a survival guide to university living.
The big uni decision has been made. You’ve chosen your course and you’re all set to begin. The first day comes around…. and you suddenly realise you have no idea how to get to uni, let alone find out where you need to be when you arrive. Oops! Need to find out where to go and how to get there? This is for you.
Getting to uni:
Use Google Maps to locate yourself and plan out a travel route. You’ll find various transport options available to you, but travelling on foot is actually the best way to find your way around a new area. It gives you the chance to physically experience your surroundings, which helps implant them in your memory. Sometimes getting lost can be the fastest way to learn!
Alternatively, use the city’s comprehensive travel network of trains, trams and buses to get you there easily. Organise your route in advance so that on your first day you leave prepared and relaxed. You may even find other students are travelling in the same direction with an opportunity to go together.
Navigating the maze:
Universities and colleges can be confusing places for most people, and vastly different to your average high school campus. Nothing seems like it’s where it should be, and it can feel pretty daunting just trying to find your way around in those first few weeks.
The key is to isolate the important places you will likely be frequenting: the library, lecture theatres, tutor rooms and key facilities (such as medical, canteen, bars, and security). Prioritise these places on arrival and store them securely in the memory bank.
Some uni campuses are really big, so if you do take a wrong turn you could end up in an unexpected lecture topic. Late lecture arrivals and missed tutorials are commonplace at the beginning of the semester for this very reason. Be sure to take advantage of any guided tours or orientation events on offer, especially during O Week. This is the time when everyone around you is in the same boat, and they will all have similar questions and concerns.
Most universities will have maps up on the walls around the campus, or you can look online in advance of arriving so that you don’t spend your first lecture wandering around looking dazed and confused. In the early days, plan out where you need to get to on campus and the route you will take.
Once upon a time, a printed campus map would help you get from A to B. Today, maybe not so much. But there is still help at hand. Literally. There are several apps to choose from that will tell you not only where you are, but where you need to get to and how you are going to get there.
It doesn’t stop at the campus walls, find nearby bus stops, food outlets, shops and stations – even the humble water bubbler gets a mention. Check out studentvip as a starting point, but you will probably discover that your university has its very own app with everything you need to know now in the palm of your hand.