Blog & Insights

Preparing for university

For many students, the upcoming semester will be their first foray into university life. While it’s easy to get distracted by all the awesome events and gigs going on around campus, here’s a few practical tips to help you transition into academic life!

Tip 1: Create an assignment calendar
With so many classes, labs, tutorials, seminars, and workshops to prepare for, making sure you hand in every assignment on time can be hard to manage. Take the burden by creating an assignment calendar: a week-by-week sheet you can pin above your desk or bed, with a list of what’s due for the entire semester. That way you can easily check what you’ve got coming up every time you sit down to study (…or watch YouTube).

Tip 2: Create a DropBox Account
The age-old excuse of, “But I saved over my files!” won’t work at university. Due dates are generally pretty non-negotiable, even when it’s a technical error. A lot of students back their files up on a USB thumb drive or external hard-drive. This is a good way to make sure you don’t lose that major assignment you’ve been working on but, if you really want to protect your hard work, nothing beats storing your assignments on a cloud server like DropBox. You’ll get a free 2GB of storage space when you sign up – which should be more than enough to save a few essays or lab reports.

Tip 3: Speak to a student advisor about choosing electives
Lots of degrees will require that you take electives outside of your major (and even outside of your faculty). However, be careful what you enrol in! Tree Climbing 101 or The History of Jellybeans might look like interesting subjects at first, yet they may also distract you from taking classes that will add an extra punch to your degree. If you do have the freedom to choose from a general list of subjects, have a chat to a student councillor or careers advisor at your university about their recommendations. You might find that you pad your resume with a minor more relevant to your field of study, take internships in lieu of classes, or take on subjects that prepare you for more advanced stages in your degree!

Tip 4: Choosing the right accommodation (… best done before you arrive)
University can be a real struggle if you’re trying to do assignments in the backseat of a car. It’s something that many people assume they can do last minute, but the truth is that the best places fill up well before the start of semester. Avoid having to share a bedroom with four strangers and get your application in now. You can also contact our friendly Iglu staff who will be able to talk through your options, and find the right type of accommodation to meet your budget and lifestyle. So get sorted and have a cool first semester.

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