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March 5, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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DON’T PANIC

What you REALLY shouldn’t do

(But probably will)

Odds are that you have grabbed this magazine in the hope that maybe it can tell you what you should do to get your head around working in this scary new place called university. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. Everyone’s experiences in their first year are different and some things that you ‘should’ do may not be your cup of tea. What I can do is give you some pretty straightforward things you probably shouldn’t do to make life a mite easier.

 
DO NOT stress about first year courses – the reality is that first year courses are just stepping stones into 200 and 300 level courses, read: the ones you can’t afford to screw up. Unless you’re talking a law degree, your first year does not dictate your entire life. Take it seriously, sure, but don’t pity gorge yourself on chocolate over a B-.

DO NOT leave assignments until the last minute – “But I’ve gotten on fine by doing things last minute so far and I wanna go get drunk and piss on cop cars!” – Shut up. Do your work.” The lecturers and tutors that tell you this time and time again are not saying it to be arseholes, they mean it. Act like you pay to be here, because you do.

DO NOT study in silence – research has shown that the brain is more receptive to new information when ambient sound is present. In other words, go to the Hunter Lounge, have a drink, and study that Physics paper. Better yet, study in a group and split the bill.
 
DO NOT get your books in the first week – do you want to spend $500 on books for a course where the first lecture is so dull it has you drooling all over your laptop? Didn’t think so. Hold fire on the big spending until you’re absolutely sure it’s the course for you.
 
DO NOT sleep with your tutor – you would be amazed how many people have claimed to have pulled this off. Seriously, don’t screw the crew. There’s no ‘extra credit’ and you’ll never get any work done. Kudos to you if you succeed but don’t say you weren’t warned.
 
DO NOT force yourself to wake up – one of the joys of university is that most of the time, you can make your uni schedule work aroundyou. So if you’re not a morning person, get inquick on S-Cubed so you don’t have to clawyour way to the cable car pre-coffee.
 
DO NOT fuck with your RAs – if you have them, they are your caregivers/deities, banishing liquor from your hand and towels from your bathrooms. Be nice to them and treat them with respect: being an RA is a tough, 24/7 job and dealing with drunken idiots that locked themselves out at 3am is something you do not want to be saddled with. Speaking of the drink…
 
DO NOT destroy your liver – as a wise friend once told me, drink like there is a tomorrow. There is no worse feeling in uni life than waking up at nine in the godforsaken morning to attend an introductory lecture on legal history that is drier than Weet-Bix in the Sahara after a dozen Coronas and half a bottle of Jim Beam. The occasional piss-up is going to happen, but you will also constantly have shit to do that you really don’t want to be hung over for.
 
But most importantly…
 
DON’T PANIC you will make it through with a completely different outlook on education and maybe with a toe missing, but you will make it. Fingers crossed.
 
Doc Watson

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