Updating Results

How to avoid two common mistakes of new uni students

James Davis

Careers Commentator
There are a few ways new students tend to go wrong when starting out at university. If you recognise them early, you can get ahead.

It’s natural to make mistakes when you first get to uni. It’s a completely new and foreign environment after all. However, if you’re not careful those mistakes could do some damage to your grades and consequently professional prospects. Here are a handful of the biggest mistakes, complete with ways to avoid them.

1. Abuse of freedom

High school is quite restrictive in comparison to university, with teachers telling you what to do left and right. At university you’re left to your own devices, so if you want to miss out on that lecture you can. If you want to miss that tutorial, you technically can. This sort of thing is a classic blunder, however; lecture theatres will be packed in the first week, then rapidly trail off. By about the sixth week, half the class will have dropped out because they’ve not been keeping up.

The solution’s simple. If you’ve not been able to keep up with lectures, you can watch them online, but being there in person can really elevate the experience. It gives you a chance to ask questions before and afterwards, which can really help clarify what you’ve learned.

Tutorials are another deal entirely. They are a chance to reinforce what you’ve learned during the week, so even if they’re not compulsory they’re always worth attending. Change your work schedule or enrol in your courses as early as possible to secure the best possible times. It’s definitely worth doing if it means improving your chances of getting a high grade.

2. Getting too caught up in university culture

Joining clubs and taking part in campus events can be a great way to make friends, but a lot of students take it to the extreme. The government is currently leading ten initiatives designed to reduce drinking culture in Victoria alone, with all the states combined contributing even more. The ABS found one in four Australian men exceeded the recommended lifetime alcohol consumption (25.8%) and one in ten Australian women (9.3%).

It’s easy to be influenced by adults, friends and loved ones making these decisions because it’s happening all around us. If you want to improve your university experience, you don’t need to swear off alcohol all together and become a monk. Just be careful not to overdo it, remember what work you’ve still got to complete and you’ll be fine.